NJ Lawmaker Wants Churches Open During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Senator Mike Doherty has launched an online petition urging Governor Phil Murphy to allow religious services to resume in New Jersey with reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of congregants.

“When many of us could be at Sunday services today replenishing a much needed sense of hope in these uncertain times, we instead remain separated in our homes from the communities of faith that sustain us in good times and bad,” said Doherty (R-23). “Our new online petition will allow people of faith to share with Governor Murphy their belief that religion is an essential service and constitutionally protected right that should be allowed to resume immediately.”

Services Should Be Allowed with Reasonable Precautions

People of faith have been denied the opportunity to attend religious services that could provide hope, solace, and a sense of community during this time of social distancing and isolation due to the coronavirus.

We know it is possible for churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues to operate safely through reasonable precautions, including outdoor services, social distancing, and limitations on the size of gatherings.

Further, we have a constitutional right to practice religion that should not be impeded through overly restrictive executive orders. Governor Murphy should recognize that religious services are no less essential to people’s needs than retail services, such as lottery and liquor sales, that have been allowed to continue.

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