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Letters to the Editor: No, the Bible doesn’t endorse meeting indoors during a pandemic

A woman reads from her Bible.
A woman reads from the book of Ecclesiastes in her Bible.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Attorney Robert Dunn is mistaken on biblical grounds and misapplies the 1st Amendment in his praise for the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on private religious gatherings during the pandemic.

He cites the fact that “small-group gatherings have been a part of the Christian faith for two millennia.” He claims that denial of the right to continue meeting in groups violates the Constitution.

Nothing in the New Testament comes even close to endorsing indoor group meetings in a pandemic. To argue that because members of the early church met in small groups in homes is not relevant to the current situation. They met in small groups because the believers were small groups.

In the Old Testament there are specific rules to isolate a person who had a contagious disease as well as extensive disinfectant procedures. The ill person had to receive approval before he could return to his home and community.

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I think it quite likely that a Supreme Court with different justices could have ruled that exempting religious groups from pandemic restrictions creates an “establishment of religion,” in violation of the 1st Amendment. As Christians, we should follow the teaching of the Apostle Paul in Romans Chapter 13: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.”

Charles McKinstry, Riverside

The writer is a retired minister and attorney.

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To the editor: I went to services almost every Friday. We called it Zoom. Our choir was limited to four people, and anyone who needed to talk to the rabbi could simply call him.

It was hard sometimes, but I don’t think you can complain. God help us if being surrounded by people is the only way that we can worship him.

Margo L. Allen, Laguna Woods

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To the editor: Since the “freedom” of others stops at the tip of my nose, the problem is not that people gather in defiance of public health guidelines. The problem is that they don’t stay gathered — they go back out into public and exhale into the air that is shared by other people.

A required quarantine after an indoor religious meeting would be useful.

Roberta Fox, Costa Mesa


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