Letters to the Editor: Demanding indoor worship during a pandemic is an un-Christian act
To the editor: Worship is an unselfish act. Common sense posits that a person committed to worship would value the common good and the life and health of others over oneself. (“Why are some places of worship unconcerned about holding potential super-spreader events?” Opinion, Dec. 1)
In the grip of a merciless pandemic, one’s refusal to wear a mask or asserting of his or her right to worship indoors, over safeguarding the life and health of the larger community, is selfish in the extreme.
Always before us is the choice for life or death.
The Rev. Craig M. Butters, San Clemente
To the editor: In 1919, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote that “falsely shouting fire in a theatre” was an example of unprotected speech. His argument was that in certain cases, the government could take action to limit speech.
In the recent Supreme Court decision on another 1st Amendment issue, freedom of religion, it would have been appropriate for the justices to mirror Holmes’ opinion. In a pandemic, your choice to attend an indoor religious service could put others at risk, similar to Holmes’ example of yelling fire in a crowded theater.
It is clear to me that the justices ignored precedent.
Mike Smith, Yorba Linda
To the editor: In most houses of worship, people gather in an indoor space for the better part of an hour, praying aloud and singing while stationary.
Show me the pet store, hardware store, bank or any business where this happens, and I will agree that the rules are being unfairly applied.
No one is telling people they cannot worship. No one is forbidding ministers from conducting services. Just take it outdoors or online. Thanks to technology, worship is more available than it has ever been.
We are all missing social contact. We are all missing the ability to gather in the usual ways. Please do not use the 1st Amendment as an excuse to give yourself the comfort of gathering while depriving me of my right to go outside without fear of contracting a potentially fatal disease.
Natalie Meyer, Glendale
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