A win for theocracy and death

Theocracy tightens its grip and gives a giant boost to COVID-19.

In a 5-4 ruling, the US Supreme Court sided with religious organizations in a dispute over Covid-19 restrictions put in place by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo limiting the number of people attending religious services.

The case is the latest pitting religious groups against city and state officials seeking to stop the spread of Covid-19, and it highlights the impact of Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the court. The decision comes as coronavirus cases surge across the country.

This could be a very wise move if we lived in a world where viruses do what a god tells them to do. We don’t live in that world, though; viruses do what viruses do, and going to church or temple or mosque just helps them spread.

The ruling, released just before midnight on Thanksgiving eve, contains several separate opinions and some unusually critical language.

In the main, unsigned opinion, the majority ruled in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America that argued that the restrictions violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment because the regulations treated the houses of worship more harshly than comparable secular facilities.

What comparable secular facilities are there? In what secular facilities do people sit close together and stand close together to sing or pray or both? Sport facilities are a big one, but aren’t they closed for that very reason?

“Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area,” the court said. “But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”

The court said that even though Cuomo had lifted some restrictions, the houses of worship “remain under a constant threat” because the restrictions could always be reinstated.

Lower courts had sided with Cuomo.

It was 5-4, remember. This is our future – religious fanatics in charge.

Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, said that the regulations were designed to “fight the rapidly spreading — and, in many cases, fatal — COVID-19 virus,” and that they allowed the governor to identity hot spots where the virus had spiked. Breyer noted the grisly statistics concerning the virus that has infected more than 12 million Americans and is currently surging. “The Constitution principally entrusts the safety and the health of the people to the politically accountable officials of the States,” Breyer wrote.

But the hell with all that, instead let’s turn it all over to a non-existent god.

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