Two weeks ago the First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs, Mississippi burned down in an apparent case of reprisal for the church leading protests and a lawsuit against the stay-at-home order banning religious gatherings. A judge handling the case expressed shock when the city used the burning as a basis for asking for dismissal of the lawsuit:
“One might expect a city to express sympathy or outrage (or both) when a neighborhood house of worship is set ablaze," Willett wrote. "One would be mistaken. Rather than condemn the crime’s depravity, the City seized advantage, insisting that the Church’s First Amendment claim necessarily went up in smoke when the church did… This argument is shameful."
Since then the George Floyd protests have gained momentum. Governors in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin ignore their own stay-at-home orders to show their support:
At the same time Dr. Fauci is warning that mass protests could serve to reignite the COVID epidemic:
The response to the church arson was a yawn from the national media, but the media seems to have forgotten the “you’ll kill granny if you go out” argument when it comes to the current protests. Instead they are praising the protesters as bravely risking their lives to fight racism:
Does the government have the right to pick and choose which causes are protected under the First Amendment?
Would the media response to the church burning be the same if the church had been acting as meeting point for George Floyd protestors?