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Was it one of those pieces of news that the sneaky release on Friday to bury it? Could be. Believe it or not, the Supreme Court now wants us to believe that gamblers at casinos should have more rights than Christians at their church. Of course, we can suppose this decision, CALVARY CHAPEL DAYTON VALLEY v. STEVE SISOLAK, GOVERNOR OF NEVADA, ET AL. ON APPLICATION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF (, also applies to people attending other houses of worship.

Here is an article that the Associated Press provided to U.S. News.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court refused to grant the request from the Christian church east of Reno to be subjected to the same COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada that allow casinos, restaurants and other businesses to operate at 50% of capacity with proper social distancing.

Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley argued that the hard cap on religious gatherings was…

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  1. So called conservative Justice Roberts strikes again. It’s ridiculous and a bit unnerving how blatant the discrimination against churches is. Do they think we are too stupid to notice or do they just have no fear of consequences? The latter I’m sure.

  2. We need some courageous clerics who will to say enough is enough— rather, I see more of a correlation to hitler’s state run Lutheran lot— the official state church of Nazi germany-exempt from hitler’s wrath while parroting his manifesto— Where is Dietrich Bonhoeffer when we need him— oh, I forgot, he’s in Heaven…hung for taking a stand — hummmm— sounds eerily correct. 😑

  3. It’s so unfair, Tom. Argggg….

    Where I live, when we shut everything down, pot, liquor, and vape stores were still allowed to be open. I’m telling you, churches just need to get yourself some CBD oils and a couple of slot machines, have your congregation dress up as rioters, and you’ll all be in full compliance with both the law and Romans 13.

    1. @insanitybytes22

      Most of the pastors I know seem to be strong people, but with respect to the law they can be surprisingly passive. Yet the church can thrive only when we Christians render unto God what is God’s. Because we constantly argue over what belongs to the state and what belongs to God, that, inevitably, puts the state and the church into conflict.

    1. @marmoewp

      Thank you. I suspect that took a bit of work digging that up.

      Boulware’s opinion was not well reasoned, at best. The Conservatives on the court ripped it apart. It demonstrates why the Liberals on the court had nothing to say.

      I will just make two observations.

      1. This irked me.

      The issuance of a stay is “an exercise of discretion” and not a “matter of right.” Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 433 — 34 (2009). “The party requesting the stay bears the burden of showing that the circumstances justify an exercise of that discretion.” Id. at 434.

      Supposedly, according to Boulware we don’t have the right for the courts to grant us a stay from the abusive use of state power. No, we don’t have a right to have the courts stop public officials from infringing upon our rights, but we have rights that the courts exist to protect. There is no doubt what the Nevada is doing to the churches is abusive

      2. Don’t think so? The funniest thing is that that judge did not mention casinos serve alcohol. Can you guess why?

    2. This is excellent MW. To some extent I agree with Tom, but I get the Court’s reticence too. Courts hate injunctive relief to begin with, but during an ongoing crisis this fast moving, it’s even more difficult. Look at busing and desegregation – once the courts got involved, it became almost a full time job to monitor it.

      About there being no opinion from the majority who refused to take up the case, there rarely is because there is no need. Even the dissentibg opinions were meaningless exercises in feel good futility that don’t even rise to the level of dicta.

      Once again, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that a plaintiffs’ case of the unconstitutionality of the state actions wouldn’t or shouldn’t find a 1st Amendment infringement on the merits. Personally, I think that religious freedoms, like the freedom to take part in the recent protests, should be given wide latitude of enforcement by the state. I also think that, if a church really thinks that they are being unfairly discriminated against, they should commit civil disobedience. The problem is that, if they proximately can be proven to have killed people, they should be willing to take that liability too. For example, if my church flagrantly disobeys fire codes and subsequent orders to cease and desist, and then the church burns up and kills people, then the church should be subject to civil, criminal and moral penalties.

      Sorry, but this is within my wheelhouse to some extent and I love these kind of debates.

      1. @tsalmon

        Those recent “mostly peaceful” protests. What a great example! Rioters can kill people, maim people (including blinding policemen with lasers), commit arson, and generally destroy and deface property, and the local authorities, Democrats, cannot be bothered. However. Churches should be sued if people, knowing as much as the congregation knows, willingly decide to attend a service open to the public.

        Have you ever considered the possibility that each of us is responsible for the choices we make? There is a difference between fraud and accepting a known risk. Nobody knows about COVID-19? Seriously?

