Liberty Counsel is defending a number of churches from unconstitutional attacks leveled in the name of combating the coronavirus. One of the most outrageous yet was a story that the mayor of Kansas City is requiring churches to keep lists of the names, addresses and phone numbers of every person who attends services.
The mayor’s office, hit with a furious backlash, responded with a “clarification”: the city was not demanding a list of every church attendee, but requiring that the churches keep the list for 30 days so that if an attendee was diagnosed with the virus, everyone else could be notified, but the church could keep the list and destroy it in 30 days
That’s better than the first story, but it still requires churches to demand personal ID information from everyone who comes to worship, which is a very dangerous precedent, no matter the justification. The city argues that they require it of every other business except “essential” groceries and medical facilities.
The issue, however, is that churches are not “non-essential businesses.” They are sacred places specifically protected from government oversight and interference by the First Amendment. It appears that too many people in positions of power are unable to grasp the difference. They can ask for cooperation from churches, and most have been more than happy to cooperate. But when government tries to coerce churches into "cooperating," they’ve crossed the line.