Republican senator, Marco Rubio, recently said in an interview with John Stemberger, an Orlando attorney who has been a conservative policy advocate for over 30 years, that every church has the right to make their own decision on whether or not to obey the orders given in various communities about shutting down — but urges them to do so wisely and based on what works for them cautioning that governments have “extraordinary power” during times of crisis.
Rubio, who began his career as a Tea Party conservative has in recent years shifted closer to the left and further from defending the constitution.
During the conversation, Rubio was asked by Stemberger, “So, there are several churches, even large mega-churches, that met last week and are continuing to meet this week. What would you say to the pastors of those churches? Is there any way that’s appropriate or is that really a lot of risk?”
Rubio responded that “if [governments] tell you to shut down, it’s because they’re seeing something that’s concerning. And so, the only caveat I would make is, I think every church has the – if there is no such local order, every church has the right to make the decision it chooses to make.”
Stemberger pressed him further on the issue, stating that “one of the pastors, a friend of mine, was approached by a police officer two days ago and told that they’ll be driving by on Sunday. And if there are more than 50 people in the building that they would literally consider arrests and criminal penalty, which is in the order.” He then asked, “Can the Government really do that? And is that really constitutional?”
Rubio responded, “I will tell you that governments have extraordinary powers when it comes to declared emergencies.”
Rubio acknowledged that there is a question as to whether or not it would be the best use of law enforcement resources to do so but did not deny that they had the authority to do so, instead, suggesting that if “courts were open” it could be litigated.
What Rubio never acknowledged, however, is the constitution that states in the first amendment,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Marco Rubio, a Roman Catholic who states that he fully ascribes to Roman Catholic doctrine, has been heralded as a great “Christian” leader by Southern Baptist leaders such as Russell Moore and Al Mohler.