A directive banning singing and chanting at religious services was issued by the California State’s Department of Public Health on Wednesday
The order which cites the dangers posed by the coronavirus has been condemned as blatantly discriminatory and grossly unconstitutional. Some are even deeming it illegal.
Meanwhile protests in the State continue to draw thousands
RT reports: The new mandate, issued earlier this week, “strongly” recommends that all religious gatherings be conducted remotely, but offers additional rules for those who insist on worshiping in person – including the controversial ban on singing, a common practice across a number of faiths.
“Activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing,” the new guidelines say.
“Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.“
The rule, which also applies to those wearing face coverings, uses stricter language than a prior guideline, stating that worshipers “must” adhere to the ban, as opposed to the “strongly suggest” wording in place previously. The move has prompted intense backlash, including from US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), with many arguing the mandate is a clear violation of the US Constitution.
While Governor Gavin Newsom responded to anti-lockdown protests with a set of guidelines outwardly discouraging such gatherings in May – sternly warning protesters to “be careful when you see grandma and grandpa” – no similar finger wagging was seen amid a wave of mass demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd. Instead, Newsom encouraged those protests, saying: “To those who want to express themselves… God bless you. Keep doing it. Your rage is real.”
That clear contrast has drawn charges of double standards when it comes to the two protest movements, as countless officials and health experts waxed apocalyptic about those opposing economic devastation brought by the lockdowns, while ignoring, or even cheering on, the much larger and more widespread George Floyd protests. Similar cries of hypocrisy followed the singing ban.