Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, told the Todd Starnes Show on Monday that it is time that pastors in the U.S. stand up to state-imposed coronavirus restrictions and open their doors to their faith communities.
Perkins said he attended service this weekend at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills with Pastor Jack Hibbs and said the church saw thousands more in attendance than the usual Sunday. He said people came from long distances because they felt the need for fellowship and wanted to experience a powerful service.
“It’s time for churches to begin opening again,” he said.
Perkins pointed to strict restrictions that churches face in states like California and Nevada and said those who attended Calvary Chapel had options to remain outside or in the facility’s gymnasium or sanctuary. Masks were optional. He said Hibbs has been opening his doors since May to offer his community a refuge during the stress of living through a deadly pandemic.
He said he is concerned because many Americans seek faith during these times and said drug overdose and suicides may be a bigger danger for the country than the virus itself.
Todd Starnes, the host of the radio show and vocal critic of guidelines that target churches, said he was troubled by states like California under Gov. Gavin Newsom, that seem to be discriminating against churches and infringing on Americans’ First Amendment rights.
Perkins pointed to how California allows some wineries and restaurants to reopen and how Nevada allows casinos to operate at 50% while they maintain “hostilities” towards places of worship.
He said that he believes something “bigger” may be at play and noted how they register congregants to vote and provide voter guides.
“They learn how to apply God’s truth to the world around them, and that is detrimental to some on the left as they see it,” he said. “Todd, it’s time for churches to take a stand, for pastors to lead the way. People are hungry. They need the spiritual guidance and influence of our churches again. Enough is enough.”