The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday against Grace Community Church and its senior pastor John MacArthur, giving the embattled congregation what their legal counsel described as a “setback” in their ongoing fight to resume in-person assembly.
MacArthur and Grace Community Church’s attorneys from the Thomas More Society said Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff “refused to consider their important separation of powers arguments ‘in any meaningful fashion’ and essentially ‘ducked the issue,’” according to statements provided to The Daily Wire.
The judge’s order prohibits the church from “conducting, participating in, or attending any indoor worship services” and also demands any outdoor worship is to be conducted in full compliance with the county’s rules regarding masks and social distancing.
“While the court is mindful that there is no substitute for indoor worship in the ‘spiritual refuge’ of a sanctuary,” the order said in part, “the court cannot ignore the County Health Order does not dictate a ban on worship. Instead, it provides any worship must take place other than indoors. The County Health Order allows worship to occur outdoors, virtually through the internet and in any manner that is not indoors with a large gathering of people.”
The Los Angeles County Superior Court had ruled on Aug. 23 that no court order exists prohibiting Grace Community Church from gathering in-person, despite conflicting rulings from lower courts, as The Daily Wire reported. Since then, Los Angeles County terminated a parking lot lease it had with the church for 45 years and fined them $1,000 for an alleged sign violation. Read more…