Attorney: MacArthur criticized for virus with 98% survival rate

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Chris Woodward, Billy Davis (

Grace Community Church 2 (California)The Los Angeles Times is reporting an “outbreak” of COVID-19 cases at embattled Grace Community Church but an attorney representing the church says the newspaper is hyping a non-existent problem. 

Grace Community Church, pastored by well-known preacher John MacArthur, made national headlines over the summer after the church opened up for Sunday services after remaining closed for four months. That act happened in defiance of strict lockdown orders and set up a legal fight with local and state officials over the legal right to gather inside the Sun Valley church at the same time numerous businesses are allowed to remain open.

The latest court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 13.

In a weekend story, the L.A. Times reported three confirmed cases have been reported among the Grace Community congregation when Sunday attendance has averaged 7,000 worshippers.


"It's obvious what the Times is trying to do," says attorney Paul Jonna of Thomas More Society. "They're trying to drive up hysteria over the fact that there were COVID cases at the church, with no hospitalizations."

Jonna advises that California has a "ridiculously low standard" for the definition of an outbreak, which means three or more confirmed cases.

MacArthur and church elders announced in late July their Sun Valley church was reopening and the pastor published a lengthy blog post explaining the biblical, legal, and civil grounds for doing so: Jesus Christ is head of the Church, not the State of California.

“Therefore,” MacArthur wrote, “we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands."

coronavirus outbreak mapAs the inevitable pushback came from the media and other churches, MacArthur was pointing out in August the congregation had no confirmed cases of the virus, which has proven to be highly contagious but non-lethal despite earlier apocalyptic projections that have now been proven wrong.   

According to the latest statistics from L.A. County, there have been 914,000 confirmed cases, and 17,398 deaths, in a county with an estimated population of 10 million. The fatality rate for confirmed cases is currently .01 percent and it is .001 percent among the county’s entire population.

Jonna says the L.A. Times is using the confirmed cases at Grace Community Church to instill fear in people to worry about the virus.

“The church has never taken the position that no one could ever catch the virus at the church,” the attorney insists. “Rather the church has always been of the opinion that people can take reasonable precautions and the state cannot restrict the right to worship the way they've been trying to do."

"Our position,” adds Thomas More attorney Jenna Ellis, “has been that L.A. County shutting down churches indefinitely amid a virus with a 99.98 percent survival rate, especially when state-preferred businesses are open, and protests are held without restriction, is unconstitutional and harmful to the free exercise of religion.”



We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details






  Top Democrats swing behind bipartisan coronavirus aid bill
It's official: GOP flips House seat, this time in NYC
Police guide calls BLM a terrorist group
New York business owner arrested on COVID-19 charge
CDC wants Americans to cancel Christmas travel plans
Israeli parliament takes step toward new elections


Whistleblowers claiming USPS threw out, backdated ballots before election
Chuck Schumer places blame for Senate loss on Democratic candidate who 'couldn't keep his zipper up'
California paid $400M in jobless benefits to inmates
The president hasn't conceded, but secretly he's told advisers he wants to run again in 4 years
Amistad lawyer: FBI collecting data on vote fraud


Cartoon of the Day
Personality vs. performance: What determines Trump's fitness for office?

Trump with Christian conservatives placardA respected theologian is responding to an evangelical colleague who says he won't vote for either major party candidate for president on November 3.