Pastors ignore social distancing; services continue

Police said the minister, the Rev. Rodney Howard-Brown of the River at Tampa Bay, showed “reckless disregard for human life” by potentially exposing his congregants to the coronavirus

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April 1, 2020 - 9:57 AM

At any other time, in a predominantly Christian nation that enshrines freedom of worship in the Constitution, the news would sound absurd or terrifying: “Pastor arrested after holding church services.”

But that’s what happened this week when sheriff’s deputies handcuffed a Florida minister for violating municipal stay-at-home orders by gathering hundreds to worship.

Police said the minister, the Rev. Rodney Howard-Brown of the River at Tampa Bay, showed “reckless disregard for human life” by potentially exposing his congregants to the coronavirus.

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