Faith communities across the nation have been asked not to hold worship services during these days of social distancing.
But conservative radio host and commentator Todd Starnes tells CBN News that he believes New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking it a step too far by threatening to close churches permanently if they keep meeting.
"Americans by-and-large have been willing to sacrifice some of their civil liberties for the sake of their public safety, and that's why I am concerned with what is happening in New York City. I believe we are looking at great government overreach," he said.
Starnes believes the situation with the metropolitan area seems to be more of a police state.
"It does seem more like a police state here in New York City, especially in light of Mayor Bill de Blasio's announcement a few days ago. He put out a warning to every church and synagogue who are still meeting and there have been some churches and synagogues in this city that have been holding corporate worship and gatherings in their church buildings," he said.
"The mayor came out and said, 'Any church that is worshipping in their building will be shut down.' He went on to say that he will use the police, fire and health department and building inspectors to enforce these closures," Starnes added. "Any church or synagogue that doesn't comply with the mayor's demands can be fined and buildings will be permanently closed if they continue."
Starnes believes the measures taken by the mayor are for the safety of the public but they violate our constitutional rights.
"I do believe that the mayor is doing this for the sake of public safety," he said. "I don't believe he is out there trying to shut down churches for some other reason, but the issue is: Does the government have a constitutional right to that? And I don't believe that's the case."
Starnes said the civil liberties of Americans have been negatively impacted more by these restrictions than from the coronavirus itself.
"I've been saying for some time that I believe the greater threat to the United States is not necessarily the COVID-19 virus but it is, in fact, the attack on our civil liberties," he concluded.
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