A minister urged his congregants to support the removal of California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the upcoming recall election.
The pastor challenged his church members to never be afraid of Newson and do their job by voting the recall of "the immoral governor."
"Do your job as Christians on Sep. 14 and vote 'yes' on recalling and immoral governor," he said.
He went on to strengthen the congregation from fear of the government, citing Revelations 19:6.
The Sacramento Bee said that Fairrington risked the tax-exempt status of his church if found to have demonstrated bias for or against a political candidate, in accordance with the country's tax code.
The Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Service code states that tax-exempt religious groups "may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate at all in campaign activity for or against political candidates."
But in a statement to the media outlet, the pastor explained that his comments did not express support on anyone's candidacy but merely pointing out Newsom's "unfortunate actions" to the church and the people.
"Throughout the governor's term, his policies and politics have continually contradicted the Word of God and have been in opposition with the millions of Christians in California," he said.
"My comments on the recall do not support a candidate but rather highlight the unfortunate actions by Gov. Newsom that have traumatic consequences for families, schools, communities, and the church. This is not a political issue, but a moral one, and it is the responsibility of the church to our community to preach what Ephesians 5:11 says: 'Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them,'" Fairrington further stated.
The governor was heavily criticized due to the rules he imposed during the pandemic that drove the closure of churches, regulations that even the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) observed as discriminatory.
In a letter dated May 19 last year, Eric Dreiband of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division told Newsom that the government should not impose "special restrictions on religious activity that do not also apply to similar nonreligious activity."
Last year, several churches in the state have sued him due to these discriminatory rules. The church leaders argued that congregations should be allowed to operate just as the local government permitted the operation of grocery stores, laundromats and marijuana dispensaries, provided that they adhere to health protocols.
In February 2021, the ban on indoor church services was lifted in California when the Supreme Court released its 6-3 decision.
In the ruling, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch pointed out that the state did impose "more stringent regulations on religious institutions" than other establishments such as bus terminals, salons or shopping malls.
According to the Wall Street Journal, if the majority of Californians will vote in favor of the governor's recall next month, they will have to choose a successor among the 46 candidates who qualified for the post.