Pastor Ken Graves of Calvary Chapel in Orrington, Maine has announced that this week he and his congregation will be defying government orders by meeting in person for public worship and that they will be the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that challenges Maine’s governor Janet Mills closure of places of worship as means to end the spread of COVID-19 in Maine.
In a prepared statement which was read by Graves in a parking lot service on Sunday he said, “We the church do not look to the government for permission to meet. We have a command by God to gather in the name of Jesus Christ. Now we did voluntarily suspend most of our gatherings. We did that for those few weeks in response to the government’s fears, the government’s numbers, their experts projected something so dangerous that potentially two point two million people in our nation could have died….I recognize that the decisions made by our governor are going to have long lasting destructive effects on our economy and our society as a whole. “
He went on to say “It is the language chosen by our governor’s orders that do in fact reveal that the Christian church is in fact being targeted and discriminated against. Our state government has told the church that it is non-essential….I call on all pastors in our state who believe in the Bible to open your church and obey God.”
In mid-March Governor Janet Mills announced an executive order which limited gathering of people in Maine to ten and under. In April she extended that order by another thirty days. In the April extension Governor Mills did allowed for religious institutions to hold public worship in parking lot style services as long as congregation members stayed in their vehicles.
The lawsuit filed by the Liberty Counsel on the behalf of Graves and Calvary Chapel will challenge the governor’s order closing houses of worship as being unconstitutional in light of the First Amendment which forbids the government from making any laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
By defying the governor’s order, Graves and any worshippers who attend the in-person service could be charged with a Class E crime with penalties of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Calvary Chapel is a protestant evangelical church of nearly one thousand members that was founded in the early 1990s in central Maine. This coming Sunday church members and guests will be able to choose from two in-person services and one parking lot service. It is a branch of the original Calvary Chapel founded in Costa Mesa, California, by Chuck Smith, who help lead the Jesus Movement of the 1970s.
Giuliani And Ellis Allege Considerable Voter Fraud in Arizona
Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, legal counsel for President Donald J. Trump, along side of campaign witnesses and election observers, appeared in front of members of the state legislature of Arizona today alleging that a sizable amount of voter fraud occurred in the state while also pushing for Republican majority state House and Senate to hold a vote on the certification of the election.
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, opened his remarks by saying that socialist-leaning politicians and officials have gradually eroded the personal liberties of Americans, noting that the allegedly fraudulent election process on November 3rd is an extension of that.
“We have been warned for twenty years that going to major mail-in ballots … will be fraught with tremendous fraud,” he continued, adding, “We were warned by former President Jimmy Carter.”
Citing the U.S. Constitution, Mr. Giuliani said, “You, the legislature of Arizona, have the plenary power to regulate the selection of electors in a presidential election,” he went on to argue that the Supreme Court has ruled that state Houses and Senates can reclaim the power to name electors.
“Your political career is worth losing to save the right to vote in America,” Giuliani told the GOP senators. “At times in our history, men and women stepped forward to defend Americans’ rights and liberties,” he remarked.
Jenna Ellis, another one of President Trump’s lawyers, said the Trump team isn’t asking the legislature to overturn the results of the election, but to rather, not certify allegedly fraudulent results.
One witness that was called by the Trump legal team was retired Col. Phil Waldron who asserted that the United States is a victim of “information warfare” due to the lack of security around voting machines in the State of Arizona. The machines “can be hacked to manipulate votes,” Waldron commented to the members of the Arizona legislature.
Another witness for the Trump Team was a provisional ballot clerk. She testified that the state directed her to allow people to vote who were not registered to vote in Arizona.
The Trump legal team is aiming to hold similar hearings in Michigan as well as other battleground states.
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