        The nanny state is a bad deal because someone (experts we call bureaucrats) decides for us what risk we will take. Eventually, that politician who supposedly cared so much decides we are perfectly expendable when his desires demand it.

        1. Rioters? Am I supposed to have you defend every dumb, violent, unlawful thing done in the name of a religion in order for you to enjoy your own 1st Amendment right to the peaceful practice of religion? Why am I supposed to defend rioting in order to believe in the 1st Amendment rights of peaceful protestera? How silly would that debate would be?

          Riots broke out at MLK’s marches too you know? Was it righteous therefore for Alabama State Troopers to bust John Lewis’ skull on the Edmund Petus Bridge? The other day, I read someone call it the “Santaclausification of MLK”. Everyone wants to forget how radical MLK was considered, not only by the Right at that time, but also by much of mainstream working class and country club white America. MLK demonstrated against the Vietnam War and in favor of workers rights.

          I think all the First Amendment rights should be afforded wide protection and liberal allowance for their peaceful practice. But I don’t think people should be allowed to break valid public safety laws, even churches.

          Trump is trying to get you to choose partisan sides on when some rights are sacred and some aren’t, and playing George Wallace’s old Racist “Law and Order” demagoguery. You should be raging about that rather playing into it.

          1. @tsalmon

            Yeah! It is all law enforcement’s and Trump’s fault that those mostly peaceful protesters have caused so much violence and mayhem.

            Why haven’t you figured it out yet? Black Lives Matters is a Marxist organization. That outfit is on the masthead for those mostly peaceful protests. Democrat mayors are having “BLACK LIVES MATTERS” painted on their streets, and heaven help anyone who points out that “ALL LIVES MATTER”. That’s racist! Supposedly.

            There is nothing peaceful about Marxism. Never has been. Tens of millions have died. Yet Democrats have associated themselves with Black Lives Matters with all the enthusiasm they once adopted the KKK, another mostly peaceful organization.

            Neither Democrat politicians nor their news media allies have disapproved of the violence. Instead, they have blamed the police and Trump.

            Do the mostly peaceful protests make sense? What is being protested? MLK stood for something real and concrete, treating everyone as equal before the law, regardless of race. What do these mostly protests stand for? George Floyd or Marxism? Well, George Floyd was killed in a Democrat city by a policeman hired by a Democrat administration.

            As a practical matter these mostly peaceful protests represent people determined to have it their way no matter what the cost.

            Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven. ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

            I have heard you! Have you listened to yourself. You know what these mostly peaceful protests are about. It is about getting rid of Trump.

            When Trump sent Federal officers into Portland, Oregon to protect Federal property, the Democrat mayor blamed Trump and those officers for the riots in his Democrat run state. And Pelosi had the unmitigated gall to say this?

            Of course, the head of those “stormtroopers” defended his people.

            Does it matter? I don’t know. The Liberal Democrat news media will stick to the narrative. Some people will believe them, and too many won’t know what to believe. I am just glad it doesn’t depend upon me.

          2. I think that you live so deeply Trump’s racist bubble that you don’t even see what is happening outside any more. According to some estimates, something like 20 million people (my daughter included) have demonstrated since George Floyd was publicly lynched by a racist police officer. These demonstrations took place in small and large cities, in rural areas and the burbs, in red and blue states with diverse attendance all over the country. Even if the estimates were half right, this would make these spontaneous protests the largest demonstrations in the history of this country.

            City and state governments have lawfully removed monuments to slavery and Jim Crow all over the our great nation. Almost by unanimous legislative consent, my own state of Mississippi took down our hundred year old emblem of black suppression and terror that was our state flag. The demonstrations by far have been almost completely nonviolent and democratic in the best traditions of MLK and John Lewis and of our nation when it is united for justice.

            In desperation, because his incompetence in handling the pandemic is throwing out his reelection chances like last week’s rotten fish, Trump is trying to create riots as an excuse to come off as some sort of more messianic racist reincarnation of George Wallace who supposedly will somehow save frail female white suburbanites from Trump’s sick vision of raging Mandingos rioting out at them from the dystopian cities. It’s not the 1960s and America doesn’t look that way anymore.

            The burbs are more diverse than ever. Many of the inner cities have been gentrified. In Portland, one of the most lily white cities in the country, a wall of mostly white moms and leaf blower tear gas dispersing dads are confronting a paramilitary, pseudo federal police force while “Naked Athena” does yoga moves in front of them in her face mask and birthday suit.

