by Aspen Morrow, opinion blog by former journalist, front-line healthcare worker, and current Free Church Minister
There should be ZERO debate about whether the church is an an “essential business” or an “unessential business”, because A: the CHURCH is not a BUSINESS at all, and B: the CHURCH is NONE of the STATE’S BUSINESS!!!!!! I do not get why the federal government, states, Governors, Mayors and President have had ANY say over the establishments of religion, and even more scary, even threatening to close churches permanently who don’t comply with their ILLEGAL ORDERS . Why are these orders Illegal? Because the Government does not have JURISDICTION or AUTHORITY over the CHURCH. Period.
“The US courts well-understand that “a church is not an entity recognized in law,” meaning that they have no jurisdiction over the church. However, organizing a church as a church is an especially difficult concept for attorneys to grasp. Few attorneys can comprehend that there are things and issues completely outside the purview and jurisdiction of the civil government, nor do they much care for the idea. After all, it’s hard to get many billable hours out of those churches that understand that the civil government has no jurisdiction over them. A free-church needs an attorney like a fish needs a bicycle.” says Peter Kershaw, free church expert.[1b]
New York Historical Society President and Columbia University Professor of History, Kenneth T. Jackson said, “the first thing we have in writing in the United States where a group of citizens attests on paper and over their signature the right of the people to follow their own conscience with regard to God — and the inability of government, or the illegality of government, to interfere with that.”
The government overreaches and does illegal, unconstitutional stuff all the time (like putting Journalists in jail who protect their sources and the FREE SPEECH, FREE PRESS under the Constitution), and it is almost impossible for WE THE PEOPLE to HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. They have billions of dollars of OUR MONEY and they WIELD IT against us regularly, taking CHURCHES to COURT who are OUTSIDE of their JURISDICTION and SHOULD NOT be SUING or BE ABLE TO BE SUED.
Jefferson and the Bill of Rights
Thomas Jefferson helped define and set precedence regarding the First Amendment and the, “wall of separation between church and state”, as written in Thomas Jefferson‘s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
SO, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WALL BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE?! Well, I can tell you exactly what happened. Over the past SEVENTY years, the CHURCH has been shooting holes in that wall, jumping over that wall, and getting into BED WITH THE GOVERNMENT. If you are going to SLEEP with the STATE, you are going to be JOINED to it, and CONTROLLED by it. It has been done this by A: INCORPORATING THE FREE CHURCH, and B: Asking permission for a tax-exempt status it already enjoyed as a “natural right”; becoming a STATE CHURCH 501c3 instead of a FREE CHURCH and naturally falling under 508c1a. (This is where all the Free Baptist, Free Methodist names came from!)
Congressman George Hansen once said: “It is impossible to have religious freedom in any nation where churches are licensed to the government.”
So, what do I think SHOULD happen during this interesting time dealing with COVID-19?
Advice for the GOVERNMENT: Ask to church nicely to stay home, or meet in a ‘social distancing’ fashion, but do not ORDER it to stay home. You do not have authority or jurisdiction over the church, and we want to remind you of that.
Advice to the CHURCH: I feel that Jesus is saying a similar message today that He said 2,000 years ago. He is asking us to help him shepherd his sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, our government, our judicial system, and our guide in times like this. John 10:17-18 says:
“…17The reason the Father loves Me is that I lay down My life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.” So, I think there needs to be a CLEAR MESSAGE SENT BY EVERY RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT (all religions, faith-based organizations, associations of churches, conventions of churches, integrated auxiliaries of churches) that we are NOT under JURISDICTION or AUTHORITY of ANY government order, but for the sake of Loving our Neighbor as Ourself, and to follow Jesus’ example (even if not a Jesus-follower), we DECREE and DECLARE that we can lay our life down and pick it up again, and that the government can’t take it from us.
Advice to the PEOPLE: know your rights, or you will lose them. Join together to insure domestic Tranquility, promote the general Welfare (this may mean staying home, or going to church, or going to work!), and help uphold and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.
NOTE: IF your CHURCH or RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION is a 501c3, you are now a STATE CHURCH (like the Church of England our founders FLED), and the government has every right to be your AUTHORITY, and covering; you are now IN their jurisdiction! Your orders not to assemble may be legal and may be enforced in court.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on how to regain your natural rights, UNINCORPORATE your church and revert back to being a FREE CHURCH. FREE Churches are NOT required to file form 1023 or even an annual tax return form 990 (unless needing to file 990-T for UBI). *I am not an accountant or attorney and this is not legal advice.