A bill introduced by a Republican senator allows for the blocking of federal funds to governments involved in religious discrimination cases.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced on Tuesday, July 28, the Americans’ Protection Against Coronavirus and Religious Discrimination Act. If the law passes, the attorney general will have the power to block federal funds for CCP Virus relief to local governments that engage in discrimination against religious individuals or institutions.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) July 29, 2020
In presenting the bill, Cruz said, “Throughout this pandemic, we have seen numerous examples of state and local governments instituting discriminatory regulations that unfairly target people of faith and restrict the operation of houses of worship.”
Cruz continued: “That’s why I’ve introduced the SACRED Act. By blocking funds from governments that discriminate against religious organizations, we can fairly protect religious liberty and the rights of those who seek to gather together safely for worship.”
Since the CCP Virus outbreak in the United States, Cruz has warned of the dangers of “pandemic authoritarianism” and urged state and local leaders to protect the civil liberties of Americans while working to combat the deadly virus.
In April, Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr asking the Justice Department to be on the alert for cases of possible religious discrimination in New York City, especially cases of anti-Semitism.
Barr highlighted the Department of Justice’s position on religious freedom during the pandemic, warning in an early April statement that “even in times of emergency,” federal law prohibits religious discrimination.
Barr also promised that the Justice Department would be on the lookout for any state or local government that “marks, targets, or discriminates against any place of worship for special restrictions.”
Since that statement was issued, the Justice Department has intervened in multiple cases of CCP Virus rules directed at churches and pastors, specifically in Nevada, California, Oklahoma, Illinois, Virginia, and Mississippi, as presented by the Daily Caller.
Cruz’s legislation follows the recent Supreme Court rejection of a request by a Nevada church to be exempt from attendance restrictions that limit church membership to only 50 worshippers, while casinos and movie theaters in Nevada can operate at 50 percent capacity.