Bryant on Pritzker’s Phase-in Religious Gatherings Plan – “I Will Not Comply.”

MURPHYSBORO – Less than 24 hours after Governor JB Pritzker announced a new 5-phase plan to ‘reopen’ the State of Illinois, State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) sent a letter to Pritzker stating her stand against his ‘phase-in’ plan for religious gatherings. 

Bryant says Pritzker’s orders, plans, or declarations cannot supersede her right as an American citizen to freely worship and exercise her religion. Pritzker’s plan does not allow for gatherings of more than 50 people until “Phase 5”. 

Bryant says if her Carbondale-based church calls for a regular in-person worship service prior to the state reaching Phase 5, she will be one of the first parishioners through the doors. 

“Quite simply, when it comes to Governor Pritzker’s plan for how I am ‘allowed’ to worship, I will not comply,” Bryant said. “As a law-abiding, free American citizen, I know that my right to worship God in a corporate, communal way with fellow believers cannot be snuffed out. As 115th district State Representative, I took an oath to uphold both the Illinois and US Constitutions. I do not believe I can be faithful to my oath of office if I follow Governor Pritzker’s orders. If my church leaders call us to worship, I will be one of the first people through the door. I believe in the creativity, ingenuity, and spirit of the people of America. I know we can reopen our religious institutions in a safe, practical, reasonable way. I will not comply with orders that stamp out the right of my fellow free American citizens to gather and worship God how we see fit.” 

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TEXT OF LETTER SENT TO GOVERNOR PRITZKER

May 6, 2020 

Governor JB Pritzker 
207 State House 
Springfield, IL 62706 

Dear Governor Pritzker, 

I have now had some time to review your multi-phase plan to ‘reopen’ Illinois. Your ‘Restore Illinois’ plan, though I believe is based on what you think is the best way forward, is riddled with seriously fatal flaws. 

To that end, I am writing to you specifically regarding your ‘phase-in’ plan allowing for religious gatherings. As State Representative, I take an oath of office to uphold both the United States and Illinois Constitutions. I cannot both comply with my oath and your phase-in plan. 

I strongly believe your powers cannot supersede my right as an American citizen to gather peacefully with fellow believers to freely worship and exercise my religion. Your 5-phase plan does not allow for gatherings of more than 50 people until “Phase 5”. 

That, to me, is completely unacceptable. If my church calls for a regular in-person worship service prior to the state reaching Phase 5, I can guarantee that I will be one of the first parishioners through the doors. 

Quite simply, when it comes to your plan for how I am ‘allowed’ to worship, I will not comply. 

As a law-abiding, free American citizen, I know that my right to worship God in a corporate, communal way with fellow believers cannot be snuffed out by you or any other elected official. I believe in the creativity, ingenuity, and spirit of the people of Illinois and freedom-loving, god-fearing Americans everywhere. I know we can reopen our religious institutions in a safe, practical, reasonable way long before your arbitrary timeline allows. I will not comply with orders that stamp out my rights, or the right of my fellow free American citizens to gather and worship God how we see fit. 

Sincerely, 

Terri Bryant 
State Representative – 115th District