photo: President Trump at a press briefing earlier this month
By Tom Campisi, Publisher
Today, President Donald Trump deemed churches as “essential.”
And that may be good news for pastors and faith leaders in New York and New Jersey who have been petitioning governors Cuomo and Murphy to allow churches to re-open immediately.
“I call on all governors to allow churches and places of worship to open right now,” said Trump, who threatened to override state mandates that restrict houses of worship.
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship,” Trump said. “It’s not right, and I am correcting the injustice and calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now.”
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The president said a proclamation from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding churches and houses of worship would be forthcoming.
“The CDC is going to issue a very strong recommendation,” he said. “Churches are going to be opening up very soon. We want them open…I consider them essential…We’re going to make that essential.”
Trump said churches and synagogues were places that hold society together and keep people united. He was confident that pastors, rabbis, imams, and other faith leaders would exhibit the proper guidelines to ensure congregants are safe.
“I know them well. They love their congregations. They love their people,” Trump said. “They don’t want anything bad to happen to them or to anybody else. The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less.”
Trump and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy talked about the issue on Friday. According to www.nj.com, Murphy spokesperson Alyana Alfaro called the meeting “a productive discussion on the need to continue to move forward intelligently regarding religious services as New Jersey continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“While the Governor’s orders will remain in effect, this matter continues to be under serious consideration as New Jersey moves toward Phase 2,” Alfaro added.