            Sure, with the threat federal invasion, Trump has drawn out of the woodwork and from under every rock kooky anarchists and creepy white supremacists and clowns just to riot late at night, but mostly Trump has managed to single handedly fabricate less of a white backlash than some surreal, mostly ridiculous and Kafkaesque scene from a cross between a musical rendition of “Springtime for Hitler” and a Feline movie.

            I don’t think it’s working for anyone who isn’t so deeply embedded in Trump’s conspiracy dystopia that he still believes in Trump’s birtherism and that Sandy Hook was staged for Obama by Hollywood to take away our guns.

            You’re on the wrong side of history here brother, and the wrong side of actually protecting those rights that you claim are God given (but really apparently only to white Christians). You’re the one playing identity politics while the rest of the country is uniting behind good old American diversity and pluralism. And now, “the Commies are coming, the Commies are coming”. Get real!

            Oh well, this will be interesting, in a bazaar way, as it plays out, but I don’t think all the suburban soccer Moms are going to grab their pearls and start vacuuming out the old bomb shelter any time soon. 🙂

          3. Oh, and why is it inherently racist to respond to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter”? When we gain the introspection to look into our own sinful souls for the hidden biases that lurk there telling us the sweet little lies we want to believe about our own superior purity, then we start to get a clue. I pray you start to get a clue big brother.

  4. I happen to agree with you in principle, in that under the 1st and 14th Amendments a state can not discriminate against the fundamental right to free religious practice without showing a substantial state interest, but we have no idea at this point whether SCOTUS would allow this or not. This is an “extraordinary” plea at the Supreme Court for “injunctive” relief, not a normal case where the case has been decided at the trial court level and gone through the entire appellate process. It has a different high (one could call it an “emergency”) standard of review and no reason must be given either for accepting or denying thus kind of equitable relief. There has to be some extreme urgency that would show a permanent harm should the injunctive relief not be immediately granted that justifies the need to short circuit the normal trial and appeal process. Keep in mind how few cases get to make it before SCOTUS and the need to limit them, particularly when the case is not yet “ripe” for review or when there may be another similar enough case well on its way up through the process.

    Also, it should give you some comfort that, whether or not SCOTUS accepts or denies such an extraordinary remedy carries zero precedent. Even the dissents have no juris prudential meaning beyond mere rhetorical polemics. We have no way of knowing how Roberts would decide if the case came up after the lower courts had decided for the state, but I tend to think he would overturn that decision and he might even be joined by some of the so-called liberal justices. Chances are those lower courts will decide in such a way that SCOTUS has no need for review, or that the state will settle with the Plaintiffs or change the law.

    Sounds like religious conservatives are making a mountain out of a mole hill in their effort to feel aggrieved about something they think those God hating Dems did. And the fact that (regardless of political parties) Nevadians want to protect the casino industry at the expense of churches? I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you!!!

    1. @tsalmon

      Mountain out of a molehill? This sort of nonsense is going on all across the country, and everyone knows it is wrong. It is an obvious abuse of power. Just because you don’t take going to church seriously does not mean others don’t.

      Listen to yourself. You rage against Trump, but he has not violated the law. A governor clearly has, and you blow it off.

      You don’t have to defend the character of judges. The human race is fallen. The founders knew that. So, they limited the power of government, and they tried to avoid giving any one man or group more power than necessary.

      1. “Just because you don’t take going to church seriously does not mean others don’t.“

        I thought that you didn’t like making this personal? That is a rather rude personal assumption about me on your part, and it happens to also be wrong. Do you really want to play the “holier than thou” game? You know that, simply by playing, you automatically lose.

        I happen to agree with you for the most part. (Did you read the dissents?) ANY limitation of religious freedom should be looked askance at (the Court calls it “strict scrutiny” and the public health/pubic safety need should be high (the Court calls it “substantial”).

        However, that doesn’t mean that it is always easy or “obvious”. For example, what if the religious freedom asserted was a yearly human sacrifice? How about if it called for minor children to handle deadly poisonous snakes? How about if the religious expression had a long tradition of the ingestion of controlled hallucinogenic drugs? What if it was a new religion of takers of dangerous and particularly addictive drugs by entire families who believe that it will help the space aliens find them?

        It’s a balancing act that SCOTUS does, and in these cases, they will have to balance serious public health against serious religious freedoms. I’m with you 100% that restrictions on churches should not be needlessly more oppressive than casinos or bars, but that also doesn’t mean that the very different activities can’t be regulated differently when they expose different health risks.

