Liberty Counsel Fights for Right to Panic

Today, Christian legal defense group Liberty Counsel added to the hysteria surrounding stay at home orders by telling supporters that Kansas City, MO authorities have demanded church membership lists. According LC, it is just like the Nazis!

The Kansas City government is now DEMANDING that churches turn over membership lists, along with the names, telephone numbers and physical addresses of anyone who enters a church! This order also applies to all businesses.

The new order states that by recording names and contact information, the health department will be able “to more quickly trace, test, and isolate individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19.” Anyone who does not provide this information should be refused entrance!

The Germans did this very thing to Jews – collecting the names and locations of all known synagogue attendees – in the early days of the Nazi regime.

Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined Nazi-like measures designed to surveil, track and spy upon what was once a FREE American people. Yet that is exactly what Kansas City’s misguided government officials are now demanding.

Here is what the mayor of Kansas City posted on the city website:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas today—in consultation with Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer, M.D.—announced Kansas City’s phased reopening plan.

Beginning May 15, all Kansas City businesses will be able to open, subject to a “10/10/10 Rule.”

The 10/10/10 Rule specifies that all non-essential Kansas City businesses must limit the number of customers allowed in their establishment at one time to no more than 10 percent of building occupancy or 10 people (whichever is larger), and record the names, contact information, and approximate entry/exit time of all customers who are on premises and seated for more than 10 minutes. Establishments such as grocery stores, medical and dental offices, pharmacies, and other essential businesses are not subject to the 10/10/10 Rule.

Gyms, museums, bars and in-person restaurant dining will open with additional Health Department guidance on May 15 to best protect workers and patrons.

“More important than moving quickly is moving carefully and responsibly, and the steps we’re taking today allow our businesses to return to productivity while keeping their workers and customers safe,” said Mayor Lucas.

Based on public health guidance, non-essential businesses that are not open to the public will be permitted to open one week from today, subject to social distancing guidance. Religious gatherings – including weddings and funerals – of 10 people inside and 50 people outside can resume on the same date, provided social distancing is maintained and event organizers record the names and contact information of all attendees. In the interest of public health and subject to City Order, any Kansas Citian who does not yet feel safe returning to a non-essential workplace cannot be compelled by their employer to return prior to May 15.

Membership lists are not required. Those in attendance should be recorded in the event there is a sickness and those present need to be contacted. Note that the names and contact information doesn’t have to be turned in to anyone if there is no sickness. The information is for contract tracing if there is an illness.

LC is spreading paranoia and is a part of the problem right now. All public health experts recommend testing and contact tracing as a way to open business and slow the spread of the virus. If church groups can meet with the constraints of social distancing, then if the curve has flattened, there is case that they should be allowed to. However, responsible church leaders should keep track of attenders for the purpose of tracing those people to tell them they may have been exposed if that becomes necessary.

There is precedent for the stay at home orders and limits on public gatherings, including churches (see the image above). In 1918, during the Spanish Flu pandemic, large public gatherings of all kinds were closed. Now, as LC’s article admits, churches are not being singled out and so any comparison of Christians now to Jews in Nazi Germany is wrong and incredibly insensitive to the reality of the Holocaust.


1918 – Bakersfield, CA.


24 thoughts on “Liberty Counsel Fights for Right to Panic”

  1. It’s the Gospel According to the Beastie Boys.


  2. It’s totally in sync to complain about losing the ability for folks to go forth and contaminate one another and expose one’s fellow humans to death- because conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians, and fundamentalist “Christians” take social Darwinist positions on a regular basis.

    1. While making Young Earth Creationism and damning Darwin the Litmus Test of their Salvation.

  3. Just think of how LC would go berserk when contact tracing would go into effect when the next COVID-19 spike happens (which it will with all the clamor for re-opening). That’s how you accurately figure out how the virus spreads and who might have it.

