Abbott Signs Law Protecting Americans Freedom of Religion

"210221-F-GY993-054" (public domain) by Joint Base San Antonio

On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law prohibiting the government from closing houses of worship.

The Texas governor announced the move in a tweet on Tuesday. Abbott pledged to protect Americans’ First Amendment freedoms by prohibiting the government from ordering houses of worship to close (or have any effect of closing places of worship) within the state. 

Upholding Freedom in Texas

In a tweet, Abbott said he just signed the law addressing this issue. He added that the law would prohibit any public official or government agency from giving an order to close places of worship. 

Abbott noted that Americans’ freedom of religion under the First Amendment shall never be infringed. 

The bill was filed by State Rep. Scott Sanford, a Republican representative from Dallas, Texas. The HB 1239 bill states that government agencies or public officials cannot issue an order to close (or otherwise push through the closure of) worship houses within the state of Texas. 

Sanford added that churches give important spiritual, mental, and physical support, especially in times of crisis. 

The state representative also detailed that closing houses of worship not only eliminated these important ministries and services, but also violates Americans’ freedom of religion that the Constitution protects. 

“President Trump and the First Lady in El Paso, Texas” (public domain) by Trump White House Archived

It can be remembered that a year ago, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Texas Gov. Abbott issued an executive order, shutting down Texas. Houses of worship were among the places closed, as they were labeled as “nonessential.”

Abbott was sued as a result of the order. He was also encouraged by religious leaders to reopen places of worship all over the state and categorize it as “essential.” This prompted Abbott to reverse the order. 

Gov. Abbott: Texas will construct the border wall

On the other hand, in a podcast on Tuesday, Abbott announced that Texas would be pursuing the wall’s construction along the southern border. The governor added that they would be accepting public donations to help fund the construction. 

Abbott stated that he would be providing a link everybody in the United States could access; this way, all of those who want to help Texas build the wall could participate. He added that he would put a place where people can contribute to the border wall construction. 

Abbott also informed that the donations collected will be directed to a fund in the state of Texas and not to a private entity or an individual. He also clarified that the donations would be received by the state in the governor’s office.

Likewise, great transparency will be put in place, so everyone knows every penny that comes in and comes out. The Texas governor added that the donations’ sole purpose would be to build the wall in Texas.