Australia

If Protesters Can Protest, Worshipers Can Worship

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IF Black Lives Matter protests go ahead across Australia this weekend, Christian churches must advise authorities, en masse, that they will resume worship services the following weekend.

If State Premiers allow thousands of people to march through city streets & gather shoulder-by-shoulder in city squares, there is no good reason places of worship should not reopen.

This would have been ill-advised just a week ago, but the national mood has now changed.

A week ago, if churches had said they would be opening regardless of lockdown laws, they would have been condemned by the media as irresponsible. But the media, now cheering the Black Lives Matter protests, can hardly condemn other groups for gathering.

A week ago churches would have been slammed by politicians as irresponsible and lawless for reopening. But our MPs, including non-other than the NSW Premier, now say protesting is a “democratic right” that they will not interfere with. Well, freedom of assembly to worship is also a democratic right. And churches in NSW should inform Gladys Berejiklian that they intend to exercise that right.

A week ago the churches would have been belittled by non-church goers as endangering public health by meeting. But everyone, regardless of faith, now sees the hypocrisy of allowing or disallowing people to gather based, not on health, but on the particular cause they gather around.

A week ago the churches would have been in trouble with police for breaking laws designed to stop the spread of Covid-19. But police idling watching protestors march and chant side-by-side are hardly going to arrest Anglicans for singing hymns.

Churches ought to advise authorities that it is now clear the lock-down is over. Religious worship services will resume immediately. And authorities will agree. They have no good reason not to.


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