Via press release from hate group leader Mat Staver:
Liberty Counsel has agreed to represent Pastor Howard-Browne, who was taken into custody today. As the arrest was unfolding, the Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister held a press conference announcing the arrest.
During the press conference, State Attorney Andrew Warren quoted the Bible in Mark 12:31 (“There is no more important commandment than to love thy neighbor as thyself”).
Sherriff Chronister also invited Bishop Thomas Scott to speak, who engaged in a theological lecture about what the Bible says on this issue while disagreeing with Pastor Howard-Browne. Scott is currently running for Hillsborough County Commissioner.
The Hillsborough County administrative order has so many exceptions it looks like swiss cheese. The order allows a wide range of commercial operations that are either specifically exempt or exempt if they can comply with a six-foot separation.
Yet, if the purpose of your meeting is religious, the county prohibits it with no exception for the six-foot separation. The problem with this administrative order is it was not reviewed by constitutional experts or vetted by a deliberative body.
Neither the Constitution nor Florida law protecting churches and the free exercise of religion disappear. This order from Hillsborough County is not narrowly tailored to achieve its underlying objective.
Not only did the church comply with the administrative order regarding six-foot distancing, it went above and beyond any other business to ensure the health and safety of the people.
Contrary to Sheriff Chronister’s allegation that Pastor Howard-Browne was ‘reckless,” the actions of Hillsborough Country and the Hernando County Sheriff are discriminatory against religion and church gatherings.
Look at all that social distancing!