De Blasio Trashes 1st Amendment: Leftist Protests and Church Services Are ‘Apples and Oranges’

Here’s a curious theory: Exercising your First Amendment rights protesting in the streets is perfectly acceptable in the time of COVID-19, but doing it in church isn’t.

Unsurprisingly, it comes from Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City. If you like open hostility toward religion, de Blasio has distinguished himself during the pandemic, particularly as it regards the city’s Orthodox Jewish population.

However, make no mistake — de Blasio is an ecumenical fellow, and if you’re an American who believes you still have the ability to exercise your constitutional right to the free exercise of religion, he has contempt for you.

He’s zealously enforced any and all proscriptions on religious communities being able to worship in person, almost with relish. At one point, he said that any religious congregation that insisted on gathering would be closed down permanently. I’m not sure how that even works.

It may not surprise you to learn that de Blasio’s view of the First Amendment is substantially different when he discusses protesting. (Presuming it’s the right kind of protest — don’t take to the streets in favor of reopening the economy or anything!) A court disagreed, issuing a preliminary injunction New York’s decision to limit religious services arbitrarily.

It’s not just because of the protests, mind you. Under New York state’s reopening plan, churches, synagogues and mosques were limited to 25 percent capacity while other gathering spaces — such as businesses — were limited to 50 percent capacity, according to an ABC News report from June 26.

“Governor [Andrew] Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion to suspend enforcement for public safety reasons instead of encouraging what they knew was a flagrant disregard of the outdoor limits and social distancing rules,” the judge wrote in his ruling.

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