A Kentucky pastor said he'd sue Gov. Beshear to lift coronavirus restrictions on churches. 17 members of his congregation now have COVID-19
In response to the coronavirus crisis, many churches in the United States have promoted social distancing by temporarily replacing in-person services with online services. But an abundance of far-right white evangelicals have downplayed the dangers of coronavirus and continued to hold crowded in-person services. In Kentucky, according to the K105 website, a church that threatened to sue Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear over social distancing measures now has 17 members who have tested positive for COVID-19.
In April, Clays Mills Baptist Church joined Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in demanding that Beshear lift an executive order that forbade churches from having in-person services — which Clay Mills saw as an attack on religious freedom. The church resumed in-person services on May 10, and on June 5, Pastor Jeff Fugate told the Harold-Leader that he feels “terrible” about all the coronavirus infections among Clay Mills worshippers — two of who are members of his family.
“I care more about the health of my people than anyone,” K105 quotes Fugate as saying.
K105 notes, “Unlike Clays Mill Baptist, many churches in Central Kentucky have decided to forgo gathering in-person and continue with online-only services.”
Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, has warned churches how dangerous it is to keep holding in-person gatherings.
“This is a serious disease,” Stack warned, “and it spreads very easily.”