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By Charles J. Chaput and Michael P. Farris, First Things, June 23, 2020
The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput is archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia. Michael P. Farris is president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom.
In the midst of the current pandemic, why should casinos have greater freedoms than churches?
In casinos, hundreds to thousands of gamblers gather for hours on end in close proximity to eat and drink, pull slots, and handle poker chips every day of the week. In churches, people gather for about an hour, usually once a week, and generally do not interact with one another as much as casino patrons do. So how does opening the one while restricting the other keep the public safe? We can’t find a good answer. Policies like this simply discriminate against religious believers.
As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops celebrates Religious Freedom Week, we are concerned that the government is discriminating against religious institutions in a way that violates the freedoms protected in the First Amendment by our founding fathers. The government is playing favorites, and choosing secular institutions over religious ones. That’s as wrong as it is unconstitutional. …