Washington State Allows One-on-One In-Person Bible Classes During Coronavirus After Lawsuit from Republican Gubernatorial Candidate

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee | Wikimedia Commons/ Phil Roeder from Des Moines, Iowa

Attorneys for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told a federal judge last week that the state can’t enforce a ban on one-on-one Bible studies as it faces legal action over a stay-at-home order that prohibits faith-based gatherings of any size.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Joshua Freed, who has held one-on-one Bible classes while respecting social distancing standards, is now in the clear to hold Bible studies at his home.

An attorney for Inslee told Freed and a federal court last Friday that the government had agreed to allow him to resume in-person Bible studies on a one-on-one basis.

Freed, a former mayor of Bothell, has held weekly Bible studies at his home for over two years. He said that moving the studies online is not a substitute for in-person meetings.

“I stared down the Governor and he blinked,” Freed wrote in a tweet. “After more than two weeks of stalling and 146 pages of legalese, Inslee was forced to concede (under pointed questioning by a federal judge) that he cannot enforce his own order banning religious gathering regardless of size.”

Freed is represented by the religious freedom legal nonprofit First Liberty Institute and an attorney with the Bothell-based North Creek Law Firm.

Mark Lamb, the founder of North Creek Law, said in a statement that religious community and one-on-one Bible study “is essential to many people of faith.”

“We are grateful that, in this challenging time for our country, Gov. Inslee was willing to concede that the ban does not apply to Joshua Freed’s home Bible study,” Lamb said.

On March 23, Inslee issued Proclamation 20-25, an amended version of an earlier proclamation aimed at having people stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski