NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Pastors across Tennessee are applauding three federal judges who blocked Gov. Bill Lee's executive order which allows parents to opt their kids out of wearing mandated masks at school.
Lee issued the order in August after a handful of Republican lawmakers demanded the governor call a special session so the GOP-dominant General Assembly could halt mask mandates in schools and other COVID-19 safety measures.
As of Monday, three federal judges have blocked Lee's mask opt-out order in Knox, Shelby, and Williamson counties.
Some pastors have called Lee's coronavirus polices "dishonest" and "dangerous."
"Now that parents cannot opt their children out of wearing masks, more children in those communities will be protected, especially the most vulnerable," said Rev. Dr. Lillian Lammers, Associate Pastor of First Congregational Church of Memphis. "These judges ruled based on facts, science, and the information provided to us all by medical professionals and experts and not on political messaging meant to divide us."
ALSO READ: Pastors call Gov. Lee's COVID-19 policies 'dishonest' and 'dangerous' as child cases surge
A pastor in Nashville also celebrated the judges' rulings, saying "if Jesus carried a cross, surely the least we can do as Christians is carry a mask."
Full statement from Rev. Aaron Marble, Pastor of Jefferson St. Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville:
“I have said it before and will continue to say it again, ‘if Jesus carried a cross, surely the least we can do as Christians is carry a mask. Public health and safety policy decisions should not be made based on political talking points, but instead based on the wisdom and guidance of health professionals to protect EVERY child in school, and that is what has happened in both Knox and Williamson Counties since Friday. Knowing that Tennessee leads the nation in school closures this year due to COVID, it is my hope and prayer that parents and families refuse to pivot to dishonest religious or medical exemptions that prioritize their personal discomfort, and instead choose to love their neighbor as themselves and wear a mask.”
RELATED: Williamson County students who used Lee order to opt out of masks now must wear them
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