Drive-in churchgoers ticketed

April 10, 2020 |

There’s a meme going around that reads, “How are you enjoying your 30-day free trial of socialism?” But I never thought that would be true in a place like Greenville, Mississippi.

Mississippi’s Governor encouraged churches not to hold services in person to combat the coronavirus, but he refused to ban them from doing so, saying, “Mississippi is not China, and never will be.” But someone needs to get that message to Greenville’s Democrat Mayor Errick Simmons, who not only ordered churches closed, he even banned drive-in services.

Last Sunday, members of Temple Baptist Church gathered in about 25 cars in the church parking lot to listen to pastor Arthur Scott preaching over the radio. Police came and handed $500 tickets to each driver, even though they were all inside separate closed cars. The only time they violated “social distancing” was when they had to roll down their windows to take the tickets from the cops.

Scott said police told him he might go to jail, and he said if that’s what it takes to keep preaching, he’ll gladly go to jail, and he will see them at the church next Sunday.

The religious freedom law firm First Liberty sent a letter to Simmons demanding that the ban be lifted, and stating that “religious liberty is not suspended during a pandemic” and Americans should not “tolerate churchgoers being ticketed by the police for following CDC guidelines at church.”

Once again, it’s very instructive to see how quickly tolerant, compassionate liberals turn into ironfisted authoritarians when given just a little power. It’s yet another reason why you should never believe the claim that socialism would work great, it’s just that the “right people” have never been in charge of it. If you even want to be in charge of a socialist government, then you’re the wrong people to be in charge of the government.

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Comments 1-25 of 61

  • Verna Trimble

    04/12/2020 12:54 PM

    Regarding tickets given to the drive in church service. ~ It seems to me that people don't fully understand what the difference between socialism and communism are, and today's generation
    don't even remember the communism leaders, such as the hollocaust, Cuba and Castro, be-heading of women and the likes. Then there are those kind of mis understandings by folks like
    the police that ticketed that kind of money fines to the drive in church. Flaunting their authority
    like children. The table needs to be turned on those kind of "heady" police and perhaps they need fines or even some prison time.
    All just my humble opinion, but this is getting wayyy out of hand.
    Verna Trimble

  • Tom Wolfgram

    04/12/2020 12:40 PM

    Somebody has to say it
    I want data that excludes everyone over 67 years old. I am 69 and my wife is 68 but we have to get data that is revelent to the future economics at the local level. That excludes me. Also I need data by zip code or county to evaluate my local situation. When I advertise I look at 5 zipcodes that are important to me. Not county, not state, and not cities outside of the 5 zipcodes. I don't care about New York or Chicago, so my data should exclude them. I don't care about, testing for antibodies or testing positives statistics; all I care about is how many have died close to me, within my zip. If we did that, which is reasonable economic planning and reason requesting courage then 99% of the nation would be back to work in a week. OH, did I tell you in the last 90 days my 66 year old brother just did not get up the next morning (died) and we made peace with it. Afterall God is in charge in the end for 100% of the living and dead.

  • Dusty

    04/12/2020 12:26 PM

    Happy Easter and God Bless one and all. Happy Passover also to our Jewish friends. Today the Pope gave a wonderful mass. I saw Franklin Graham in NY . We get the NYT attacking now the President is at fault for all of this and those dying? Not the Chinese or the business people who did not warn many of us WHY NOT. Not what we do now per this is around the WORLD and we were not told soon enough. We let in over 400,000 here from China the end of Dec. Who decided this not the President? More came later from all over the world back here? WHY? We closed our borders and now no one to help the farmers? Produce is being shoveled under. Cannot have people now come out to get the food who lost jobs? Just asking. Now we get that many blacks are suffering in the NE Baltimore and say per not best medical care.? Had Pres Obama in 8 yr and Obamacare? Why now is this a problem. Try being out of work and have to go on Obamacare like my son one time. To pay he had to go into his 401? Stop the blame game and work and come together now. Had enough per Russia and a fake Impeaching of this President. Stop with using the vents that only 20% may survive? No more per CNN and MSNBC attack daily and ABC The View.

  • james west

    04/12/2020 11:57 AM

    A very Sad day for the Nation. I very much admire and Thank the People of Ms. for their courage and devotion to their Maker, and the Constitution of the Nation. It restores my Faith in the People and the Nation.
    Surely the government that represents them and us, can see the errors they have committed, and with draw such orders. The Police are to be pitied.

  • Maureen Richardson

    04/12/2020 10:00 AM

    Mr Huckabee, please ask our President to try to put a stop to this insanity. If the point of all these restrictions are truly to stem the virus transmission, why are all the people being issued citations, either alone or in cars, with their windows rolled up? Also, if the police are so willing to stand by and watch while Trump supporters are beaten up by thugs, why are they so quick to participate in this travesty? The demons are indeed, dancing in the streets and something needs to be done. Thank you.

  • Robert Gauer

    04/12/2020 02:24 AM

    Just reminds me of what I recently heard, ‘Don’t give power to anyone who covets it’.

  • Betty Lyles

    04/12/2020 12:10 AM

    I will vote President Trump....he cares

  • Christa Ohlich

    04/11/2020 11:40 PM

    If only more people would inform themselves- history- what socialism is they wouldn't want it.
    I experienced it- surely no freedom of choice

  • Eleanor Early

    04/11/2020 10:45 PM

    First thing I’d do is tear up the ticket!
    Yes, we need to follow the rules about social distancing but the police force violated that by making the people roll down their car window.
    This Governor in MS is prime example of a power tyrant!

