Two California megachurches have continued to defy the state’s coronavirus ban on indoor worship services, rebranding themselves as “strip clubs”. Awaken Church in San Diego and Godspeak Calvary Chapel had both declared themselves strip clubs after their pastors took off a tie before their congregation. Strip clubs are currently allowed indoor patrons under California law.
Pastor Jurgen Matthesius of Awaken declared the church was now Awaken “Family Friendly Strip Club” in an Instagram video.”Where we strip the devil of his hold, power and authority over peoples’ lives,” he said.Godspeak’s pastor, Rob McCoy, made a similar declaration, attacking so-called government “tyranny”.”Those that are abused are being quarantined with their abusers. The elderly are lonely and isolated for no reason. No one gets to attend the funerals of their loved ones … it’s our responsibility to support folks,” he said.
The “strip club” reference followed a comment by former Arizona governor and Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee, who made the suggestion that churches rebrand after a California judge ruled that strip clubs could remain open but churches could not.The Supreme Court recently ordered California judges to re-examine the situation, so either strip clubs could be shutting down, or churches could be reopening in the state soon.
Meanwhile, thousands of people across the US continue to die of COVID-19 each week, with more than 285,000 people killed since the start of the pandemic.