In 11 days the U.S will receive its peak death rate. Where 2,644 people are projected to die within 24 hours.
MIKE DONOVAN: The America that we are living in right now is not a free America.
You stay in your house. You don't go to that church. You don't go around those people. You don't bother those people. Those people don't bother you. Guess what? You're fine. There's nothing that requires you to say that church has to close it.
Welcome to the nut free America podcast. I'm your host, Mike Donovan, and we are talking about what's happening on the front lines of the war, world war Covid and the American people's quest to remain free… protecting civil liberties, understanding risk, and talking about what's really happening. That's the purpose of the podcast. Thank you so much for joining us tonight in our fourth episode.
And tonight we talk about religious liberty under fire. What will become of the America of tomorrow as it relates to religious liberty? But first, startling news from the government today predicting that within 11 days or in 11 days, the United States will receive its peak death rate where 2,644 people are projected to die within 24 hours.
The shocking graphs of state by state breakdowns are enough to make you sick. The metrics model show that the United States is 10 days away from its peak resource use. When the model predicts that over 250,000 hospital beds and over 40,000 ICU beds are going to be needed. The University of Washington's Institute for health warns that protections for each state assume that social distancing measures are maintained and outbreaks can occur that would significantly alter the model in a very negative way.
It shows that New York, the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, will reach its peak in five days and Illinois is expected to hit 3,386 deaths by August 4th.
Now, we need to understand something folks, this is serious and the provisions that we have all taken to protect our families and stay out of public -- social distancing measures are important -- but we're also talking about the fight for civil liberties. And where do we come down as the people of the United States of America, on questions as fundamental as religious liberty in the times of World War Covid… of our global pandemic. Where do our rights stop? What can the government really do?
And I thought it was important to look at news from the day. It's Sunday after all and understand what's happening in the country but juxtapose it with some words of wisdom from our founding fathers. I mean, after all our, our founding fathers and mothers to be sure were people who had escaped religious persecution. This is something they know a little bit about and if there's anything relevant that they have to say, it's probably related to issues of the bill of rights and specifically the first amendment and specifically even more issues related to religious liberty.
So we know that there are Americans all over the country that are defying the quarantines and planning to worship today. And then also next week for Sunday services at the Easter holiday. In Cincinnati, despite warnings from local and state officials, Solid Rock had been holding it to 1,000 strong gatherings in person. They planned to keep the church open this morning, which they did. And they do plan to hold services on Easter Sunday. The Cincinnati police stood down at this point from arresting anybody. The Solid Rock church says that they're taking all necessary precautions to ensure that the health and safety of everyone that comes to Solid Rock church is protected.
“We've scaled back our normal services when there aren't large numbers of worshipers in the facility, but we are open and continuing to practice and sustain our Christian faith.”
Louisiana pastor Tony Spells said we're defying the rules because the commandment of God is to spread the gospel. Spell, who plans to hold three services at his thousand-member church, Life Tabernacle… and he did… has defied state orders against assembling and large groups and he's already been charged with six separate misdemeanor offenses which could carry up to over a year in jail.
In California, Sacramento County officials said that they've identified one evangelical church with a cluster of 71 positive cases. They are tracking church members and believe that those church members continue to gather in fellow parishioner’s homes. Let that one sink in for a second.
Not so much that there was a church where there were 71 positive cases… that's horrible, but not really surprising. But what is perhaps concerning is that Sacramento County officials are investigating whether these people continue to worship in their homes. Is that not scary to you? It's scary to me. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to say some of the things that are happening right now are really, really bad.
And unless we change them and unless we redirect them, we are never going to get our country back, folks. Never going to get it back. Now we have in Thousand Oaks, California and police in Lodi interrupted a service at the cross-cultural Christian center. It's an evangelical church with about 80 members… and busted it up, told them they had to leave. They were violating the orders of the state and they had to go. The pastor says, “We're much safer in here than a Walmart or a grocery store where we're six feet apart versus being cramped on top of each other.” But hey, in the age of World War II Covid, civil rights don't matter. And logic and reason often failed to matter as well. Now, understanding that that's where we are in 2020 in the United States of America…
Let's harken back to the words of one of our founders, John Adams who said, “Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man's nature and the noble rank he holds among the works of God. Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of princes and parliaments.”
