--The church enforced the 6-foot distance between family groups in the auditorium as well as in the overflow rooms.
--In the farmer's market and coffee shop in the lobby, the 6-foot distance was enforced with the floor specifically marked.
--The church spent over $100,000 on a hospital-grade purification system set up throughout the church that provides continuous infectious microbial reduction (CIMR) that is rated to kill microbes, including those in the coronavirus family. The church sanctuary has moveable chairs. Chairs were removed from the sanctuary so that the remaining chairs were separated by 6 feet. Any small group that may have been closer than 6 feet were family members who came to the church together. This 6-foot separation was maintained throughout the church. The church took every precaution to protect the people who attended. In fact, the kinds of precautions the church undertook cannot be found existing in many commercial business establishments that freely operated in Hillsborough County under this Executive Order." -- Rodney Howard-Browne
Rodney Howard-Browne is not a epidemiologist. He is not a virologist. He is not even a preacher really. He is a con man. A huckster. The point being is that we do not, as lay people, get to tell experts what we are going to do while disobeying them. It is the height of arrogance. It does not matter what lengths he thinks he went to -- he violated the law, period. On March 15 there was a church that held service with about 80 people in Illinois. Today 43 of them are infected. The reality is that Rodney Howard-Browne has no idea how many people he caused to contract COVID, nor how many will die because of his stupidity, arrogance and lawbreaking.
"The Executive Order on its face, and as applied, discriminates against religious services and gatherings, despite the fact that the First Amendment provides express protections to houses of worship and assembly. There is no similar constitutional protection for commercial businesses; yet houses of worship and religious gatherings are signaled out for discrimination. The State of Florida's Executive Order exempts churches, as does the Orange County Executive Order, and many other county orders." -- Rodney Howard-Browne
Yeah, don't quit your bartending day Job Rodney. There is no constitutional violation at all. It has already been adjudicated that as long as no one religion is targeted, that the state has the right to shut them down for the public safety. You need to stop listening to shady sources like the Liberty Counsel, which is just a legal arm of the NAR. My understanding is that county decisions would overrule the Governors decree but now it no longer matters as Hillsborough County has caved in to the pressure and will allow services moving forward. God help Florida.
"We did not hold church to defy any order; nor did we hold church to send a political message. We did not hold church for self-promotion or financial motives, as some have wrongly accused. We held church because it is our mission to save souls and help people, and because we in good faith did everything possible to comply with the Executive Order. Indeed, Sheriff Chronister told us last Thursday that we could hold church." -- Rodney Howard-Browne
If this is his best defense, he would be wise to shut up and pay the fine. It does not matter what he was told on Thursday if a superseding order was issued on Friday, which he admits to knowing about. Let's be clear though. It is beyond obvious that he held service to specifically defy this order and cause a media spectacle. He obviously wanted to send a political message because that is what he actually preached about that day! It is entirely for self-promotion as now he is the darling of the offended, aggrieved class of NAR Christians in this country. As for money, well you can't pass the bucket online. Lastly here he did not do everything he could to comply with the order because he violated the order!