Yellowstone County Limits Churches to 50% Capacity, Lets Bars Stay at 75%

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The death-rate for COVID-19 is plummeting faster than Steve Bullock’s polling numbers, but that hasn’t stopped county health officials from catastrophizing communicability rates. It seems that everyone is getting the virus that kills almost no one, and despite our health infrastructure being nowhere close to collapsing, bull-headed and unelected health bureaucrats continue to strong-arm Montanans with increasingly tight restrictions.

There’s little doubt that Yellowstone County – home to Montana’s largest city, Billings – has the highest rates of infection. This should be expected wherever the population is the highest. Yet statewide, the death figures hover around 200 since the “pandemic” began. Almost all of the state’s 500 ventilators are currently unused by COVID-19 patients. Most who test positive never receive an ounce of treatment. And over-all, the total death-rate in Montana is actually down from 2019.

Nonetheless, for health officials who have waited their entire life for a moment to shine with unmitigated and unchecked power, they continue to place unseemly and unreasonable restrictions upon the public.

Yellowstone County Health Officer, John Felton, announced today that new restrictions will be put into place tomorrow. These restrictions originally included Bullock’s 75% capcity restriction for bars and restaurants to move to 25%. Bar owners threw a fit, so instead Felton fet content on letting them stay at 75% while in turn restricting churches to scale back to 50% capacity.

That’s right; Yellowstone County officially wants bars to be at a higher capacity than church-houses. Think about that for a minute. It’s now official policy (however unconstitutional it will prove to be).

New restrictions also include mandating restaurants and bars close at 12:30 AM (because everyone knows that COVID-19 multiplies at midnight like Gremlins). Public and private gatherings will be capped at 25 people no matter if there’s room for social distancing (so 50 people can’t meet in a stadium even though there are 30 square yards between them). These restrictions do not apply to places of voting, because apparently, you have a constitutional right to vote but not to worship or peacefully assemble).

Does the Yellowstone County Health Board legitimately believe that bars are a less contagious place for COVID-19 than churches? More importantly, do they have statistical data that can support this? Are people, under the influence of alcohol, showing more social distance self-control than inside houses of worship? Are strangers meeting at church to hook up with each other in a very socially-undistanced fashion, as they do bars?

The Gideon Knox Group, an organization headquartered in Eastern Montana, retained legal counsel earlier today to pursue a lawsuit against Yellowstone County for religious discrimination. Not only is the right of peaceful assembly and worship being unconstitutionally infringed upon by Yellowstone County, but they are punitively treating churches – whose constitutional right to worship is enshrined in the First Amendment – worse than they are treating bars and casinos.




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