COVID ARSON: Church Likely Torched For Holding Services Defying ‘Safer-At-Home’ Order

Written by Wes Walker on May 21, 2020

This virus casts a curious spell over society — while forcing so many of us to wear masks, it has also shown an amazing ability to rip some other masks off.

For example, how else might we have known the unfathomable depths of totalitarian instincts driving some people or the latent anti-religious bigotry of others?

In some cases, we get a two-fer. The anti-religious bigots who burned down a church with COVID as a pretext for their reasons is a perfect example.

Would they have dared do the same if it were known to be a historically black congregation? Or a mosque? No, but certain kinds of anti-religious hatred are becoming socially acceptable.

Here’s the context of the arson which took down First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, Mississippi:

Jerry Waldrop has pastored the church for 31 years.

“We’ve tacked our brains and we have no idea,” Waldrop said. “No enemies that we know of. We don’t know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this.”

The fire comes after Waldrop filed a lawsuit in April against the City of Holly Springs. The 14-page document claims local police officers disrupted a mid-week bible study and the church’s Easter service 10 days prior.

According to the complaint, the pastor held outdoor services when possible but would hold them indoors while practicing social distancing during inclement weather.

The complaint also asked for a temporary restraining order to keep the City from preventing services inside the church building.

The issue stems from Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ inclusion of churches with essential businesses in the state’s safer-at-home order, but the City of Holly Springs did not.

“It is very clear local municipalities can have guidelines that are more strict than the governor’s guidelines, but they cannot have guidelines that directly conflict with what we have put in place,” Reeves said at a news conference Wednesday. —WLBT

Adding insult to injury, there was a (misspelled) taunt spraypainted at the scene:

The building has been written off as ‘a total loss’, but nobody was reportedly hurt.