LANSING, Mich. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Michigan stylists assembled peaceably on the lawn of the Capitol building Wednesday, offering free haircuts and reminding the governor they need to make a living.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer's Wuhan virus shutdown orders have destroyed small businesses and tanked Michigan's employment numbers.
The event was organized by the Michigan Conservation Coalition, which said the event was inspired by what they call "Michigan's barber crisis" in the wake of Owosso barbershop owner Karl Manke's recent suspension.
Father Jeffrey Robideau of the Lansing diocese attended the demonstration.
"They did a wonderful job," Fr. Robideau told Church Militant. "They were there cutting hair, just trying to make a livelihood. They were simply making the point that they need to work."
The police were surrounding hair cutters, giving three warnings followed by a citation.
Father Robideau found forbidding people to work and then imposing a fine on them for peacefully protesting the order seems out of place.
"The officer just cost the stylist $1,000 she can't afford," he said.
While some might object the police are only doing their jobs, Fr. Robideau asks, "What about the beauticians' jobs? Whose job should I worry about?"
One particular police action stood out. Officers stood around the chair of a boy around the age of 10 while he received a haircut. As that would be especially intimidating to a child, the cleric questioned the move and thought the police should limit such actions to adults.
Father Robideau explained the police exist to serve and protect the people and their rights. Since their first allegiance is to the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees "the right of the people peaceably to assemble," the police should be protecting the rights of the peaceful demonstrators and not violating them.
The latest legal challenge to Whitmer comes from her prohibition of "all 'non-essential' medical treatments and expansive categories of in-person work."
Filed on behalf of three medical practices, the complaint states:
Meanwhile, medical providers are on the brink of financial ruin, facing extreme revenue shortages caused by the governor's order forcing the postponement or cancellation of so-called "non-essential" procedures. Thousands of healthcare workers across Michigan have been furloughed or laid off.
Critics find Whitmer's decision as to what is and what is not "essential" healthcare arbitrary, especially after she doubled down on abortion as "essential" and "life-sustaining," since they note the point of an abortion is to end a human being's life.
Father Robideau was proud the stylists were there exercising their Constitutional rights, and proud of everybody who came out in support.