On Wednesday of July 8, 2020, the State Department of Public Health officially banned singing and chanting activities in places of worship to prevent the spread of coronavirus through droplets traveling in the air.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims the act of singing and chanting can spread coronavirus just as easily as sneezing or coughing and has updated health guidelines consequently after a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases in California with Imperial County, the agricultural center which borders Mexico, being the worst affected county.
The requirement of places of worship to "discontinue singing and chanting activities" were initially tolerated yet advised against but the requirement is now officially prohibited. State's department of public health.
"The critical issue is this: the state of California is trying to dictate what kind of worship may or may not take place within a religious assembly," R. James King, a Minnesota Pastor shared in an article with The Resurgent. "This is a flagrant and appalling transgression of essential American rights."
King argued that it is not fair that churches are expected to comply with the guidelines when the recent mass protests amidst the coronavirus pandemic were not convicted.
"Peaceful protests are, like worship, protected by the First Amendment. Like worship, they include large gatherings of people. Like worship, they include periods of singing and chanting. However, unlike worship, they remain untroubled by intrusive state interference."
"No religious assembly should have their worship practices dictated by the state. It is unconstitutional. It is wrong," King said.