By Michael Hernandez
NEWBURY PARK—Pastor Rob McCoy announced on Thursday’s “Fireside Chat” that the Tyler & Bursch legal firm has sent a demand letter on behalf of Godspeak Calvary and Rabbi Michael Barclay of Temple Ner Simcha (Westlake Village) seeking a rescission of the April 9th public health order by Ventura County Health Director Dr. Robert Levin banning public gatherings which includes all religious gatherings.
“We want to work with the County and abide by Center for Disease Control standards,” said Pastor McCoy. “What we do is essential. Religious practice is as essential as any grocery store. The restrictions have gone too far and too long. We believe restrictions are unlawful.”
Attorney Robert Tyler and Attorney Nada Higuera sent a legal letter to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors demanding a rescission be granted by Saturday, April 18th to Ventura County Health orders prohibiting churches and synagogues from drive-in and other essential religious services.
The letter states that “numerous nonessential businesses find themselves deemed essential and religious organizations are generally deemed nonessential. This reflects upon the arbitrary nature of determining what businesses are ‘essential.’”
Godspeak is seeking to conduct drive-in church services with monthly communion and Rabbi Michael Barclay is seeking to hold weekly Torah services, periodic Bar Mitzvahs, and Shiva Minyans. Both religious places of worship will comply with CDC and Ventura County guidelines as is required of “essential businesses.”
The letter states: “Tyler & Bursch, LLP and their clients acknowledge the significant efforts made by the Ventura County Health Officer to protect the health and safety of the residents in Ventura County. Their desire to be good citizens and their concerns over the coronavirus, however, have also left these religious leaders with serious concerns about preserving their fundamental liberties enshrined in the U.S. and State Constitutions.
“Both Pastor and Rabbi are convinced that ‘we the people’ are ultimately responsible to protect the individual liberties that may be lost unnecessarily during times of crisis regardless of whether public officials’ actions are well intentioned.
“Tyler & Bursch, LLP is representing the public’s interests in preserving individual liberties and serving as a counterbalance to unchecked regulatory action. In order to restore this balance, Tyler & Bursch, LLP is preparing the necessary paperwork to file a lawsuit.”
Tyler & Bursch, LLP has offices in Murrieta and Anaheim and also operates a non-profit pro-bono law firm, Advocates for Faith & Freedom in defense of constitutional and religious liberty with a website: www.faith-freedom.com.
(Editor’s Note: To see the complete Tyler & Bursch demand letter view this link: https://www.tylerbursch.com/announcements/faith-leaders-demaind-letter-to-ventura-county.)
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].