"White House South Facade" by Matt H. Wade / CC BY-SA 3.0

White House tells CDC to butt out of religion

May 8, 2020

By Mark Silk

Preachers are periodically moved to inform their congregations that the Ten Commandments are not the Ten Suggestions. Well, as part of its coronavirus reopening plan, the Centers for Disease Control came up with a few dozen suggestions for faith communities and the White House has rejected them as commandments that infringe on religious rights.

You think I’m kidding?

To say that the CDC was at pains to make clear that its “Interim Guidance for Faith Communities” was not mandatory would be the grossest of overstatements.

Its opening paragraph states that what follows “is not intended to infringe on First Amendment rights as provided in the U.S. Constitution”; that the “federal government may not prescribe standards for interactions of faith communities in houses of worship and no faith community should be asked to adopt any mitigation strategies that are more stringent than the mitigation strategies asked of similarly situated entities or activities in accordance with the Religious Freedom and (sic) Restoration Act (RFRA)”; and that “CDC offers these suggestions that faith communities may consider and accept or reject, consistent with their own faith traditions.”

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