It’s been a busy week here in the Pelican State and emotions are flying high. Governor John Bel Edwards was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to meet with President Trump, who assured him that the federal government is prepared to assist with 200,000 testing kits/month to combat COVID and to assist our state in getting back to business.
Following that meeting, and with pressure from GOP members of the legislature who are considering a form of override to end portions of the stay-at-home order, the Governor seems to be warming up to the idea of loosening restrictions.
Additionally, AG Jeff Landry petitioned the Governor, releasing this letter regarding churches’ abilities to move freely and minister openly; almost simultaneously, this good news for churches was released by the Governor’s office.
All of these developments are great news for Louisiana’s families, business owners, churches, and community leaders who have been shuttered for more than six weeks.
As I wrote in last week’s End-of-Week email, I still believe a parish-by-parish approach to reopening La. is the best course of action. There’s no reason for modestly-impacted areas to delay any further entry into Phase I.
At the center of this conversation is whether or not the government can continue to curtail individual freedoms and liberties – even if it is in the interest of public health. As LFF friend and ally Royal Alexander wrote Wednesday in The Advocate Guest Editorial:
“…Our current status cannot exist indefinitely. Our United States Constitution trumps state law and state emergency/crisis orders. There is no exception or exemption in the Constitution for a health crisis. It also doesn't yield to any other body of law. It is the supreme and final authority and, while it is designed to ensure that the states and the people retain the majority of power in our free society, the specific enumerated rights that are exclusively the province of the Constitution include protecting from government suppression the freedoms of press, free exercise of religion, expressive activities, protection of private property rights and privacy, and numerous others.
We will keep you updated on the status of Louisiana’s relaunch, including Governor Edwards’ orders, guidance from federal officials on best practices for reopening, and other relevant pieces of information to aid churches and businesses in fiscal recovery.
Here are a few other items we think deserve some attention as we head into the weekend:
Free Burma Rangers, a documentary about a missionary family who ministers on the front lines of war zones, will be streaming tonight for FREE at 8pm CT. This movie comes highly recommended with rave reviews. Don’t miss it!
NOLA.com is hosting a faith directory that shares information on local houses of worship, how to donate, how to live-stream services, and more! This brilliant initiative from the team at NOLA.com and The Advocate, led by John Georges, is a breath of fresh air to those of us who understand the important role the church will play in La.’s recovery. Click here to register your church in the directory.
Scientists and doctors are starting to push back on the idea that nations or states should quarantine healthy people or shut down economies. A renowned epidemiologist has blasted the European doctor who drafted a report suggesting that world lockdowns were necessary to contain the virus, calling the author “arrogant.” These California doctors have also garnered a lot of attention for their revelation that hospitals in California are being forced to lay off doctors and nurses because there aren’t enough patients. It’s a very different story from what we’re being fed by the mainstream media.
Thank you for your support, and for the way you’re serving those around you who are going through tough times. We’re continuing to pray for the full healing and restoration of our state and nation. Please click here to join us in prayer.
In His Service,
Gene Mills President Louisiana Family Forum
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