In an historic moment, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision against NY Governor Cuomo’s restrictions over state-imposed Covid-related limitations on religious worship.
Rabbi Simon Jacobson addressed the ruling and the precedent it sets on Newsmax National TV, stating, “This is a victory far greater than just around covid, it’s a response to the assault on religion. It’s as if religion has become an enemy when in reality, faith is the very foundation of this county,”
The Supreme Court noted that these restrictions were discriminating against religious institutions above the limitations they placed on secular institutions.
“We all know that we need to be responsible and follow health guidelines – especially religious people – since the basis of faith is that we need to protect our lives which we hold sacred”, continued Jacobson. “Rabbis, clergy and doctors have given us guidelines to self-regulate and safely assemble. It becomes a different story when the government starts dictating and imposing guidelines in an unfair way”.
“A few months ago, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio made the preposterous distinction that there is no problem with thousands of protesters gathering in the streets in response to 400 years of systemic racism. Yet, at the same time, not applying this same distinction for religious freedom… that is unacceptable and what the Supreme Court ruling has correctly straightened out.”
The First Amendment guarantees both freedom of religion and the right to assemble. “When does the governor or any government official get to part and parcel the First Amendment and decide which parts get put into action versus other parts?”
Rabbi Jacobson concluded with the optimistic words, “Hopefully this ruling can begin a process to correct the dangerous anti-religious approach some in this country have been taking. Which isn’t just anti-religious; it is essentially anti-American.”