Written by Co-Founder, Neil Mammen
“If you care about Life Open up our Churches.”
Jesus’ politicians, his senators, his representatives and lawmakers, the Pharisees and Sadducees, passed a law saying it was illegal to heal on the Sabbath. And Jesus said, I will still heal on the Sabbath. And He did.[i]
For the last 2000 years the Church has been driving force behind the changing 1000’s of laws. Laws that no non believer had even thought to change.
We banned child prostitution, widow burning, stopped the superstitious killing of twins[ii] and temple prostitution, we banned gladiatorial combat, slavery and the abandonment of children and elders[iii]– the Church has long stepped in to be the conscience of government.
And YET it did not limit itself to the changing of laws, when the Plagues would come to ancient Rome, all the Romans would flee the cities. Then the Christians would come out of the woodwork to gather the dying, the poor, the broken into their homes and into their churches. When the slave hunters hunted escaped slaves, the Churches of the north would open their doors to give them shelter and a hiding place.[iv] When wars broke nations apart, Churches were the safe haven where doctors could bring the wounded and dying to be tended to.
We created the first charities, the first hospitals and the first orphanages.
Humans are made for touching, they need hugs, they need a shoulder and they need someone to look them in the eyes and say: Are you OK? A zoom call or a 6-foot distance will not reveal a hidden secret, an abused child, an abused spouse or a deep depression that is leading to suicide.
Studies have shown, that each average small church saves their city between $140,000 to 300,000 dollars a year, by Counseling, Youth groups, support groups, feeding programs, mother’s groups and men’s groups.[v]
I know counties wish to saves lives? But it’s not working! Since the COVID Shutdown and the Church closures[vi]
Calls to hotlines in LA have increased by 8,000%[vii]
25% of young adults have seriously considered suicide in the past month[viii]
Suicide and drug overdose deaths in teens and are now far greater than COVID deaths[ix]
Active duty military suicides are up 20%; Army suicides are up 30%[x]
There is a 20% increase in substance abuse[xi]
A 41% increase in heavy alcohol use by women[xii]
Domestic violence reporting has gone down; but Domestic Violence injuries are up by almost 200%[xiii]
The Santa Clara Health Department has repeated refused to release Suicide Statistics for the last 8 months. I recommend folks keep calling the Health Department at (408) 992-4900 until they block you, like they blocked Calvary Chapel San Jose when they called.
And yet the county wants to close this church down. They want to jail this minister, and they want to let the suicide rates continue.
Let me tell the supervisors, every Christian in this county who understands the role of the Church will be watching and will be holding them responsible when the tally comes out. And it will.
The health director is appointed by the supervisors. The Supervisors are responsible. If the supervisors of Santa Clara really care about lives, if the Health Department really cares about lives, if Governor Newsom really cares about lives, they will let the most powerful agent of life do what they have always done best. Minister to the poor, Minister to the suffering, Minister to the sick, and Minister to the lonely. If you care about Life Open up our Churches.
President, Values Advocacy Council
[i] John 5:1-16, Matt 12:10-13 etc.
[iii] Remaining as quoted in Jesus Is Involved In Politics! Why aren’t you? Why isn’t your Church? Taken from various sources.
[v] Ram Cnaan, The Invisible Caring Hand: American Congregations and the Provision of Welfare, NYU Press, 2002.The original number was 187Kb based on a cost the city providing those services at a cost of $11 an hour. But today you won’t find a city or county that pays less than $30 an hour not counting benefits.
[vi] From Dr. Shannae Anderson, presentation to the VAC Sept 10, 2020
[xi] Addiction Policy Forum (2020) https://www.fox17online.com/news/local-news/grand-rapids/20-increase-in-patients-seeking-substance-abuse-treatment
[xii] Pollard et al. (2020) https://www.rand.org/news/press/2020/09/29.html#:~:text=American%20adults%20have%20sharply%20increased%20their%20consumption%20of,41%25%2C%20according%20to%20a%20new%20RAND%20Corporation%20study.
I have always maintained the right of all people including BLM and Antifa to peacefully assemble, to peacefully protest, and to even peaceably protest with acts of Civil Disobedience. This is a tried and true and blessed tactic, it has been practiced by Indians led by Gandhi, Americans led by MLK, and Christians led by the early church fathers, but it must be done without any destruction of property or any violence towards people or property and without the violation of any moral laws.