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Texans, on Tuesday, voted to ensure the government never has the power to shut down houses of worship. Church Militant's David Nussman tells us more about this safeguard for religious freedom.
On election day this week, Texas voters approved Proposition 3 — an amendment to the state constitution saying government agencies cannot stop churches from having public worship. The amendment was approved by a huge margin, 63% approving and 37% opposed.
The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops has spoken in support of Proposition 3. The conference's Twitter account, this week, said staffers voted for it and described the measure as defending religious freedom.
Every Catholic diocese in the country — including in Texas — canceled public Mass in March 2020 amid panic over the coronavirus. Even in places where civil authorities made sure churches could stay open, bishops shut down public sacraments anyway.
Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott is Catholic and pro-life. In March 2020, one of his COVID executive orders banned gatherings of more than 10 people. Within two weeks, he revised the rules to make an exception for churches. If something like a COVID shutdown ever happens again, Catholics will be interested in seeing if any bishops keep churches open for Mass.
Another measure Texan voters approved was Proposition 6, which got a whopping 88% support. It gives nursing home residents an "essential caregiver" — a loved one who can visit them under most circumstances. This, after many elderly lived in isolation or died during months of lockdown.