Biased ‘Snopes’ Fails Miserably in Checking Facts of California Worship Ban

(Liberty Counsel) While Snopes has repeatedly been an unreliable source, it published a “fact check” on July 6, 2020 regarding the statement that “California’s governor ‘forbids’ Christians from singing in church during the COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic.” 

The “fact-checker” agreed that “In July 2020, California public health authorities published guidelines for places of worship and religious services to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Among several recommendations to maintain safer social distancing, the guidelines said congregations must discontinue singing and chanting activities.” By the way, these “guidelines” are mandatory. 

However, what Snopes stated as false is:

“These guidelines affected all places of worship and providers of religious services, not just churches or Christian organizations. Additionally, there is no penalty from the state for violating the guidelines.” 

Snopes admits that the “no signing” ban applies to all churches but tried to say it is partially inaccurate because it “applies to all places of worship.” The statement is true that the “no singing ban” applies to all churches. The article Snopes reviews never said the order applies “only to churches,” and thus Snopes is not only misleading but factually inaccurate. Moreover, as noted above, the “guidelines” are mandatory and do carry penalties. 

The no singing and chanting ban was issued by Gov. Newsom on July 6. Then on July 13, Gov. Newsom went farther by banning ALL in-person worship, even for Bible studies and fellowship in private homes with anyone who does not live in the home. The no worship ban applies to any county on the County Monitoring List, which covers about 80 percent of the population. In the remaining 20 percent, limited worship is permitted but no singing and chanting continues to apply…

Snopes statement that “there is no penalty from the state for violating the guidelines” is also false. On March 19, the Governor issued Executive Order N. 33-20 incorporating and putting the full power of the Governor’s Office behind the Stay-at-Home Order, directing the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services “to take necessary steps to ensure compliance” with the order, and giving notice to the public that the order is enforceable pursuant to California Government Code § 8665, which provides that violating the Governor’s orders is a misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, six months in jail, or both. …

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Editor’s note. This article was published on Liberty Counsel by a Staff Writer. Title changed by Pulpit & Pen


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