Northam Tells Virginia Churchgoers: 'You Don’t Have to Sit in the Church Pew for God to Hear Your Prayers'

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Posted: Dec 11, 2020 8:30 AM
Northam Tells Virginia Churchgoers: 'You Don’t Have to Sit in the Church Pew for God to Hear Your Prayers'

Source: AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was widely rebuked for telling churchgoers during a press conference this week how they should worship. 

In discussing the latest COVID-19 restrictions in the commonwealth, the governor turned his attention to the religious holidays celebrated this month, noting they are “typically times of joy and community.”

“But this year we need to think about what is truly the most important thing,” he continued. “Is it the worship or the building? For me, God is wherever you are. You don’t have to sit in the church pew for God to hear your prayers.

“So I strongly call on our faith leaders to lead the way and set an example for their members,” added Northam, who once defended leaving infants to die after birth. “Worship with a mask on is still worship, worship outside or worship online is still worship. I can’t remind Virginians enough how serious this virus is and as I call on our faith leaders to set the example, I also hope that our local leaders across the commonwealth will do the same, many already have. We have seen so many people who didn’t fully realize how dangerous this disease was until they experienced it themselves.”

The governor's advice was sharply criticized on Twitter.