LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -The controversy and debate surrounding in-person and drive-in Easter Sunday services continues.
A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against Mayor Greg Fischer Saturday preventing the city from shutting down a drive-in service for one Louisville Church.
On Fire Christian Church will be celebrating Easter as they have been for the last few weeks, from their cars.
A few people gathered on the sidewalk outside of the Church on Saturday.
“This was going to be a rally and a protest, now it’s a celebration of our rights,” a protester said.
They are not members of On Fire but say they came out to celebrate a win for religious liberty.
“We don’t want our freedom’s completely taken away because once they take away some they could take away all,” Matt Singleton, a Southern Indiana Pastor said.
The church believes they should be allowed to celebrate the holiest day of the year since they’ve followed CDC guidelines: especially if restaurant pick-up and shoppers not social distancing in parking lots or aisles of stores are allowed.
“That’s all we have to hold on to,” Singleton said. “We don’t have a cure, we have a God.”
U.S. District Court Judge Justin Walker granted the restraining order, Saturday and blasted the mayor’s move as stunning and unconstitutional. He went on to say it was something you only see in dystopian novels.
“I regret that the judge did not allow us to present evidence that would have demonstrated there has been no legal enforcement mechanism communicated,” Fischer said. “We attempted twice to contact the court.”
Fischer says law enforcement was never told to interfere and stands by his decision saying there are photos proving people are not properly social distancing at the service. The ban on in-person services will be enforced Sunday. LMPD will be handing out flyers on the virus and taking down license plates to give to the Health Department so if someone turns up sick, they’ll be able to enforce quarantine.
“How many people who have specifically chosen not to go to a mass gathering end up paying?” Governor Andy Beshear asked.
State-wide KSP will be doing the same thing, and those individuals will have to quarantine for 14 days no matter what. Beshear said after a revival in Hopkins County around 50 became infected and six died. He’s expecting seven mass gatherings to still happen around the state Sunday.
“That would be 42 deaths if the same thing happened that happened in Hopkins County,” Beshear said. “I’m willing to make unpopular decisions regardless of what it means for me in the future if I could save 42 people.”
The governor is fine with drive in services, as long as there is one family per car, and those cars are six feet apart. No one should get out or pass things between cars. Governor Eric Holcomb has similar rules in Indiana, where in-person is also banned, but drive-in is allowed with cars nine feet apart and with prepackaged communion.
“Get the word and then get home,” Holcomb said Friday.