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California Church Earns Big Win Against State – Judge Overturns $300K Fine For “Non-Compliance”
By Ben Dutka|August 17, 2022
California Church Earns Big Win Against State – Judge Overturns $300K Fine For “Non-Compliance”

The country is starting to feel the after-effects of the pandemic, and these stretch beyond financial and economic consequences.

For example, lawsuits regarding freedom of religion versus government mandates continue to fly. Many still believe their rights were unfairly restricted and in some cases, they were unfairly punished as well.

But one California judge has ruled that such a punishment cannot stand.

In October 2020, the State of California, the County of Santa Clara, and County Health Officer Sara Cody, sued Calvary Chapel for “failure to comply” with the pandemic shutdown order.

After the state ordered the church to close, Pastor Mike McClure refused. He said in a statement that December:

I respect the judge and I respect what the law says.

But there’s a bigger law. I have to get told, you follow God or you follow man. I have to follow what God’s word says.

Of course, this didn’t stop the state from fining the church — a total of $300,000 due to non-compliance.

However, the church quickly fought back and finally, after a long wait, they’ve gotten the ruling overturned. Via The Daily Wire:

A California court has overturned $300,000 in fines against a church accused of non-compliance over COVID during the state’s pandemic shutdown.

Judge Peter Kirwan ruled in favor of Calvary Chapel San Jose in the 36-page ruling on Monday.

This decision cancels out all three charges against the congregation, which was a giant victory for people of faith.

Most Republican leaders and right-wing citizens applauded the news. California Republican candidate for Senate Mark Meuser tweeted:

Mariah Gondeiro is a lawyer with Advocates for Faith and Freedom, and she called Pastor McClure “the poster child of COVID-19 abuse.”

She cited the Santa Clara County for trying to fine the church $2.8 million for violation of “arbitrary COVID-19 orders,” and have also tried to hold McClure in contempt twice. “This is government abuse at its finest,” she said.

The battle for religious freedom keeps playing out, even in the highest courts in the land.

Currently, numerous lawsuits remain in the works or in a “pending” status, as those who believe their rights were violated continue to fight back.

Key Takeaways:

  • A California judge overturned a ruling against a church for violation of COVID-19 orders.
  • This erased all 3 charges against the congregation, including $300K in fines.
  • Advocates for Faith and Freedom attorney Mariah Gondeiro celebrated the win, saying the original order was “government abuse at its finest.”

Source: The Daily Wire

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Ben Dutka
Ben S. Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, and he has also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms. He has a penchant for writing, rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.
Ben S. Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, and he has also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms. He has a penchant for writing, rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.
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