On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham began lifting her rigid restrictions on small businesses, allowing them to re-open at 25% capacity. However, she arbitrarily continues to punish the Catholic Churches of New Mexico by only allowing Churches to re-open at 10% capacity.
This attack against religious freedom in New Mexico is uniquely impacting the Catholic community because Catholic services are uniquely dependent upon the physical presence of their Priests and their parishioners due to their Eucharistic Masses. Evangelical Churches throughout New Mexico, on the other hand, have been able to continue virtually unimpeded due to services that can be streamed online.
Could it be that Lujan Grisham is using her executive power during this COVID-19 crisis to wage war on the Catholic Church of New Mexico, due to the Catholic Bishops’ bold stance in opposition to 2019’s House Bill 51, the – Decriminalize Abortion Ban during the 2019 legislative session?
According to Breitbart News, “[Pro-life] advocates are especially grateful for the efforts of the Catholic bishops of New Mexico who worked in defense of life. In addition to several official statements from the bishops, Abortion Free New Mexico noted the prayer vigil organized by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in the rotunda of the capitol building. Archbishop John Wester welcomed people of all faiths to join in prayer to ‘move the hearts of the Democrat legislators to oppose pro-death legislation,’ the pro-life group said.”
In fact, it was Catholic Democrats in New Mexico who were pivotal in the defeat of this radical pro-death agenda spearheaded by New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham.
During the 2019 Legislative Session, Lujan Grisham welcomed radical pro-abortion extremists in Santa Fe and vowed to sign their extreme legislation if passed by the New Mexico legislators.
A Facebook post dated March 2, 2019 stated, “More than 100 advocates and health care providers a-delivered over 10,000 signatures in support of House Bill 51, removing ourtdated and unenforceable language criminalizing New Mexico health care providers. Reproductive health care is not a crime, and I am proud to stand with women across New Mexico in support of HB 51.”
After the devastating defeat at the New Mexico legislature, Gov. Lujan Grisham wasn’t going to let this current crisis go to waste.
During the current COVID-19 crisis in New Mexico, the governor has deemed abortion facilities “essential” and allowed them to remain open, but has deemed Churches “non-essential” and forced them to close.
“We have discussed this matter and the clinics are not going to close. Some people are claiming that abortions are elective surgeries and we are not considering them as elective surgeries.”
Meanwhile, The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has been especially hard hit due to the current shut-down imposed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
According to one report, “The Archdiocese says it’s struggling to make payroll since parishes haven’t been able to gather collections since the state public health orders prohibit in-person services.”
In addition, for Catholics, the ability to meet and receive communion is a cornerstone of their faith. The Church’s purpose is to bring souls to salvation and minister to the poor and needy, but Christians can’t fulfill these purposes when the governor deems fellowship, community and service to others as non-essential activities.
This absurd inconsistency coming from New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham reeks of political retribution.
Bud and Tara Shaver lead the pro-life ministry Abortion Free New Mexico, using a systematic approach to closing abortion facilities through investigative research, public exposure, and proper oversight and accountability.
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