  • Jerry

    04/11/2020 08:22 PM

    Start a Recall Election on the Mayor ASAP!!! Nothing against the Chief of PD as he was only following orders.

  • Roger Hall

    04/11/2020 07:15 PM

    The "I have power and I will abuse it" syndrome can affect anybody given the enabling circumstances. However, people with a (D) following their name are more prone to do so than those who sport an (R). While Mayor Simmons' actions are in line with the ideology represented by that (D), it is especially disappointing that the police officers willingly ignore their oath of office and goose-step over to the church on the mayor's orders to write tickets. I think we've heard their excuse before - "I was just following orders." As President Reagan said, liberty is just one generation away from extinction and a large number of those folks with a (D) after their name are totally committed in making it so. May we heed the admonition recommended by President Reagan's mother, which is found in II Chronicles 7:14.

  • Eugene Gee

    04/11/2020 07:09 PM

    I don't see anything wrong with the drive-in church. The ordinance violates the first amendment. I hope the church sues the mayor and police chief. This was a blatant abuse of power and the mayor of Greenville and the police chief need to be recalled. The court should make the mayor pay all of those tickets.

  • Novie Tinnin Smith

    04/11/2020 07:09 PM

    Maybe the people gathered in their cars did not have access to online services. They were complying to the "social distancing" instructions and the mayor of that city did not have the authority to fine those people for gathering in the same area to worship.

    There is much positive coming to light from this crisis if only the people will learning from it; we must be ready to stand for our freedom and values. We do not have to defy the common sense of protecting ourselves and others from the spread of COVID-19.

    The mayor was wrong and we must stand with those citizens who were fined.
    Thank you.

  • Robin Rebhan

    04/11/2020 06:37 PM

    My sense is that there are going to be a lot of legal cases headed to the Supreme Court before all of this is over.
    The Mayor's attitude reminds me of " Boss Hog " on the Dukes of Hazard TV show. And I can't say much better for Law Enforcement who were there who can't show a little respect, common sense and decency.
    It's all going to be more interesting at the voting booths this fall.

  • Norma Jean Lutz

    04/11/2020 06:18 PM

    The thirst for power is highly addictive. Like a farm dog that gets a taste of blood and then kills the family's chickens. Once a power-hungry politician gets a taste of that power, they are ready to kill the next freedom that appears in front of him.

  • Firewagon

    04/11/2020 05:16 PM

    An old quote, probably overused, is appropriate for this time: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

    That Mayor should be required to refund any $500 fines paid, and contribute, out of his pocket, another $500 for each family that was fined! Unconstitutional TRAVESTY.

  • Carmen English. (Male)

    04/11/2020 05:01 PM

    Explain to me who gets the fine and what is done with the money and why they need it?

  • Vaslav Nijinsky

    04/11/2020 04:47 PM

    As a PS to the previous tongue in cheek(s) remark, lest we be judged a feckless millennial, we wholeheartedly subscribe to the sentiment "Give me liberty, or give me death!", as passionately expressed by Patrick Henry(1775). And as a "disciple" of "Revd" Harry Callahan, are well "equipped" to "put our money where our mouth is."??

  • Phil C Opperman

    04/11/2020 04:37 PM

    Those church members did everything perfectly, and whoever was responsible for them being threatened and harassed should end up in jail. We may lose our freedom of worship, but we haven't yet - and must not stay silent.

  • wailes blalock jr

    04/11/2020 04:36 PM

    the wrong people were given tickets. The Mayor cannot have that power.

  • Nan Wysock

    04/11/2020 04:28 PM

    The story under The Silver Lining...I would certainly never want a progressive to be a dogcatcher anywhere, ever! They would show no mercy to our beloved furry friends!

  • n c

    04/11/2020 04:26 PM

    It seems like christians, of all people, would honor the request of the President God gave us; we should know the truth that this social distancing is eqaully as much about not giving deep state opportunity to send a mass shooter out to groups to create more chaos and spill blood to satisfy their leader lucifer....Gods people should know the bigger picture so they can help others understand there is more going on and more at stake than conquering a virus; no doubt God allowed this church to all be ticketed bc they rebelled and didnt honor the leaders He chose to lead the nation out of trouble; he didnt say stop President Trump did not say stop preaching/worshipping....but dont gather right now in large groups and give enemy opportunity to take out more people....Gods peep can worship and preach etc on line and learn to be in the spirit togt like other nations do who cant gather in large groups! It is only for a short season. Come on, bride of Christ! align with what God is trying to accomplish behind the scenes for this nation and all others right now who are tangled up in a web of luciferians with evil agendas.... they wont go down without a fight, so dont give them a target group to hit please.

  • CAROL MURPHY

    04/11/2020 04:24 PM

    UNDERSTAND THE CHURCH IS SUING OVER THIS TICKETING

  • Ralph Prieto

    04/11/2020 04:05 PM

    I hope the good people of Greenville, Ms. have learn a valuable lesson. Vote that SOB out of office come election time. Because they don't it will only get worse. Hope you all have a Happy Easter and God Bless.

  • James Evart

    04/11/2020 04:00 PM

    Joshua 1:6-9 NIV '84