Advocates for Faith and Freedom Attorney for Calvary Chapel San Jose: “I’m Sad to See Religious Liberty Disregarded”

By Michael Hernandez

SAN JOSE—”I’m sad to see religious liberty disregarded when it has long been considered one of the most important, if not the most important right in the U.S. Constitution,” said Tyler & Bursch and Advocates for Faith and Freedom attorney Mariah Gondeiro to Citizens Journal Thursday following court testimony by Calvary Chapel San Jose lead pastor Mike McClure and youth pastor Carson Atherley in a County Superior Court hearing today before Judge Peter Kirwan in department 19.

Both pastors testified in the court case between the church and the County of Santa Clara which has issued flagrant fines of over one million dollars against the San Jose church and also issued fines of up to $30,000 to both pastors as well as issued threats of jail time to the pastors for holding indoor church services.

“Do you want me to choose between God and man?” said Pastor Mike McClure during this testimony. “The church is the answer” to the pandemic. McClure said he was not aware of any COVID-19 cases connected to the church being open.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor of Medicine at Stanford University, who has actively researched COVID-19 and is an expert in infectious disease epidemiology and health economics provided a written statement on behalf of the church. 

“Sometimes it’s hard to prove the obvious when people have their minds made up in advance,” said lead counsel Robert Tyler. “We are praying that this judge will see clearly and reject the County’s aggressive posture toward this church and these pastors. The Supreme Court has already ruled and this court must follow suit.”

The contempt case began on Jan 15 with Tyler & Bursch and Advocates for Faith & Freedom attorneys arguing that the sanctuary holds 2,000 people and that worship and in-door services must be kept legal.  Representing Calvary Chapel San Jose today were attorneys Robert Tyler, Nicolai Cocis and Mariah Gondeiro.

The Superior Court case will be continued on Thursday, Jan 28 with the judge expected to issue a ruling at the conclusion of the afternoon hearing which begins at 1:30 p.m. and can be heard by calling: 877-336-1831. The access code is 9156587.

Editor’s note: Please see attached latest case brief: Opposition (conformed)

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].


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Susan
Susan
3 months ago

What happened to render into Casesar the things that are Caesars? Don’t churches have to follow fire, zoning and health laws?

VCSurfer
VCSurfer
3 months ago
Reply to  Susan

Few things are more humorous or pathetic than an anti-Christian who tries to twist the Bible to fit his/her agenda. Watch and learn from the sermon herein:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQPZny_XhrE

I pray that you will learn and see the error of your ways. You seem to be a perennial and bitter troll on this site. May the Lord bless you with knowledge, wisdom and peace.

Erika
Erika
3 months ago
Reply to  VCSurfer

Enough with the self-righteous charade. Stop pretending and sort of God is on your messed up side.

MadMagyar
MadMagyar
3 months ago
Reply to  Susan

That’s why I advocate for UNincorporating and giving up the 501(c)(3) status. Churches (and their property) have ALWAYS been tax exempt, though most people don’t know that. The IRS’ con only made DONOR’s contributions tax exempt – not the Church. Along with that came the regulations that they make no anti-government speeches, no matter how bad the government gets. Can’t have the equivalent of the “black-robed army” that the King’s men feared back during the Revolutionary War. They were the ones responsible for getting the colonists off their duffs to fight the Brutish (spelling intentional).

The government fears the influence of pastors so much that when churches form now WITHOUT incorporating and getting the “tax exempt” status, the local government goes after them tooth and nail, threatening pastors for holding meetings (even just Bible studies) and have literally fined them into bankruptcy, and then stolen, people’s properties out from under them.

What most people do not comprehend is that men and women are NOT what’s defined in statute as ‘persons’. We are conned into BELIEVING we are, but most people don’t ever open a LAW dictionary to find out what the words in statutes REALLY mean. Legal terms are DIFFERENT than everyday, ordinary Webster’s dictionary meanings, and can literally mean ANYTHING a legislature defines them to mean – even the opposite of what we usually think. When you read a state statute – WITH a legal dictionary in hand – you soon realize that statutory laws don’t mean anything near what we THINK they mean.

And when you study enough of them, it dawns on one that WE – God’s creatures – are NOT creatures of the State. They CANNOT control what they do not create. Therefor our actions and behavior are NOT subject to government edicts. We ARE subject to God’s laws – and that’s what the COMMON Law is for. It still exists in America – in spite of what people who don’t know any better will say. The US Supreme Court still makes decisions based on Common Law, though it’s a rare thing nowadays, but they ARE the final arbiters of controversy between MEN or WOMEN and the State or corporations (and, of course, each other). It’s just that most people don’t KNOW anything about it, so they think they have to have an attorney – and attorneys CANNOT “represent” anybody in Common Law. They can advise, but for them to represent someone, it has to be done in statutory law – and then you’re calling yourself a corporation (a ‘person’ or Plaintiff/Defendant), not a man or woman. And you aren’t making claims against another man for denial of your Natural Rights, but your ‘civil’ rights (or privileges and immunities) against another state-defined ‘person’.

BIG difference.

Susan
Susan
3 months ago
Reply to  MadMagyar

How does your God feel about mandated seat belts in cars and helmets for motorcyclists?

VCSurfer
VCSurfer
3 months ago
Reply to  Susan

I don’t know. Why don’t you ask God yourself? In any case, you’re comparing apples to oranges. COVID “infections” and deaths have risen even as new restrictions were increasingly put in place. States without full lockdowns haven’t done any worse, on the average.

Happy Realist
Happy Realist
3 months ago
Reply to  Susan

How does your god feel about mandated face masks and livelihood-killing shutdowns, Susan?

Erika
Erika
3 months ago
Reply to  Happy Realist

Cranky Weirdo