Rev. Pawlowski vs. the State
On Easter Sunday this year, Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski was confronted by police who interrupted his service. Their mission: to disrupt his service by checking for compliance with local COVID guidelines. Pawlowski ejected them from the church by loudly stating "Get out Nazis!", "Gestapo not wanted here!" and other similar phrases. At first, the health department representative tries to talk to the pastor, demanding access to the church. She was denied. After a short standoff, the health department representative and her police escort are themselves escorted out of the church by Pawlowski.
A video of the incident has since gone viral. At the end of it, Pawlowski explains that Canadians and Americans are now seeing a Communist/Fascist takeover of their countries. He lived through it in Poland, where authorities made his uncle "into soap", as he says. He does not want it to happen again.
This week it happened again. A health department official served Pawlowski with papers from a Canadian court. She was supported by what appears to be the equivalent of a Canadian SWAT team. The pastor gave them the same treatment they got the first time, and with the same result: they left empty-handed. Pawlowski said they could make an appointment and inspect the premises later, at a time when church services weren't being held. For some reason though, his would-be invaders prefer to interrupt ongoing worship services. They are just like the Gestapo, he says, and must be stopped.
The same thing happening in Canada is happening in the United States: law enforcement is being co-opted. Illegitimate and elected officials alike seem more interested in Gestapo-like conformity enforcers than in law enforcement. Churches across the country are feeling the heat as they are told they must either shut their doors or follow guidelines that appear designed to inhibit free speech and the free exercise of religion. The ostensible reason for these violations of our constitutionally guaranteed rights is that a national health emergency demands it. However, the "health emergency" may be more smoke than fire.
According to a growing number of medical professionals, a number of falsehoods have been spread by our government and media regarding the COVID crisis. They say that:
1) COVID-related infection rates are inflated by testing prone to false positives.
3) Mask-wearing is dangerous and not prophylactic for COVID.
Law enforcement is being used by local government to enforce guidelines issued by state governors under emergency powers of questionable legality. Many cases have been filed regarding the lawfulness of COVID regulations in state and federal courts. Some have prevailed (meaning the orders were not lawful) and some were not (thus supporting the use of law enforcement to enforce rules and regulations that are not based on law). Meanwhile, police have been issued stand down orders during BLM and Antifa-led riots, but are ordered to arrest seemingly anyone who visited Washington D.C. on January 6th, regardless of whether they participated in the Capitol breach, and the White House has been turned into a Fortress of Solitude, impregnable thanks to a 6,000 strong contingent of National Guard troops.
With all this going on, law enforcement officers face a serious dilemma: do they follow orders that are on their face unlawful and unrighteous? Or do they refuse? Do they barge into churches during Easter services and eject the congregants from the building? In Canada, RCMP officers were ordered to close a church and they did. They even surrounded it with barricades and sent a large contingent of officers to guard the building, preventing entry to congregants and the owners of the property.
Is it lawful or right to stand by as BLM and Antifa members torch buildings, assault bystanders, loot businesses, and intimidate citizens? Is it lawful to order police to stand down in the face of such threats? At the same time, is it lawful or right to order police to close churches, arrest pastors for holding services, arrest subway patrons for mask-wearing violations, or incarcerate business owners for trying to make a living?
I support law enforcement, but like Canadian pastor Artur Pawlowski, I don't want to see law enforcement misused by those who currently hold political power in government. A police officer is not and should not be used as a dumb instrument of power. They are obliged to follow orders, with the understanding that the orders given will be lawful. When they aren't, or the orders are questionable, their obligation is broken. We see the results in the cities around us.
Law enforcement officers are people and citizens also. They have the ability to think independently, to reason, and understand what they are asked to do. These days, I pray for them and for my fellow citizens, that illegitimate officeholders do not misuse their authority by compelling law enforcement to deprive Americans of Constitutionally-protected freedoms. One thing politicians sometimes forget is that they may be called lawmakers, but the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
According to the first amendment to the Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Sometimes, Congress needs to be reminded of this.
Image: Federico Carboni
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