Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff ruled on Sept. 10 that pro-Trump Pastor John MacArthur — who has denied the COVID-19 pandemic exists — cannot hold services inside Grace Community Church in Los Angeles because of the COVID-19 pandemic, notes the Los Angeles Times:
The Church is violating various health orders through its indoor worship services… The Church’s continuing violation constitutes a public nuisance, per se… As the County has no adequate remedy at law, injunctive relief is warranted to prevent ongoing violations of the various health orders…
While the court is mindful that there is no substitute for indoor worship in the “spiritual refuge” of a sanctuary, the court cannot ignore the County Health Order does not dictate a ban on worship. Instead, it provides any worship must take place other than indoors…
The County Health Order allows worship to occur outdoors, virtually through the internet and in any manner that is not indoors with a large gathering of people. This feature of the County Health Order mitigates — but certainly does not eliminate — the harm that will be suffered by the Church’s congregants through restricting their indoor worship.
Even though MacArthur can still hold services outdoors, he and Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis announced on Fox News on Sept. 10 that the church would still hold indoor services based on Jesus and First Amendment, neither of which said to place people’s lives in danger with indoor church services.
The Los Angeles Times also notes that MacArthur has refused to allow county public health workers inside the church:
The order also requires the church to allow county workers to enter its property to post the order and verify the church is in compliance. The church has not allowed county public health workers to view its indoor services, according to court records.