[Opinion] Three Christians were arrested and a total of five cited yesterday over an outdoor event where many had gathered in the name of Jesus to worship and sing. This was in the town of Moscow, Idaho. While Idaho is a mostly laid back, liberty-loving conservative state, there are some hotspots with more liberal-leaning tendencies.

‘Moscow Report’ on Facebook posted multiple articles and videos on the situation. They are claiming that their website has been getting so much traffic over this story, it has completely crashed, which we indeed saw with our own eyes when we clicked on their links. Nevertheless, another local news outlet reported on it as well.

State Rep. Brent Crane posted to Facebook, blaming the Republican Governor for not doing more to prevent these sorts of things under his Covid-19 mandates. He says that this will be Governor Brad Little’s legacy if he does not ‘put an end to this madness’.

State Rep. Brent Crane is fuming over the arrests of three worshippers in Moscow on Wednesday night.

Posted by Idaho Freedom Foundation on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

It appears the Moscow Police are no strangers to these strict enforcement tactics as there was a report from the day before showing a resident being stopped outside on the street for being too close to their cousin outside, without masks on, according to the page. The images below were captioned in full:

“Moscow resident Jemimah Merkle was stopped by MPD after exiting a private building while walking within 6 feet of her cousin without a mask on Main St. and threatened with a misdemeanor and jail time.

Yet Moscow Mayor Bill Lambert officiated a wedding without a mask or social distancing in Moscow at a private residence. Yesterday the same Mayor Lambert and the entire Moscow City Council voted to extend the mandate under an emergency health order until January 6th, 2021.

Hundreds of Moscow citizens sent letters pleading their case for ending the mask mandate and gave testimony for over an hour citing health studies, statistics, concerns of the legality of the mandate, the effect of isolation on the elderly, the effect of masking on growing children, and most importantly the fact that not a single COVID case caused a death in our county, nor even a hospitalization. The mayor and council did not interact with those claims, but repeated the same reasoning as the previous extension and original mandate, namely, that they have read studies to the effect that masks can help prevent COVID. They did this once again in the absence of COVID deaths or hospitalizations, and without any kind of metric for ending the emergency mandate.

You can watch some of the testimonies posted to the page, or the entire video on the City of Moscow page.

Moscow resident Jemimah Merkle was stopped by MPD after exiting a private building while walking within 6 feet of her…

Posted by Moscow Report on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

An online show on the Facebook page ‘CrossPolitic Studios’ shows Latah County Commissioner candidate Gabriel Rench tell his side of the story as he was one of the people arrested in the long video below. He said the Cop asked him for his license so he could write him a ticket. Rench said to the officer “you don’t need to do this” but the officer proceeded and ultimately arrested him after he declined to give in to the officer’s orders. Watch the full video for details:

KHQ local reported in part:

MOSCOW, Idaho – According to Moscow-Pullman Daily News, five people were cited at a public psalm sing for not following Moscow’s mask/social distancing guidelines on Wednesday afternoon.

Moscow-Pullman Daily News said three arrests were made for resisting or obstructing an officer, included Latah County Commissioner candidate Gabriel Rench.

Following the arrest and release from custody, Rench posted a Facebook live on his podcast’s Facebook page called, “CrossPolitic Studios.”

Moscow Report on Facebook says they plan to continue to provide more details as well…


The neighboring county of Ada which encompasses the capitol city of Boise in Idaho issued a statement about the situation that reads in full:

“Last night in the small college town of Moscow, Idaho five people were cited by police during a “flash psalm sing” organized by Christ Church and attended by roughly 150 residents. They were charged with being in violation of the town’s mask and social distancing order (a misdemeanor which could lead to a maximum 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.)

Ada County Republicans are growing increasingly concerned that Idahoans inalienable First Amendment rights – that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion and that people have the right to peaceably assemble – are being ignored and trampled. How can it be in today’s America that Christians singing Church hymns – peaceably assembled – are cited while nightly assaults on cities across America continue?

While we respect local government it cannot override the U.S. Constitution. We call on the leaders of Moscow to reverse their position.

During the Special Session of the Idaho Legislature, many Republicans in the House made the case for the end of the State of Emergency. The Senate also pledged to create legislation that would a) limit the length of an Emergency Declaration, b) protect the ability for Idahoans’ to always be able to worship and c) review the authority of public health districts and local government subdivisions. The incident in Moscow should only further strengthen our Legislators’ and Governor’s resolve to protect Idahoans’ liberties, rights and freedoms.

We pray for the USA and the great State of Idaho.

We pray that Governor Little will exercise great discernment in doing whatever is necessary to promote and protect Idahoans’ freedoms and liberties and to freely speak out when these freedoms and liberties are being violated.” See post below:

Last night in the small college town of Moscow, Idaho five people were cited by police during a “flash psalm sing”…

Posted by Ada County Republicans on Thursday, September 24, 2020

Ian MacDonald

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