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Weyermuller: When did Church Become “Non-Essential?”



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by Mark Weyermuller - 

For several weeks now, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has declared “non-essential” businesses cannot open in Illinois to help "mitigate" the spread of COVID-19.  He is calling it a “stay-at-home” order.

What exactly is an "essential" business?  Thousands of businesses in Illinois are open and thriving.  Those businesses include Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Menards, Walgreens, CVS, Costco, 7-11, "to go" restaurants, grocery stores, bike shops, car washes, dry cleaners, liquor stores, and cannabis dispensaries. 

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For the past two weeks worshippers have met at Friday noon at Holy Name Cathedral on Chicago & State. They read the rosary, say the Lord’s Prayer, and sing hymns. 

During the outside service, loud noise could heard from a highrise being constructed across the street — with hundreds of workers. Construction has been deemed “essential,” but not church. 

The worshippers plan to meet in front of Holy Name again at noon on Friday,  May 15, 2020. All people of all faiths are welcomed. Last week, many wore masks and socially separated by six feet. People who attended said they felt completely safe.


They feel churches can open today, while taking the same precautions as grocery stores with masks, distancing, and limiting attendance. Outdoor services are also an option. 

One sign said, “Our churches are essential.”

As weather warms up this week there is a big push to reopen all of Illinois. Most other states have open businesses in a limited manner including churches.

More information at OpenOurChurches.org.




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  1. Our Spiritual lives are more of a priority than our physical lives. I tried posting this on FB but for some reason once again I have been silenced by FB and put in a time out until the 28th. They shamed me but don’t bother to tell me what post caused it. This is FB ratcheting up silencing conservative thought as we get closer to the election.

  2. Church is ALWAYS essential, but we can be the church without being IN the building! Online worship. Distance learning classes. Our church is doing much without endangering others. You are just part of the right-wing funded campaign to endanger our health.

  3. The government has no authority to infringe upon 1A rights, which is what it’s doing when it says churches must get permission from Caesar to gather for worship. It’s not a partisan “right wing” thing; even classic liberals understood this.
    You are just part of the left-wing guided m funded campaign to destroy this economy, destroy this President, and destroy our Constitution.

  4. We are told that masks will protect us so why not open churches with distancing, masks, and limited attendance today?
    I’m tired of bureaucrats lecturing us in what is “essential.” We know huge sections of government are non essential yet we are not discussing cutting the size, scope, and cost of government.
    Governor Pritzker snd Mayor Lightfoot have created an atmosphere of fear and panic perhaps endangering more lives with their misguided public policy. Example is the mayor had 400 police officers guarding the beach from healthy joggers, bikers, and dog walkers. How is this helping keep healthy. Meanwhile nursing homes are being ignored wheee 50% of the deaths are occurring. People should be questioning these two officials.
    I’m personally calling on all churches to open in sone manner today. They can have outdoor services in a safe manner.
    Please stop by at noon on Friday at Holy Name Cathedral did prayers. All faiths are welcome. Many will wear masks and maintaining distancing so it will be as safe as going to the store Ir just going outside, as we are told wearing a mask will protect us.
    Please post any other local church services that might be of interest to Illinois review readers. Online services are fine but I want to hear about people gathering safely for church.