In a Bible belt state like Mississippi, it is hard to imagine a church being burned down to the ground, but in the small town of Holly Springs, a religious bigot did just that.
The identity of the bigot is not known as of this writing, but he/she made his/her views plain in graffiti sprayed on the parking lot.
Bet you will stay home now hypokrits
The message was embellished with an Atomic Whirl, a symbol used by the American Athiest Association to represent international Atheism according to their website.
Hypokrit is the German spelling of English term hypocrite. The spelling may or may not be important, but whoever burned the First Pentecostal Church to the ground hates churches and the people that attend them, especially churches that stand for their first amendment rights.
First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs, MS was fighting for the right to assemble during the coronavirus lockdowns. They filed a lawsuit against Holly Springs after the police disrupted their in-person Easter service and cited them for not social-distancing. There were about 40 people in the church at the time.
The pastor of First Pentecostal Church, Jerry Waldrop, protested the city’s policy of forbidding church services while allowing people to go to Walmart and other stores. A federal judge agreed that the prohibition was unfairly enforced and that law enforcement had violated the church’s first amendment rights. The church would be allowed to have drive-in services. First Pentecostal was in the process of petitioning for in-person services when the arsonist struck.
New Republican governor weighs in
Mississippi governor Tate Reeves, newly inaugurated in January 2020, lamented the coronavirus lockdown and what it is doing to the American people in a tweet:
I am heartbroken and furious. In Mississippi, a church was just burned to the ground. They had been trying to open services. There was graffiti on the lot which read “Bet you stay home now you hypocrites.”
What is this pandemic doing to us? We need prayer for this country. pic.twitter.com/TdGHqs9evv
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) May 21, 2020
Governor Reeves may be approached by the Freedom From Religion Foundation for saying “prayer” as an official. Follow this link to see what type of work they do to remove any remnant of faith or religion from the public square. Many people of faith suspect that the unequal application of lockdown orders has something to do with FFRF and are organizing against the attacks by atheists on their right to practice their religion freely and without government constraint. The American Center for Law and Justice or ACLJ organized a petition and site for the effort, calling it “Stop the Atheist Attacks on Faith and Prayer During the Coronavirus Pandemic.”
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