A prominent liberal has become an outspoken critic of restrictions on religious faith implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and, in response, has launched a campaign committed to preserving the freedom to worship and other freedoms that governments imposed limits on.
Appearing on “Fox News Primetime” Monday, Naomi Wolf, a former adviser to Democratic politicians and outspoken feminist, reacted to “the anti-religion nanny state’s war on Easter.”
Host Mark Steyn prefaced the interview with Wolf by highlighting examples of law enforcement officials in western democracies, including Canada and the United Kingdom, interrupting church services that took place on the days leading up to Easter because of concerns that the gatherings violated COVID-19 restrictions.
“There is a war on humanity. There is a war on religion. There is a war on human assembly,” she said. “Big tech wants to drive everyone indoors and dissolve the bonds between people.”
“The real pandemic, which is now an endemic, it’s turning into something we live with every year, has provided cover for very dark forces to terrorize human assembly and to do what you’re right to point out is illegal,” Wolf added. She further slammed western governments for assaulting “the ways in which human beings gather strength and community from each other so that there will be ... kind of new overlords.”
Wolf suggested that the attacks on the right to worship that have emerged during the coronavirus pandemic are a signal of something darker: “Tyrants on the left and the right, totalitarian states, always go after churches and synagogues and mosques, always try to target outspoken clergy … and target the idea of faith because that’s where people derive strength and community from.”
Steyn asked Wolf to describe her “organization that is actually committed to turning this around” by demanding “no more permanent emergencies.” Wolf spoke about her platform, Daily Clout, which she founded to enable everybody to “pass legislation and run for office, not just the elites or the insiders.”
“In the face of this crisis, a group of citizens have started a ‘Five Freedoms’ campaign,” Wolf explained. “As you mentioned, number one is no mask mandates, no emergency law. Our Constitution forbids emergency powers in an open-ended way.”
“Freedom to assemble … worship, to engage in trade forever, it’s unlawful to restrict worship or trade or assembly in our democracy. Number four is no vaccine passports, super scary technology I’ve been talking about. And number five is open schools immediately,” she added. Wolf mentioned that the Five Freedoms campaign was “getting a ton of traction” and that leaders from Idaho, Missouri and South Dakota have signed on to aspects of the commitment.
Additionally, Wolf noted that she has been asked to update a book she wrote in 2008 titled, The End of America that outlined 10 steps to fascism. “Emergency law is the tenth step and in Massachusetts, I live under emergency law. Next door, New York lives under emergency law; there’s emergency law in California. This is the end of democracy and they are not giving up these powers,” she warned.
Before introducing Wolf, Steyn discussed a “tragic element to the diminished state of the Christian churches a year into [the lockdowns]." According to Steyn, “If ever there were a huge opportunity for religious ministry, a world in which everything else is dead, movies, shows, sports, concerts, restaurants, all the noisy distractions of the secular, consumerist life, [now] is surely it.”
“Yet, for the most part, starting with the social justice pontiff in the Vatican blaming COVID on climate change, the churches blew it,” he lamented. “Saddest of all, an unchurched year has seen church membership in the U.S. fall for the first time below 50% of Americans, which is a pity because when the churches fall silent, the only religion left is the state.”
In the most prominent example of western government officials attempting to break up a church service on Easter weekend, a Canadian pastor forcefully told a police officer and public health officer who entered his church without a warrant to vacate the premises. Artur Pawlowski, the Polish-born pastor of Street Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, appeared on “Fox News Primetime” Tuesday, after the video of his exchange with the law enforcement officials went viral. Steyn played a clip of the encounter at the beginning of the segment with Wolf.