Texas religious freedom law makes closing churches illegal

Texas religious freedom law makes closing churches illegal By David McLoone for Life Site News

‘The First Amendment right to freedom of religion shall never be infringed,’ Gov. Greg Abbott declared.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill Tuesday that prohibits closing churches in the state, thereby protecting the religious freedom of citizens.

H.B. 1239 prohibits the government from forcing places of worship to close even during an apparent crisis. “A government agency or public official may not issue an order that closes or has the effect of closing places of worship in this state or in a geographic area of this state,” the bill reads, upholding religious freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

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Abbott announced the legislative action in a tweet the same day, saying, “I just signed a law that prohibits any government agency or public official from issuing an order that closes places of worship.” He then added, “The First Amendment right to freedom of religion shall never be infringed.”

Republican Rep. Scott Sanford, who sponsored the bill earlier in the year, commented, “Churches provide essential spiritual, mental and physical support in a time of crisis,” supporting the need for religious services at all times. “Closing churches not only eliminated these critical ministries and services, but it violated their religious freedom, guaranteed by our laws and Constitution,” the Dallas lawmaker declared.

The move to protect places of worship from government intervention and closure comes more than a year after Abbott had forced heavy restrictions on Texans in the wake of worldwide lockdowns, including the closure of churches in the state. Soon after, on March 31, 2020, Abbott signed an executive order deeming religious worship an “essential service,” and allowing church buildings to reopen for public services.

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