“Essential” Houses of Worship

If you haven’t heard so already, President Trump has deemed houses of worship to be “essential” and ordered all states to let them open immediately. In his own words,

Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It’s not right… So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential. I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less.”

Are houses of worship “essential?” Does the president have the right to do this or has he run roughshod over the 1st Amendment?

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