BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC Local 33)(Fox 44) – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry sent a letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards asking him to re-open churches and places of worship. Edward’s new emergency order does not address churches. Landry is encouraging the governor amend his emergency proclamation so places of worship can begin the process of re-opening.
Gov. Edwards responded to Landry’s letter during his press conference on Thursday. The Governor agreed that it is just as important to open places of worship as it is getting the economy moving forward. “Im all for loosening restrictions on churches and on businesses but we are going to do so in a way that feels comfortable that aren’t going to cause a spark in cases,” Edwards said.
Gov. Edwards previewed a set of guidelines for church leaders that will be released on Friday. The guidelines will include holding services outside, tents must be open, social distancing must be practiced, and people 65 or older that are high risk patients for covid-19 should be discouraged to attend.
Landry wants to help the Pastors who have followed the Governor’s orders during the Coronavirus pandemic. “Those pastors who exhibited restrain and resolve and civil obedience are saying look its time to go back to work,” Landry said. “99.9 percent of the pastors out there actually adhered to and respected the Governors orders at the particular time.We had one pastor who wanted to be a little belligerent in the height of a crisis.” Landry said. Pastor Tony Spell’s attorney Joe Long immediately released a statement regarding Landry’s letter.
“As we both know, religious liberty is a bedrock principle right from which our freedom flows. It is THE foundation for what makes America unique.” Attorney General Landry’s words echo Pastor Spell’s words in his stand for religious liberty against the Governor’s Executive Order. We applaud the Attorney General’s wise counsel to the Governor to modify the stay at home order immediately to allow churches to open and the faithful to worship together, using common sense safeguards to continue to protect the flock. We urge all Louisianans who believe in religious liberty to echo this demand to their elected officials. We will join with other Louisianans to protest at the Governor’s mansion this Saturday at noon to let him know personally how we all feel about extending this house arrest of the citizens to May 15th. We invite all like minded patriots to join us.”
St. John United Methodist Church announced they will keep their church doors closed until the end of May. “People are what we care about most and if continuing to remain with online worship only and not being face to face for a little bit longer, means that more lives will be saved, then that is what we will do,” Pastor Lane Cotton Winn said.