Letter to the editor: Rights have limits

To the editor:

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; … or the right of the people peaceably to assemble …”

In everyday life, we accept the fact that a police officer or firefighter can come upon a building full of people under immediate threat of fire, flood, deadly gas, any of a myriad number of hazards and the people can be ordered to evacuate quickly for their own safety. If someone refuses to leave, police or fire personnel can/will physically/forcibly remove a person for their own safety, possibly to be taken for mental evaluation and/ or locked up if they try to return.

Sane, sensible citizens and the courts find this power of the police and fire personnel acceptable, even though it temporarily violates the people’s rights to peaceably assemble. Our society believes death permanently violates those rights. You must accept this concept is applicable to any church, synagogue, temple, mosque, any house of worship, as any deadly hazardous pestilence approaches. If you do not believe COVID-19 is a dangerous pestilence in our midst, please Google “Mass Grave Hart Island New York.” Finally, please do not attempt to recruit us into your personal Darwin Award campaigns by ignoring this threat.

John Holland,



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