The Church in San Jose continues to defy the state well being order by holding a mask-free indoor Christmas Eve service
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) – The Calvary Chapel in San Jose held a candlelight service on Christmas Eve Thursday evening, a direct violation of state and state health regulations as COVID cases occur across the Bay Area.
The church faces a fine of more than $ 1 million for committing a number of violations, including months of unmasked worship. According to county officials, no fines have yet been paid.
RELATED: San Jose Church has been repeatedly fined for violating health regulations and received $ 340,000 in tax dollars
“I don’t know anyone who has died of COVID, not a person got it in our church,” said Katy McDowell, who attended the service. “Maybe people need to turn to God so they don’t have to worry about all these things and wear a mask.”
McDowell told ABC7 News that no one dies from COVID-19 and the virus is overdone.
Stephanie: What do you need to understand that people are dying from this virus?
McDowell: “People die from suicide, people die from throwing themselves off bridges.”
Stephanie: So you don’t see that you are risking people’s lives?
McDowell: “I don’t risk a life … I save lives …”
Stephanie: You save lives by not wearing a mask and gathering inside?
McDowell: If you wear a mask, why are you worried about me?
McDowell is one of around 700 people who have been attending services in San Jose Calvary Church for at least August.
Many other churchgoers also seemed to reject the risk of losing their own lives or passing the disease on to someone else. Instead, they waited for holy redemption.
“If you think that this world is it and you are gone afterwards, then the protection of this life is everything. For the rest of us you see eternity and things bigger than this,” said Tim Glass, who is from Manteca arrived at the Christmas Eve service.
A man who only gave his first name, Rick, had a similar feeling.
“God knows I will die and I am not afraid of death. There have always been viruses in the world and they have cost many lives, but also guns and knives and spoons and clubs,” said Rick.
Another man who refused to give his name admitted he had health problems but was not concerned about attending a service with hundreds of people without a mask.
WATCH: San Jose Church is fighting the county as pastor faces fines and jail terms for holding church services indoors
“I have heart problems. I’m asthmatic. I always go to church and everywhere. Am I dead? No!” he exclaimed.
“Our goal has always been for them to comply with health regulations now because they put people’s lives at risk,” said James Williams, Santa Clara County’s attorney.
The ABC7 I team made seven attempts at email and phone calls to reach senior church pastor Mike McClure in the past five days. We still have to hear back.
ABC7’s Stephanie Sierra knocked on church doors Friday hoping to speak to him, but was told he was “out of town” and would be “out all week”.
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However, according to the Church’s live YouTube channel, McClure was present by the candlelight.
Pastor McClure has previously said that he has no intention of stopping his services and that he is even ready to go to jail for it.
“We will continue to enforce their illegal activities,” said Williams. “We will continue to be active and there are real consequences.”
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