Today I went to church in the morning and afterwards shot several portraits. I then had a nice afternoon lunch with friends. Penny got several runs today. The county is no longer reporting COVID-19 data over the weekends.

A Maryland church was fined for holding a service despite the county’s coronavirus stay-at-home order, prompting a call for the Department of Justice to investigate.

A Sunday service was held at Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, Maryland, on May 24 despite a stay-at-home order in Baltimore County, according to CBS 13 Baltimore.

“Our people were just ready to come back to church,” pastor Stacey Shiflet said.

The punitive fine leveled at the church inspired Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, to demand the Department of Justice get involved.

“If Baltimore County does not withdraw the fine by the time of the hearing on Tuesday, I do intend to ask the DOJ to investigate,” Harris said in a statement.

Attorney General William Barr has spoken out against churches being unfairly targeted during the coronavirus shutdown, saying that “the Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis.”

Shiflet has been at odds with the county over his frustration with the coronavirus lockdown measures dating back to mid-May, when he ripped up a cease and desist letter from local officials during a sermon.

“With this cease and desist letter in my hand, the Bible says to the New Testament church, ‘Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but so much the more as you see the day approaching,’ and the closer we get to Jesus coming back, the more church we ought to be having, not less church,” Shiflett said.

“Now some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less — the soft bigotry of low expectations.” George W. Bush, penned by speechwriter, Michael Gerson

A group of peaceful protestors took over a small section of uninhabited public land in the Pacific Northwest. They were conscientious objectors to federal policies they claimed were unconstitutional and discriminatory. No one was hurt and no weapons were preemptively drawn. Law enforcement asked their leaders to a parley to bring about a peaceful resolution, and they quickly agreed. While on the way to that meeting, they were subsequently ambushed, and bullets riddled their vehicle. With his arms wide in the air, one of the leaders was ruthlessly gunned down as a helicopter looked from above.

Another group of protestors, this one violent, took over six city blocks of mostly private property also in the Pacific Northwest. They objected to local policies they claimed were discriminatory. Weapons were drawn and violence was prominently promised. Law enforcement asked their leader to a parley to bring about a peaceful resolution, but they quickly refused. The group stole private property, vandalized public property, and committed a litany of criminal offenses. So far, that group has been coddled, pampered, and catered to by local and federal authorities.

The first group, the protestors at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, were protesting the Bureau of Land Management and its treatment of ranchers. They were led by law-abiding activists, Ammon Bundy and LaVoy Finicum; the former was found innocent by two juries and the latter was murdered by law enforcement. Although the men and their cohort had guns, they kept them holstered (at least, so far as LaVoy is concerned, until fired upon). The “Bundy group” threatened no one. They let law enforcement come and go respectfully and always made time to talk in an attempt to work out their differences peacefully. And most importantly, they chose to make their stand in a decrepit and publicly owned forest office where no innocent people would be hurt.

The second group, the Antifa and Black Lives Matter protestors in Seattle and the area known as the “Capitol Hill Free Zone” (CHAZ) were protesting the death of a petty criminal and drug addict who died in police custody while under arrest for counterfeiting. That man, George Floyd, pled guilty or was convicted by nearly half a dozen judges or juries for criminal offenses. The CHAZ protestors ran out police under the threat of violence as well as residents of the area. They have evicted hundreds of people and stolen property from hundreds more. They are run by a warlord named Raz Simone, who seems to lack any principled position on any social issue; he is addicted to violence and pillaging. This group chose to take hostage thousands of people.

Why was LaVoy Finicum murdered and the Bundy Family shot like fish in a barrel for occupying unused public property while Raz the Warlord and his Antifa henchmen hurt, threaten, steal, and vandalize private and public property? What could possibly be the reason for the disparity between how these two groups are treated?

The answer is bigotry. And the answer is privilege.

Chiefly, those groups that are perceived to be under-privileged, under-educated, and of poor moral character can get away with a high degree of criminal activity because our system is prejudiced in favor of the poor and ignorant.

Likewise, our government is systemically prejudiced against those perceived to be hard-working, self-reliant, moral people.

All that one must do to receive the double-standard, biased blessing of government is belonging to a socio-economic class with high out-of-wedlock births, low employment, and low literacy. But if you are a member of another identity group, you might be gunned down like dogs or LaVoy Finicum.

America’s racial disparities and injustices cannot be healed or amended until we recognize this tragic and inequitable miscarriage of justice and begin to address it.

To not dispense justice because one side comes across as morally destitute and situationally pathetic is itself injustice.

Joseph Shanks, a San Diego State graduate student and a former graduate of Cal Poly’s music program, continues to practice while waiting for his graduate program to reopen.

Judah Shanks continues to work over the summer in preparation for Youth Symphony in the fall.

© Copywrite MPFitch

Published by mpfitch

I am a retired disabled veteran and am actively involved with a Baptist Church on the Central Coast of CA. I am a photographer who likes to shoot portraits and scenic photographs.

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