American Family Association: Double Standard for Church Gatherings Unconstitutional

American Family Association: Double Standard for Church Gatherings Unconstitutional

AFA President Tim Wildmon: As Motivation Behind Discriminatory Standard is a Secular Disdain for Religion, Chief Justice John Roberts Seems to Prefer Wild Card Status Over Guarding Rights

June 8, 2020

TUPELO, Miss.—Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts continues to position himself as the Court’s swing vote—siding with both his conservative and liberal colleagues in close decisions, including, most recently, cases related to coronavirus lockdowns.

Often viewed as the “wild card” in important decisions, Roberts wrote in an opinion involving a California church last week that restrictions on churches to reopen at 25% capacity with no more than 100 worshippers at a time “appear consistent” with the First Amendment. On May 29, the Court had rejected an emergency appeal from South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista that challenged limits on religious services.

American Family Association (AFA, says the double standard for churches is unconstitutional.

“It is clear that the First Amendment’s protection for religious exercise has been breached in California in a manner that is unconstitutional,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “While grocery stores, big box home and garden centers, and even liquor stores were given exemptions, churches were held to a stricter standard. AFA believes the motivation behind this discriminatory standard is a secular disdain for religion. So-called ‘progressives’ do not believe churches are essential. Period. Moreover, we are extremely disappointed in Chief Justice John Roberts, who seems to prefer his wild card status as the SCOTUS swing vote to his role as a constitutionalist who will guard the nation’s First Amendment rights.”

For more than 40 years, AFA has operated within the mission to inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission. Visit AFA Action Alerts here.

View the media page for AFA here. For more information on American Family Association, visit or follow AFA on Facebook or Twitter @AmericanFamAssc.


To interview an American Family Association representative, contact, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.