        Once again, however, this case never actually came to the Court for full review and and it was never decided on its full merits, thus no order or opinion. This was a procedural dispute, not a substantive one.

        “Listen to yourself. You rage against Trump, but he has not violated the law.”

        (Yep, in my opinion, he has).

        Here is something to consider Tom. Have you thought about the fact that you are just playing a form of identity politics here? Rather than thinking about us as one nation, state or community going together through several different crises at once, you are trip-wired toward religious grievance and to circle the wagons around your identity group, even at the possible expense of your neighbors.

        As a devout (church loving) Christian, I don’t understand how there is anything Christian about opposing valid, well intentioned public health laws that try to keep me from spreading to my community a virus that will sicken and kill people. I’m probably one of the youngest regular parishioners in my particular Catholic Church. When this is all over, come on down and I’ll introduce you around. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic you know. 😉

        1. @tsalmon

          Just because you don’t take going to church seriously does not mean others don’t.“
          I thought that you didn’t like making this personal? That is a rather rude personal assumption about me on your part, and it happens to also be wrong. Do you really want to play the “holier than thou” game? You know that, simply by playing, you automatically lose.

          When you called it a molehill, you made it personal.

          I have little use for many things that others want badly. If someone wants to attend an opera in Italy, are they making a mountain out of a molehill?

          This case was not difficult. Marmoewp dug up the district judge’s decision.

          I commented on it.

          Since I think the Bible is authoritative, I am not a Catholic, but I am glad you attend a Christian church.

          I hope your procedure went well. No fun having a needle stuck in your back.

          1. Yes. Thought it was fascinating. I responded too.

            I can understand your confusion. By “mountain out of a molehill” I never meant that my or anyone else’s Christian communion isn’t profoundly important. It is fundamental to my life and I miss it dearly. I meant that this isn’t a decision that has any precedent – the decision is legally insignificant, especially if one understands the procedural hurtles. I thought that I made that clear. You’re gonna have to write me out some ground rules on when we get to get personal though. I’m not interested in personal insult, but we are both persons with lives and experiences. You hide a lot of your amazing education and achievements under a bushel, in my humble opinion.

            Actually, I don’t get the injection until later in the week. Trying not to think about it too much. Growing old ain’t for sissies.

          2. @tsalmon

            I meant that this isn’t a decision that has any precedent – the decision is legally insignificant, especially if one understands the procedural hurtles.

            Our First Amendment rights are legally insignificant? That church got the case to the Supreme Court. They had overcome any legitimate legal hurdles, and four of the judge had no trouble explaining that.

            What constitutes making it personal? I suppose that would make for an interesting blog post. However, I would not have to start from scratch. Thomas Paine, for example, expressed his thoughts upon the matter.

            Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the DOCTRINE ITSELF, not the MAN. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle. — from the introduction to “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine

            I included that quote on my about page. Then I expanded upon it a bit.

            It has been awhile since I updated my about page. No longer attend the Methodist Church. I like the one in Gainesville where I live, but the management of denomination….. Well, l did not have enough confidence in their theological views or politics. Nevertheless, I don’t see much point in ragging on other Christian denominations. Whatever the church God is our judge, and we all belong to Him.

            I would rather stand for Jesus than stand against anyone. I suppose that is what I mean by too personal. When we become too preoccupied with standing against someone or even something, we are no longer standing for someone or something. Not good!

            If You Don’t Stand for Something, You’ll Fall for Anything. — (from

            Am I amazing? Well, I have brothers and sisters of whom I am quite proud. I know what I have struggled against and what I have overcome. Not especially impressed. I just hope when this life ends our Lord will see fit to give me a passing grade. Fortunately, Jesus has covered our sins.

          3. “Since I think the Bible is authoritative, I am not a Catholic, but I am glad you attend a Christian church.”

            Ahhh . . . thanks? I’m glad that you finally came to believe God and the Bible too . . . .

            Is that humor again? I never can tell if your being patronizing, just endearingly deaf to the way you sound sometimes, or you’re trying to be funny. I’ll assume the last. 🙂

          4. @tsalmon

            All of the above, of course.

            I am glad for both of us. There is no perfect church. There is only a God who works to perfect us, and sometimes when He makes us a bit more perfect that is painful.

  5. Tom,

    What the churches have to do to obtain equal footing with politicians and judges sane as casinos is split their profits from the church members same as the casinos split a portion go their profits with the politicians,.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  6. It seems that some if not many are pushing for “not so subtle” measures of persecution of anyone and anything associated with Christ. We must pray and vote wisely!

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