Cops shut down Mississippi drive-in church service after mayor banned all in-person Easter worship amid coronavirus lockdown

Cops shut down a drive-in church service in Mississippi after the local mayor banned all in-person Easter worship amid the coronavirus lockdown.  
Police were caught on camera shutting down a drive-in service held by Reverend James Hamilton of the King James Baptist Church in Greenville Thursday, after people flocked to attend the service while social distancing in their cars. 
Reverends and religious groups voiced outrage over the incident and blasted the decision to ban church services while liqour stores can keep their doors open. 
This comes as a Kentucky judge ruled in favor of a church and lifted a similar ban on drive-in services, blasting the city's move as 'unconstitutional'.   
Mississippi's coronavirus lockdown has banned drive-in church services over Easter. Police were caught on camera shutting down a drive-in service held by Reverend James Hamilton of the King James Baptist Church in Greenville Thursday
Mississippi's coronavirus lockdown has banned drive-in church services over Easter. Police were caught on camera shutting down a drive-in service held by Reverend James Hamilton of the King James Baptist Church in Greenville Thursday

Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons banned all in-person church services as part of Mississippi's shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of coronavirus. 
Parishioners hoping to gather together for Easter weekend have tried to sidestep the ban by holding drive-in church services where they can maintain social distancing by staying in their cars.
The state's shelter-in-place order did not specify a ban on drive-in services, but the mayor's office said in a press release that churches are 'strongly encouraged to hold services via Facebook Live, Zoom, Free Conference Call, and any and all other social media, streaming and telephonic platforms.' 
In an intense video posted on Reverend Hamilton's Facebook account, officers were seen putting a stop to his service in Greenville on Thursday. 
In the footage, police were seen breaking up the service, ordering parishioners to leave or face a $500 fine, Magnolia State Live reported. 
'I'm a good citizen, I ain't breaking no law. I ain't selling no drugs. I'm just preaching the word of God. Look at all these police cars here,' Hamilton is heard exclaiming in the video.  
In the intense video posted on Hamilton's Facebook account, officers were seen putting a stop to the service after Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons banned all in-person church services as part of the state's shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of coronavirus
In the intense video posted on Hamilton's Facebook account, officers were seen putting a stop to the service after Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons banned all in-person church services as part of the state's shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of coronavirus
A police officer shuts down the service. Parishioners tried to sidestep the ban by holding a drive-in service where they can maintain social distancing by staying in their cars
A police officer shuts down the service. Parishioners tried to sidestep the ban by holding a drive-in service where they can maintain social distancing by staying in their cars
'We were abiding by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines,' Hamilton told Fox News Friday. 
'Members of the church were inside their cars, had their windows up, and I was preaching the Word of God. So no one was outside, and also we had cars at a distance.'
The pastor and religious groups have slammed what they call discrimination against churches and spoken of their disbelief that liquor stores can remain open as 'essential' businesses while churches are shuttered as non-essential businesses. 
'Liquor and beer has killed more people than coronavirus ever would,' said Hamilton.
He spoke of his disbelief that drive-in church services are being broken up but liquor stores can operate curbside services. 
Hamilton (pictured) has spoken of his disbelief that drive-in church services are being broken up but liquor stores can operate curbside services
King James Bible Baptist Church in Greenville: 'I would never dream in a 1,000 years in America... they would ever pass such a law that would consider a liquor store essential but a church non-essential. I am shocked,' said Hamilton
King James Bible Baptist Church in Greenville: 'I would never dream in a 1,000 years in America... they would ever pass such a law that would consider a liquor store essential but a church non-essential. I am shocked,' said Hamilton
'I would never dream in a 1,000 years in America... they would ever pass such a law that would consider a liquor store essential but a church non-essential. I am shocked.'   
Kelly Shackelford, president of the First Liberty Institute, branded the move by the city as 'massively unconstitutional.'
'It targets churches in a way that it targets no other group,' he told Fox News. 
'Cars in parking lots are fine. It's only a crime if the cars in the parking lot are at the church parking lot.' 
Shackelford said the shutdown rules 'discriminate against churches'.
Kelly Shackelford, president of the First Liberty Institute (bottom right) and Hamilton (top right) branded the move by the city as 'massively unconstitutional'
Kelly Shackelford, president of the First Liberty Institute (bottom right) and Hamilton (top right) branded the move by the city as 'massively unconstitutional'
The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of the Temple Baptist Church challenging Mayor Simmons' April 7 executive order.   
Churches around the US will miss one of the biggest events in the religious calendar for the first time this year due to nationwide social distancing rules and state lockdowns ordered to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Easter Sunday was originally touted by President Trump as the deadline for the US to reopen for business and for social distancing rules to be relaxed but with the pandemic continuing to worsen, he has been forced to backpedal on these plans. 
'We're opening up this incredible country. Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter,' Trump said on March 24.
'I would love to have that. It's such an important day for other reasons, but I'd love to make it an important day for this. I would love to have the country opened up, and rarin' to go by Easter.'
He repeated the importance of the date, saying the holiday was a possible deadline because 'Easter's a very special day for me.'
'Wouldn't it be great to have all the churches full?' Trump asked. 'You'll have packed churches all over our country … I think it'll be a beautiful time.' 
The president was forced to later backtrack as medical experts - including his own advisers - warned him that reopening the country too soon could see more deaths from the virus. 
On March 29, in a rare moment of humility, he admitted that reopening for Easter would be a 'mistake' and announced a 30-day extension of his coronavirus guidelines.  
Trump then toyed with the idea of allowing churches a social distancing exemption to celebrate Easter.
'And I brought it up before, I said, maybe we could allow special - for churches - maybe we could talk about it, maybe we could allow them for great separation outside on Easter Sunday,' he said at the White House press briefing last Saturday. 
'But somebody did say that, 'well, then you're sort of opening up to that little - do we want to take a chance in doing that when we've been doing so well?''
The president then said like many Americans he would watch both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday services on his laptop. 
On his last briefing on Good Friday, Trump said the upcoming decision of when to reopen the country for commerce, travel and ordinary life is among the biggest he has ever faced.
'I'm going to have to make a decision, and I only hope to God that it's the right decision,' Trump said. 
'Without question it's the biggest decision I've ever had to make.' 
The president is now saying he will rely on scientists and a team of as-yet unannounced advisors as he ponders the decision.  
Public health officials have warned that if Americans go back to school and work too soon, the nation could face a second wave of infection and additional economic setbacks.  
Cops shut down Mississippi drive-in church service after mayor banned all in-person Easter worship amid coronavirus lockdown Cops shut down Mississippi drive-in church service after mayor banned all in-person Easter worship amid coronavirus lockdown Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:37 Rating: 5

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