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Letters to the Editor: Where in the Bible is the command to worship indoors during a pandemic?

Godspeak Calvary Chapel
Supporters of Godspeak Calvary Chapel gather outside the church as it defies orders and holds indoor services on Aug. 9 in Newbury Park.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: What part of 5.1 million cases and more than 160,000 deaths in the U.S. does Pastor Rob McCoy of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park not understand? (“Newbury Park church holds indoor services in defiance of judge’s order,” Aug. 9)

His faith is not in question. If he truly believes in God, then he knows he does not need to have his congregants gather indoors with many others to feel Him and pray to Him. The pastor’s depraved indifference to this pandemic is not helping to curb the spread of the coronavirus; it may even be killing people.

For the love of God, please adhere to the safety measures.

Sheryl Kinne, Van Nuys

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To the editor: As a longtime church organist, I can attest to the fact that religion can play a very positive role in people’s lives. As an engineer schooled in the sciences, I also know that indoor services pose an extreme risk of infection.

My own Unitarian Universalist congregation is prepared to meet online for the next year. We are meeting via Zoom every Sunday, and this includes religious education and a virtual coffee hour. My wife, who is Roman Catholic, attends Mass online.

My father-in-law recently died in Massachusetts; his funeral Mass was held via Facebook Live. The priest talked about those of us in Santa Barbara. We prayed together. It brought closure for my wife’s family.

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As my father-in-law had been in the Army, military honors took place at the end of the service, and we were able to witness the flag being presented to my mother-in-law.

As an electrical engineer, I am proud of the work we have done to make this technology possible. We reduced the risk of us becoming ill, and we attended my father-in-law’s funeral from 3,000 miles away.

This crisis is not forever, but we will need to do this for a while. I wish everyone the highest blessings.

Kevin Rose, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: The other day my little boy looked wistfully at a roped-off playground and, with crestfallen eyes, listened to my refrain that the equipment was off-limits. It is with his downcast face in mind that I write.

How heartsick I am, as a mother, to witness the collateral damage we are wreaking on California’s children.

Consider the litany of forbidden activities. Many of our youth cannot attend school, play sports, tour museums, browse libraries or attend a church. Many children are banned from playing with friends, attending parties and hugging grandparents.

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In the meantime, we’re expected to cover our kids’ faces. Are we to believe that masking a child does not squelch their inclination and ability to speak, interact and express themselves? And how are children to learn the important tools of understanding other human beings when they constantly encounter people whose faces and emotions are hidden?

All this as scientific evidence mounts that children are at low risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19. It is time to return childhood to our children.

Elizabeth Ebiner, Pomona

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To the editor: McCoy packs his mostly unmasked congregants inside for his Sunday services. He tells us, “We haven’t had one case of COVID in our church.”

I wonder how he knows.

Carl Pilsecker, Lakewood


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