Trump says Democrats want to shut churches, links to pastor arrest video

President Trump claimed Democrats want to “SHUT” churches and linked to a video of police in Idaho arresting the pastor and some members of a church protesting the city’s mask order with an outdoor psalm-singing event.

“DEMS WANT TO SHUT YOUR CHURCHES DOWN, PERMANENTLY. HOPE YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING. VOTE NOW!,” the president wrote in an all-caps tweet.

He linked to a post by Cliff Maloney Jr., the president of Young Americans for Liberty, a Texas-based organization that advocates for “advancing liberty on campus and in American electoral politics.”

“If you would have told me in 2019 that we were just 1 year away from Americans being ARRESTED for holding outdoor church services, I would have thought you to be insane,” Maloney wrote in a tweet posted on Sept. 24. “This is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen. Pray for America.”

The tweet showed a video of police halting Christ Church’s outdoor psalm-singing service in Moscow, Idaho, that protested the city council’s extending of a mask mandate.

Gabriel Rench, the church deacon and one of the five cited for violating the city’s mask/social distancing order, said past events were not disrupted and police gave no warning before they moved in on the congregation on Sept. 23.

“The times we’ve done the psalm sing in the past under the same [mask] resolution we weren’t arrested, we weren’t warned, no warnings, no nothing, and so we were just taking our constitutional liberties to do what we’re allowed to do under the constitution – worship,” he told KTVB.

The government cannot dictate us to where we can worship, what time we can worship and so that was kind of our protest of extending the resolution through January 5th was through a wonderful psalm sing,” the pastor continued.

The police chief, James Fry, told the station that he wasn’t aware of previous church protests and said his department had been trying to educate people on the need to wear masks but that at some point the mandate has to be enforced.

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