And we know that other churches around the country are ignoring the stay at home orders. And we know that some states are caving it. For example, Governor DeSantos in Florida designated religious services as essential activities and he said in an address to the people of Florida that he is not going to close churches and he doesn't believe it's the authority of the state to do so. I don't believe that I'm sitting here telling you I agree with Ron DeSantos and I'm not a fan of Ron DeSantos, but I agree with Ron DeSantos in this. He's right. The idea of sending Florida police or the national guard into bust up churches is simply not American.
Thank God we have some governors who still seem to understand that. I'm not advocating people going to church and getting each other sick. In fact, I think you shouldn't. In fact, I think if you do, you're kind of silly. You're not really making smart choices, but they're your choices, not my choices. You get to make them, not me. I don't make them for you. You make them for yourself. That's what it is to be in America. Other than Texas and Florida, States that have issued exemptions for religious events with large numbers of Coronavirus cases include Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, and New Hampshire.
Virginia restricts religious worship. Again, thinking back and hearkening back to the words of our founders, I think about Thomas Paine who said, spiritual liberty – “spiritual freedom is the root of political liberty. As the union between spiritual freedom and political liberty seems nearly inseparable, it is our duty to defend both.”
Florida and other states allowing church services are drawing criticism, criticism from people who you would think would be civil rights advocates, but no, decisions to allow church services in places like Florida are receiving national condemnation. Why is it that the people of the United States are so afraid of a virus that they're so turning their energy toward restricting the liberties of others? It is simply not necessary. We have the ability to choose to protect ourselves from this virus. The government has provided, through stimulus and other provisions, the assurances that we can continue to provide for our families.
It is not easy. It's going to be hard, but there's nothing in this crisis that requires you sitting in your living room deciding to accommodate the request of the government related to social distancing. There's absolutely nothing that requires you to go out and tell someone and they can't go to church in order to protect yourself. You stay in your house. You don't go to that church. You don't go around those people. You don't bother those people. Those people don't bother you. Guess what? You're fine.
There's nothing that requires you to say that church has to close. There's nothing that requires you to say that person can't go to that store. There's nothing that requires you to do it to stay safe. This isn't about making sure people stay healthy. It's about controlling people and it's controlled that we'll never get back.
James Monroe, in an address to the Virginia general assembly on June 20th, 1785 famously said, “We hold it for a fundamental and inalienable truth, that religion and the manner of discharging it can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force and violence. The religion then of every man must be left the conviction and conscience of every man and it is the right of every man to exercise it as they may dictate.”
Lastly, I'll leave you with this. I continue to look at what's happening on the front lines of this fight and I continue to see things that look more and more un-American. Brace yourselves. We're in for quite a week. We know that the death toll will rise significantly and we know the likelihood that people you know and love will be affected. It is going to be a horrible week and we're also going to see more instances of these civil rights violations and we're going to be here every day talking to you about what's happening.
We're also going to be sending people on the ground to be able to bring live reports from places like New York, Detroit and New Orleans. The Washington Post has a moniker, it says “Democracy dies in the dark.”
It's dying. Thomas Jefferson said, and I'll leave you with this quote, “equal and exact justice to all men, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of the person under the protection of the Habeas Corpus and trial by juries and partially selected -- these principles form the bright constellation that has gone before us.”
That constellation folks is dim. Let us not lose sight of it. Join me tomorrow as we talk more about the week ahead and what the government is doing to brace for the death toll and what exactly is going to be happening to the bodies. We’ll talk facts. Thank you for joining us on Not Free America. We're here for you every day.