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Madison, Wisconsin atheists say clergy are not ‘essential’

(FFRF) The Freedom From Religion Foundation is strongly objecting to the Department of Homeland Security’s designation of the clergy as “essential” in securing critical infrastructure.

A recently issued guidance by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (under DHS oversight) on critical infrastructure workers during the COVID response includes a new addition: “clergy for essential support.” This is unjustifiable and should be rescinded, FFRF demands.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf recently discussed this change in a radio interview with Tony Perkins of the Christian Nationalist Family Research Council, who then basically claimed credit for the addition of clergy to the essential category. In the same interview, Wolf explained the purpose of guidance on essential personnel. That description reveals precisely why clergy are not, in any sense, essential:

Our Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency or CISA, as you indicated, created what we call the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance or list. And so this is a list of industries in our critical infrastructure sectors that need to go to work every day, need to keep the economy running, the supply chain full. And as governors put in place shelter-in-place procedures, we need to make sure that certain individuals can still come and go and to do their job so that the lights turn on, the water keeps running, there’s gas in the trucks to deliver the PPE, and the like.

“Clergy do none of those things,” FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor write to Wolf. “Their role does not remotely touch on infrastructure, energy, transportation or medicine. The collapse of any of these could threaten the security or welfare of the United States, which is why maintaining infrastructure is a DHS issue. The collapse of the clergy or churches would in no genuine way impair this country.” READ MORE

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