So … Some local churches have been holding “parking lot” services recently. You know the ones: everyone parks in the parking lot and stays in their cars and listens to the service via their car’s radio. Very handy for those who can’t make it into the church, or, just for kicks, those who have been told they cannot go into the church because of a certain viral contagion going around. Either way, it works out well. At least in most cases. Trouble is, some local governments around the nation decided staying in cars and listening to the service on the radio was NOT in keeping with “social distancing” recommendations. Said governments called out the police to present worshippers with citations, and told them they would have to report to local health departments. Fines, imprisonment and other fun actions were, in some cases, also mentioned. Now, I’m a nice guy. I try to get along with everyone, and I pretty much try to the best of my ability to follow recommendations set forth by the CDC and the government, especially when it concerns slowing the spread of a deadly virus. But ... (yep — there’s that ugly but). When I watched a video of a pastor walking out the door of a church on Easter morning - before any cars had started to gather — and saw a big line of police cars already there to shut the service down, I was quite dismayed. When I watched another video where a police officer told a pastor or congregant that his Constitutional first amendment rights had been “suspended” — I kind of cringed. After all, what does that mean? Was he saying that the right of freedom of religion, free speech, and the freedom to peacefully assemble have been put on hold? The short answer is … yes. If you have watched any of the administrations “COVID-19” updates, briefings, or whatever you want to call them, you have no doubt noticed a phrase that says something about the “health, safety, and well-being of the people” being the reason for all of the “recommendations” being placed on us. So, just what is this phrase, anyway? It is called a general welfare clause, and is part of many constitutions around the world, including the Constitution of the United States and constitutions of many states within the U.S. According to online sources, a general welfare clause is a section that appears in many constitutions, as well as in some charters and statutes, which provides that the governing body empowered by the document may enact laws to promote the general welfare of the people, sometimes worded as the public welfare. In some countries, this has been used as a basis for legislation promoting the health, safety, morals, and well-being of the people governed by that entity. In many cases, such a clause is seen as a vehicle to suspend the constitutional rights of the citizens. The reason, of course, is cited as the general welfare of the people. So I ask you, do you believe we are at the point in our society, at this very moment, where we need our constitutional rights suspended? Has the threat from this virus brought us to the point where we allow the government to order the disposal of precious food resources, such as milk and vegetables, instead of selling them, or at the very least donating those resources to the needy? Has the threat from this virus brought us to the point where we are shutting down meat packing plants, hurting not only consumers, but ranchers, grazers and farmers as well? Has the threat from COVID-19 brought us to the point where we voluntarily lay down our rights and let the CDC, WHO, or federal, state or local entity tell us whether or not we can sit in our cars and listen to a local church service on the radio? Personally, I don’t believe the virus is the main threat.