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.
Looking Back: Big League Politics’ Most Popular Stories of 2020
Reviewing ten of our top stories from an unusual 2020.
It’s cliché to say, but 2020 was a year unlike any other. We saw entire city blocks looted and burned in the name of “racial justice.” We’ve had the most divisive election in recent memory, serious allegations of fraud, and a president unwilling to concede. And we’ve suffered through the worst health emergency in a century after a novel coronavirus outbreak, with leaders across the globe grinding their countries to a halt and enforcing strict stay-at-home and mask orders.
Big League Politics consequently had a solid year in terms of traffic and readership. Many stories were widely viewed and shared on Twitter and Parler, several of them original scoops. Although we may prefer to forget about 2020 in certain respects, for better or worse it will not be forgettable as long as we live.
That being said, let’s reflect a little on the past year. Here are some of Big League Politics’ most popular stories of 2020:
A major story that received no shortage of clicks. Unfortunately it has not translated into success against the steal. Joe Biden’s inauguration is looking imminent at this point.
We decided to look back at this story in particular because of Big League Politics’ original reporting on the #DetroitLeaks, a series of articles with leaked audio revealing that Detroit poll workers were instructed on how to commit various forms of fraud. Michigan AG Dana Nessel was the one who sent Big League Politics a cease and desist order over these articles. Her subsequent threats against election fraud whistleblowers and Republicans who refuse to certify the vote reveal her actions to be completely partisan and predatory.
This was the most viewed story all year. Props to James O’Keefe for all his work in exposing fraud and corruption wherever it can be found. He is a journalist in the real sense of the term, going where no one else goes and openly challenging the powers that be.
Big League Politics obtained court documents showing that Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the men who went after Kyle Rittenhouse at the Kenosha riots and got shot in apparent self-defense, was convicted of sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona in 2002. Not only are Antifa and BLM types radical in their ideological beliefs and tactics, many are just not what you would call upstanding members of society. Let’s just leave it at that.
Unlike Rosenbaum, most of the politically-related deaths this past year were of conservatives dying at the hands of leftists. Matthew Dolloff was ostensibly hired to work as “private security” for a local news station in Denver, and he ended up point blank shooting and killing Trump supporter Lee Keltner at a Patriot Prayer rally. Big League Politics obtained screenshots of some of his Facebook posts, which confirmed that he was a radical leftist and someone who maybe shouldn’t have been entrusted to work “private security” at a right-wing political event.
BLM and Antifa laid waste to parts of almost every major US city over the summer, implicitly assisted by local and state leadership that ordered police to stand down or refrain from using tear gas or nightsticks. But a video like this shows that these ideologues are fundamentally weak when met with legitimate political opposition. Ceterus paribus, they can’t outnumber or outmatch Trump supporters and patriots any day of the week.
The border patrol agent, Art Del Cueto, said he took it as a personal insult but was unsure exactly what Kelly meant. We don’t know either. Despite Kelly’s blatant disrespect of our border patrol, he ended up defeating Sen. Martha McSally in Arizona’s special election 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent. Now both of Arizona’s senators are Democrats who beat McSally head-to-head.
Samuel Crankshaw of the Kentucky ACLU wrote a Facebook post saying that Transylvania University, which accepted Sandmann as a student, should discriminate against him because of his conservative beliefs. A professor at the university, Avery Tompkins, then chimed in saying that although academically qualified students can’t be refused admission based on their politics, Sandmann “might learn something that is actually based on research and evidence” if he were to take one of her courses. After significant backlash, Tompkins apologized for “singling out a student” and “any misunderstandings that arose from that.”
In spite of Trump’s appointment of three Supreme Court justices in his first term, this ruling was just one of several disappointing ones to come from the Supreme Court in 2020. The Court had some solid rulings as well, but let’s just say that social conservatives should not be expecting an overturn of Roe v. Wade or Obergefell v. Hodges anytime soon.
To wrap up on a more humorous note, this study showed that almost half of self-identifying white liberals between ages 18 and 29 were told by a doctor that they have a mental health condition, as opposed to only 21 percent of white conservatives. I wonder why that is…
Happy New Year from all of us at Big League Politics!
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