The National Football League urges fans to “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” at the outset of football games. The state of California, by contrast, forbids Christians to sing in their own churches.
“Californians are still free to attend their house of worship,” the Sacramento Bee reports, “but they’re forbidden from singing or chanting.” The ban came last week as Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down restaurants, bars, movie theatres, museums and other venues.
Places of worship, according to a July 1 order from the California Department of Public Health, “must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.” California references the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which warns that “shouting, chanting or singing” can spread COVID-19 through droplets.
The CDC is not eager to explain how its vaunted Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), despite a presence in China, failed to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to the United States and countries around the world. The CDC also failed to prevent the spread of the virus within the United States.
EIS veterans include Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). In February, when reporters asked if China was leveling with the United States, Messonnier deferred to the World Health Organization (WHO), headed by the China-compliant Dr. Tedros, who is not a medical doctor. This same CDC is now dead set against singing and chanting.
The CDC-compliant Gov. Newsom didn’t have much to say about the singing ban. African American churches tend to ring with joyous singing. It’s not clear whether black Christian pastors and their congregations will take a knee to a white San Francisco Democrat eager to showcase his authoritarian side.
On March 4, Newsom in effect seized autocratic power by declaring a state of emergency. As the California Globe notes, the governor has since issued 40 executive orders unilaterally changing 200 laws. When he announced the lockdown later in March Newsom proclaimed
“I want to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We had a very long conversation today. Talk about meeting the moment. We are so blessed to have her leadership in California.”
In April, Newsom announced a $1 billion deal for some 200 million masks with the Chinese company Build Your Dreams. BYD was not known for making protective equipment and held troubling ties to the Chinese military and Communist Party. That did not trouble Newsom, who withheld details of the deal from fellow Democrats. Newsom handed BYD $500 million up front, and as John Myers of the Los Angeles Times noted, the deal cost taxpayers 30 percent more than the state budget allotted for infectious diseases for the entire fiscal year.
The governor’s autocratic, spendthrift style did not sit well with Californians, but Newsom quickly banned demonstrations at the state capitol, ringed with black-shirted CHP officers in full riot gear. When actual riots took place in California cities, Newsom stayed on the quiet side, both about the crime spree and the dangers of violent criminals spreading the virus.
As CalMatters reported in May, the state budget deficit ballooned to $54 billion, bigger that during the Great Recession and obliterating state reserves. Unemployment was projected at 18 percent for the year, with a 21 percent drop in housing permits and a decline of nearly nine percent in personal income. In June Newsom began to open up the state but as Californians geared up for the Fourth of July weekend the governor pulled a fast one.
Gov. Newsom ordered closures of restaurants, bars, winery tasting rooms, movie theatres, zoos, museums and card rooms in 19 counties. Kern County, on the shutdown list, showed 77 deaths from COVID-19. Alameda County, not on the list, had 138 deaths from COVID-19. Missing from the shutdown list is upscale Napa County, where Newsom owns the PlumpJack Winery, a favorite of the local gentry. This year, the California Globe reported, PlumpJack received a federal COVID-19 relief loan for as much as $350,000.
Newsom also shut down state beaches in Southern California and the Bay Area and deployed multi-agency “strike teams” to crack down on those who disregard regulations. No specific regulation targeted rioters, arsonists and looters, but those who attend church are forbidden to sing or chant. Christians could be forgiven for thinking the governor was targeting them but Newsom has a problem with all those who celebrate their rights and freedoms on Independence Day.
Gavin Newsom is a crony of hereditary governor Jerry Brown, who appointed Gavin Newsom’s father to a judgeship. True to form, Newsom postures like a 19th century grandee and issues edicts in the raspy tones of a mafia boss. On the other hand, Gavin Newsom knows his one-time aunt Nancy Pelosi is really calling the shots.
“We are so blessed to have her leadership in California,” the governor said. As at the end of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Californians look from Newsom to Pelosi and Pelosi to Newsom and it’s impossible to say which is which.
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