This is a question that needs to be asked a lot in the coming months and years as politicians and their advisers can no longer hide behind public panic and confront public anger.
The Americans take their constitution a bit more seriously than do Australians. So Australian Christians were happy to be told that they could not go to church or worship in a clear and blatant violation of s 116 of the Constitution. Americans are made of sterner stuff:
When Maryville Baptist Church in Louisville held an Easter service, some worshipers went inside. But a loudspeaker in the parking lot allowed sequestered faithful to stay in their cars. State police placed notices on vehicles, including occupied ones, explaining that congregants were breaking the law. The police took down license-plate numbers. The church sued.
Excellent. What did the court say?
“Why is it safe to wait in a car for a liquor store to open but dangerous to wait in a car to hear morning prayers?”
“The Governor has offered no good reason so far for refusing to trust the congregants who promise to use care in worship in just the same way it trusts accountants, lawyers, and laundromat workers to do the same. Are they not often the same people, going to work on one day and attending worship on another?”
“Assuming all of the same precautions are taken, why can someone safely walk down a grocery store aisle but not a pew?” the court wrote in Roberts v. Neace. “While the law may take periodic naps during a pandemic, we will not let it sleep through one.”
While the law may take periodic naps during a pandemic, we will not let it sleep through one.
A much healthier approach to the views taken here: Pass a law and then rule.