Capitol Hill Baptist sues DC mayor over ban on outdoor worship with over 100 people

The 850-member Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., is suing Mayor Murriel Bowser over her ban on outdoor church services of more than 100 people during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the gathering restriction has been applied unfairly.

Represented by attorneys at the First Liberty Institute and WilmerHale, LLP, the church led by 9Marks co-founder Mark Dever filed a complaint in federal court on Tuesday arguing that the city has violated the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“For CHBC, a weekly in-person worship gathering of the entire congregation is a religious conviction for which there is no substitute,” the legal document reads. “The Church does not offer virtual worship services, it does not utilize a multi-site model, and it does not offer multiple Sunday morning worship services.”

In March, Bowser issued an executive order that, among other things, barred CHBC and other churches from gathering for indoor and outdoor in-person worship. According to the lawsuit, the city is prohibiting worship gatherings of over 100 people or 50% of building capacity (whichever is fewer) “even if held outdoors and even if worshippers wear masks and practice appropriate social distancing.”

Liberals nominate Bill Morneau to secretary-general seat at global economic forum

The Government of Canada has nominated former Liberal MP and finance minister Bill Morneau to the Secretary-General position at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“Mr. Morneau’s experience between 2015 and 2020 as finance minister in an avowedly feminist government and his previous leadership roles in think tanks, philanthropic organizations and the private sector have given him a deep understanding of the major challenges facing the world’s economies,” claimed a Global Affairs Canada press release.

Support for Morneau’s bid was first announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following Morneau’s resignation from cabinet and government.

Morneau resigned amidst the disastrous WE Charity scandal, when it was discovered that Trudeau and Morneau had close personal and financial ties with the organization.

Reports on the scandal revealed that Morneau accepted $41,366 worth of free travel from WE to Ecuador and Kenya prior to signing off on a decision to award the organization a contract to manage the $912 million federal student service grant program.

Morneau eventually apologized for his actions and announced that he had reimbursed the charity for the expenses.


Liberals nominate Bill Morneau to secretary-general seat at global economic forum