The Republican governor of Georgia moved a bill forward late last month that would prohibit future governors of The Peach State from banning religious services when a public health emergency is declared.
"The Faith Protection Act will ensure the emergency powers of any governor of Georgia in the years to come are not used to limit the God-given right to worship," Governor Brian Kemp declared in a statement on February 18. "In Georgia, we never shuttered churches, synagogues, or other places of worship because we value faith, family, and freedom."
COVID-19 – a warning of too much government control …
The Associated Press reports that House Bill 358 was drafted during the COVID-19 pandemic as a piece of legislation guaranteeing that authority would not be given to future Georgia governors "to specifically limit the practice of any religion."
Kemp insisted that he is determined to make his state a safe haven for those desiring religious freedom.
"My goal is for us to be a sanctuary state – if you will – for people of faith," the governor told CBN News. "I think this pandemic has shown us that … people will overreach – especially people in positions of power – and that's not good."
The process of passing the bill moved quickly last week – despite the drastic decline of coronavirus cases and fatalities reported across the nation – a fact that has not deterred President Joe Biden from pushing more government control in the wake of the China- induced pandemic.
"The bill, which cleared the Georgia legislative panel on Wednesday [Feb. 25], would require the governor to seek legislative approval to renew a declared state of emergency every 90 days," ChristianHeadlines.com reported. "Additionally, legislators would be allowed to place limitations on the governor's emergency powers."
Putting a stop to unconstitutional power grabs
Kemp expressed concern that many other states are forcing restrictions on religious services. "[W]e shouldn't have any governor or a future governor be able to stop religious services – that's embedded in our Constitution," the Republican governor asserted in his recent CBN interview.
He stressed how ordering people to remain pent-up in their homes for "months and months as a time" takes a huge toll on their spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
"That's not healthy for our mental health, and certainly, people going to church and being able to gather or worship – whether it's in person or virtually – is healthy for people," Kemp added. "It's healthy for their mindset, and it's just really the fabric of who we are … and we've done that responsibly here.
"We want that to be the case in the future …. We don't want to allow … any person, including myself, to be able to weigh in that now or in the future like we saw and other states, and so that's why we're taking this action."
Since the onset of COVID-19 last year, Kemp has maintained a track record of not conforming to the radical left's unconstitutional push to shut down businesses and churches – which was predominantly seen in "blue" states across the nation.
"When the pandemic hit the U.S. last spring, Kemp allowed houses of worship to remain open as long as congregants practiced social distancing – despite the state reporting its earliest outbreaks from religious services," ChristianHeadlines.com noted. "Kemp, however, attempted to work with religious leaders to push alternative approaches of holding services – including online or drive-up services."