FRANKFORT, Ky. — After some leaders, including Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, said they do not recommend drive-in church services, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's office said those services are allowed as long as churches comply with CDC recommendations.
The AG's office said they see no problem with churches hosting drive-in services as long as proper social distancing is in place. Religious organizations, the office said, should not be treated any differently than other businesses or groups using drive-thrus.
"As long as Kentuckians are permitted to drive through liquor stores, restaurants, and other businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the law requires that they must also be allowed to participate in drive-in church services, consistent with existing policies to stop the spread of COVID-19," the AG's office said.
The statement echoes what Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Dr. Albert Mohler Jr. said, stating the decision would single out churches.
"Religious liberty at the very least means that religious institutions cannot be singled out, if you can [have a] drive-thru a liquor store, you should be allowed to do a drive-thru service," Mohler said.
Cameron's office did not, though, comment on whether the governor's recommendation to not host in-person services was unconstitutional as one Bullitt County pastor said.
Pastor Jack Roberts at Maryville Baptist Church said he's offering an online option but continues to hold services in-person, including a Wednesday night bible study. His attorney Mat Staver called the orders unconstitutional.
"Home Depot has no right to exist under the Constitution, churches do," Staver said. "You don't throw that out simply in times of crisis, you have to balance that right with the safety of the people."
Still, Mohler and University of Louisville law professor Sam Marcosson said the governor was within his rights.