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DAN SCHINHOFEN: Now do you get it?

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the TV news program I was watching. A pastor was talking about how he and a bunch of other “religious leaders” had met with the president, and they were discussing when it would be safe to open churches again.

A few things struck me as Orwellian, that the “religious leaders” felt they had to meet with the president to open churches. I wrote about inalienable rights before, and even in the Nevada Revised Statutes dealing with the declaring of an emergency, they call out gun stores, ammo and other related items as being untouchable in an emergency. I am so glad they called that out, but our basic right to worship is not.

Maybe I don’t get it, but “inalienable” means it cannot be transferred to another, that it cannot be separated from the person. It is true that many of our founders were religious and made sure that their own freedoms would not be infringed upon. The U.S. Constitution and state Constitution call out that right. These are God-given rights, so again, I found it strange that “religious leaders” felt they had to talk with the president about opening churches. (synagogues, mosques or wherever you worship).

In all of this past “Panic-Demic,” it seems we have all rushed to comply with no thought of the lasting consequences of these actions.

By allowing one person in a state or country to have the final say and just make edicts, we put our very freedoms, and now religious beliefs, at the whim of one person.

I understood the need for caution when this all kicked off. Even when they said we needed to go home for 14 days, we all kind of just went along with it. But when they added on another 30 days, and started to say we could not peaceably assemble, go worship as we believed, and that we could not earn a living to provide for our family’s needs, I started to take notice.

Having read the NRS that allows the governor or the Legislature to call an emergency and that the Legislature can end the emergency by a resolution, I was not very assured. Our Legislature seems to have gone AWOL.

While our basic rights are being infringed upon, our local representatives are “sheltering in place.” Don’t tell me you’re saving lives or that you don’t want to take the chance (a small one) that you might get infected because the grocery store workers are working, the pharmacy, gas stations, health care workers and a few other “essential” businesses (I didn’t realize how many nonessential people there were before).

At least offer this Little Caesar Sisolak some benchmarks like keep away from all inalienable rights, not just gun rights.

Again, when this virus kicked off, I was there with you all. We didn’t know how it was transmitted or what the fatality rate was, so sure, no flights from Wuhan. Then when we were asked to stay home, the data was still coming in. But now that the high peaks have been shown to be mole hills, maybe we can all get our lives back, and for God’s sake, let’s never allow them to take away our inalienable rights again.

The house of worship thing is easy. If the congregation wants to meet, then have at it. Please make sure to keep a list of contacts just in case, but ultimately the government has no say at all if your group wants to meet. If it is upheld in a court of competent jurisprudence that one person can nullify your “inalienable rights,” then the Constitution of the United States and the state of Nevada need to be amended.

If none of this bothered you, then just keep in mind that the next governor can call “climate change” an emergency and take away your cars, tell you where to live and cut electric use in half. After all, it’s an emergency, and we will be saving lives.

There are basic rights that I firmly believe cannot be taken away, or else inalienable just doesn’t mean what I think it means.

By the way, I haven’t been to a religious service in years. Still, I am concerned about their rights. This isn’t about saving lives anymore, it’s about saving our republic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dan Schinhofen is a longtime Pahrump resident and a former Nye County Commissioner. Opinions expressed in this column are his own and might not be representative of those of the Pahrump Valley Times.

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