During the ongoing battle between John MacArthur and Los Angeles County, the pastor and his Grace Community Church will continue holding in-person services at least through September 4, when a full hearing takes place.
Pastor MacArthur is leading his church in worship inside the building, despite the governor’s executive order banning all church gatherings, including those in the homes during the COVID-19 crisis. Los Angeles County issued a cease-and-desist letter and threatened to fine the pastor and his church and arrest him for defying the government. The county has taken MacArthur to court, seeking a temporary restraining order against the church. Most recently, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County denied the government’s request.
Rather than wait until the September 4 hearing, however, the county decided to retaliate against Pastor MacArthur and the church by evicting them from government-owned land the church has been using as a parking lot for 45 years. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works issued a 30-day notice to terminate the lease agreement.
Jenna Ellis, special counsel at The Thomas More Society, which represents the pastor, said the county “is retaliating against Grace Community Church for simply exercising their constitutionally protected right to hold church and challenging an unreasonable, unlawful health order. In America, we have a judicial system to ensure that the executive branch does not abuse its power, and Grace Community Church has every right to be heard without fear of reprisal. The Democrats’ message to Americans is clear–if you don’t bow to every whim of tyranny, the government will come after you.”
Ellis called what Los Angeles County is doing “harassment, abusive, and unconscionable,” and any reasonable person can see that it is.
It’s one thing to issue a cease-and-desist order on a person or entity the government believes is violating the law. It’s quite another for the government to seek revenge and retaliate this way after losing a court case. The government apparently decided that whether or not it wins the argument on September 4, Grace Community Church’s congregants are no longer welcome on government property.