Texas Gov. Defends Religious Freedom, Signs Law Prohibiting Government from closing places of worship

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott just signed a major law that prohibits the government from forcing churches and other houses of worship to close, as Fox News chimed in on.

Abbott wrote in a short Tweet: “I just signed a law that prohibits any government agency or public official from issuing an order that closes places of worship. The First Amendment right to freedom of religion shall never be infringed.

The law was filed by Texas State Republican Rep. Scott Stanford and is named HB 1239. The most important part of the bill says that a “government agency or public official may not issue an order that closes or has the effect of closing places of worship in the state or in a geographic area of the state.”

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Rep. Sanford further stated that “Churches provide essential spiritual, mental and physical support in a time of crisis,” and that “closing churches not only eliminated these critical ministries and services, but it violated their religious freedom, guaranteed by our laws and Constitution.”

When Abbott closed the state of Texas last year, that included churches. The Republican governor faced backlash and a lawsuit and eventually reversed his own order. Churchgoers wanted to worship and did not like that their house of worship was deemed nonessential, even if it could become a place where ventilation and overcrowding could be an issue that lead to more people falling ill.

Abbott now defends the ability for people to find their solace in a house of worship and signed off on the law to prevent big government entities from attempting to close any house of worship.

Further information on Texas HB 1239 can be found here.

Gov. Abbott was also active signing another resolution, as he mentioned on social media. Abbott stated: “I just signed a Resolution asserting Texas sovereignty under the 10th Amendment over all powers not granted to the federal government by the US Constitution. The Resolution officially notifies the President & Congress to cease acts of encroaching upon the powers of states.

Photo: Gage Skidmore

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