The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, has been working overtime to try to get Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church to close its doors and stop gathering in person, despite the church being able to do so in a safe and considerate manner. ( Less than 15% of building capacity, temperature readings at the door, making gloves / masks / hand sanitizer available, blocking off seating sections, and disallowing socializing after church) . This church has been leading the way in its fight to stay open and have services, challenging governor J.B. Pritzker’s draconian stay-at-home laws.
They rightly believe that the executive order discriminates against churches by restricting in-person worship services to no more than 10 people while allowing commercial and non-religious entities to accommodate large crowds. As a result, the church has launched federals suits to be exempted from the shutdown but were the subject of a judicial shaming when the judge slammed them as “being selfish” for wanting to reopen. The church has since filed an emergency injunction .
But the mayor’s thuggery and vexatious attitude were on full display when she ordered “No Parking” signs along the streets for nine blocks around the churches, even though their members don’t park on the street, and they have their own private parking on site.
The ‘No Parking’ signs were placed all around the church in multiple directions, and police were out to tow any wayward vehicles they could find.
Furthermore the mayor had police block off a large parking lot of nearby bank, despite the church having leased that parking lot for nearly 20 years and having permission to use the private property. The parking lot functions as the primary parking for the church, but 5 squad cars were on site to ensure that no one enters, in effect choking off ease and access to the church.
One member, Raul Tomsa, live-streamed the event with commentary, demonstrating the actions of the city of Chicago and the mayor are beyond the pale, and lengths that petty tyrants will go to exert power and dominance.