When my father's unit was deployed in Korea, chaplains were assigned & embedded to provide for the spiritual support of men who were motivated by their faith & patriotism, to sacrifice their lives. The Chaplains were making the same sacrifice, even the ones who opted not to carry firearms.
This was the public policy of a nation which respects faith as a major underpinning of the virtue which our nation's survival is dependant on. If a soldier falls in time of enemy attack, that chaplain would risk life & limb to minister to the spiritual needs of the soldier even as the medic did everything possible to save the fallen soldier. We can't fathom sending our troops to a probable death without providing spiritual support. That's who we are!
Today we're seeing the absence of those values in our governments, from city hall to the federal agencies. They say we're in a bio war, and our military is nearly helpless to protect us from taking massive casualties. Now we're saying that the civilians' chaplains (the local pastors) must remain separate from the flock they were ordained to be the shepherds of. Could it be that our government cannot fathom the parable Jesus told regarding the difference between the shepherd and the hireling?
The vast majority of Americans still respect the biblical scriptures as essential to our society's convictions. We may stray from time to time, but as we face death in the moment, we once again return to the faith of our fathers and seek to affirm our bedrock reliance on the almighty.
Healing (of body and soul) is one of the things that Christian doctrine addresses more than the Judaic texts which preceded Christ's advent. Jesus equates physical healing of all diseases, infirmities, paralysis, psychosis, lameness and decay; as a manifestation of God's eternal saving grace.
To that end, the new testament epistles tell the Christian how to respond when dealing with sickness.
A pastor or elder who faithfully discharges his duties to the ordained calling of his spiritual office, must be respected as a military chaplain would be. Any other public policy would be a clear violation of the first mandatory amendment of the US Constitution.
When our founding delegates created a new constitution, in 1789; the states overwhelmingly rejected it as dangerous to the essential liberties we fought & died for. So the the people created a 'bill of rights' and made the ratification of the constitution subordinate upon enacting the first 10 amendments. The first amendment includes clear rights of religious practices.
Any prohibition on the free exercise of religion is an act of war against the constitution. And every sworn govt. official has pledged an oath to "defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
We urge all officers of any govt. to defend the rights of the people, and actively oppose any tyranny which attempts to deny any American of the free exercise of religion.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
These acts of tyranny are worthy of a removal from office for violation of their oath of office. They have become enemies of the U.S. Constitution.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is to be commended for his order, banning the San Antonio Mayor (or any texas municipality) from banning religious gatherings or other religious rites.