  4. These same folks who scream bloody murder when government collects personal data probably check off the “service agreements” for their social media apps without a second thought, without thinking about how those corporations track them far more aggressively than any Government would.

    1. As one TED Talk put it, “We have all the infrastructure in place for a full Surveillance Police State — all to get people to click on ads!”

  5. Hysteria and exaggeration is sadly typical of Liberty Counsel’s pronouncements. Factual information, not so much. They seem to have two purposes: defending indefensible right-wing Christian causes, and keeping that right wing too stirred up and indignant to think straight.

    1. Is Liberty Counsel affiliated with Liberty U, or do they just have similar names?

      1. I don’t know of any “official” affiliation. However, Matt Staver, founder and chairman of liberty counsel, is also a law prof at Liberty U. And I suspect a great many (all?) of the lawyers at Liberty Counsel are grads of Liberty U. although, I can’t really tell if the “legal team” there consists of anything more than Staver and his wife.

      2. I wrote once that they were related and the school and Staver made sure I knew they aren’t related.

  6. While I can see how requiring contact information be given by customers may be more than is necessary, comparing it to Nazi’s rounding up names of jews is way over the top.

    1. If the information stays with the restaurant, I think a phone number is a reasonable intrusion. How else would you do contact tracing?

      1. that’s the problem I don’t want the restaurant (or other businesses) to have my personal information (even just a phone number). Also, given how fast this was put together, I suspect there aren’t a lot of safe guards in place (i.e. HOW said businesses can use/protect that information) on the information that is collected.

        As for contact tracing, cellphone (or even vehicle) location data to map that person’s movements for the previous week. then announcements put out to the public that if you were in certain locations at certain times, you may have been exposed.

        I’m curious with the scheme proposed, how contact tracing is accomplished?

        EX. you go to a store, give your information (which is to be kept only at that business), then 2 days later you test positive for covid-19. How does the contact tracing work at that point?

  7. Are there really Christians in the United States who believe that the current restrictions are in any way comparable to the persecution of Jewish people in Nazi Germany? If so, how very extraordinary – and depressing.

    1. Of course there are. Far right conservative Christians have had a persecution complex ever since they started venturing into politics with the Moral Majority back at the start of the 1980s. It is the most ridiculous thing, given how dominant conservative Christians still are in American politics and commerce after four decades of grievance politics.

      And to ramp up the ridiculousness even more, conservative evangelicals have never had more direct access or political influence in the White House than they have today, thanks to their fawning relationship with Trump (he love it) and yet they continue to claim they are being persecuted today like never before. If Trump loses in November, the wailing and gnashing of teeth is going to be deafening.

      It’s pathetic. They love to play the tough guy, but they would tuck their tails and run if there was ever a sniff of real persecution in this country of the kind Christians in other countries suffer. They’re like a toddler who no longer gets to play with their favorite toy after a temper tantrum, in comparison. They see their white privilege being slightly eroded (yes, it’s a white thing) and suddenly the sky is falling and they are the victims, snowflakes that they are.

      1. Yes, most of my African-American friends take the view that “it’s a white thing”, and I think I agree with them.

        Aggressors often plead persecution: Hitler did it; the anti-gay politicians in Uganda do it; Trump does it (all the ‘fake news’ nonsense) …

      2. Far right conservative Christians have had apersecution complex ever since they started venturing into politics with the Moral Majority back at the start of the 1980s.

        It’s actually been called “Persecution Porn”, and is too long and convoluted to go into here.

        If Trump loses in November, the wailing and gnashing of teeth is going to be deafening.

      1. I suppose this wicked wicked woman is doing something even worse: depriving Michiganders (that’s a new one on me, by the way) of the right to kill others before their time.

        Praise the Lord, rip off that mask and pass the semi-automatic firearm …

          1. If you live in Da Mitten (below Da Bridge), you’re a Troll.
            If you live in Da U.P. above Da Bridge, you’re a Yooper.

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