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January 1, Freedom Triumphs in Idaho: City Pays for Violating Christian Worshipers’ Rights



In the face of unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the town of Moscow, Idaho is now facing a backlash against what some residents perceive as heavy-handed government actions.

The city will be shelling out $300,000 to three Christian churchgoers after violating their rights during an outdoor worship service at the height of the pandemic.

The trio, Gabriel Rench and Sean and Rachel Bohnet, were arrested in September 2020 during an outdoor psalm sing conducted by leaders from their church, Christ Church.

The incident sparked controversy nationwide, as video footage of officers confiscating Rench’s hymn book and leading him away in handcuffs went viral.

The congregants were detained for several hours and later charged with violating the city’s health ordinance.

However, the ordinance explicitly carved out exemptions for activities protected under both the U.S. and Idaho State Constitutions, including religious activity.

In a stinging rebuke, U.S. District Court Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. stated that the “plaintiffs should never have been arrested in the first place” and criticized city officials for overlooking the ordinance’s exclusionary language.

Despite the legal victory, Rench and the Bohnets have become pariahs in their largely liberal community. Locals have accused them of not caring for their neighbors, and some have suggested that they “take your money and run.”

Rench, however, sees the situation as a larger issue facing the nation.

He highlighted the increasing targeting of Christians by certain political groups, which has not been seen before in America or neighboring Canada.

Noting the recent incarceration of pastors for holding church services in Canada, Rench fears America could face similar scenarios in the future.

Rench’s ordeal offers a sobering lesson on the importance of Constitutional rights in our society, which he believes are being sidelined by some political leaders.

He calls for citizens to change their voting habits to discourage the targeting of Christians and other defenders of the Constitution.

The city’s liability insurance provider, the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program, decided that the settlement was the best way to avoid prolonged litigation.

While the settlement brings closure to this particular case, it also serves as a reminder of the delicate balance between public health safety measures and individual rights.

However, the legal battle continues for the senior pastor of Christ Church, Douglas Wilson, whose family faces misdemeanor charges for protesting the arrests. The case, concerning stickers placed on city utility poles in protest, is expected to reach the Idaho Supreme Court.

Wilson echoes Rench’s sentiment, drawing attention to the broader concerns of faith-based communities being targeted, not just in Moscow, Idaho, but across the nation.

Bottom Line

While Moscow may be thousands of miles away from Washington D.C., the issues it grapples with resonate nationwide.

As we navigate these difficult times, the critical importance of upholding Constitutional rights should not be underestimated or overlooked.

This saga is a stark reminder that Americans of all faiths and ideologies must remain vigilant in protecting those rights.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.




  1. Shirley

    July 22, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    I’m so happy to hear of this win. We all have to be alert to offences and be willing to jump in the fight.

  2. PVSCV

    July 22, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    Who would think this could happen in a conservative state of Idaho ( is it now lacking in conservative values now?)? Happening in Idaho should tell us Christians it can happen yo i any state. Moscow, Idaho, vote out of office all who are involved in this arrest. That means city council members the mayor and all others involved. Vote the all out ASAP! If you don’t be assured they will seek other means to punish you Christians. Once voted out they should move from Moscow, ID!

  3. Vetmike

    July 22, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    Liberals. You can bet that, if this had been a Satanic event or a pro-abortion parade, the town would not have intervened.

  4. Rabbi laurie Dinerstein-Kurs

    July 22, 2023 at 8:58 pm

    The reaction of the Police is scary. Under whose direction did the police act??? Under what conditions do police have the ability or right to ignore a command?? Whoever gave the orders to police to ignore a basic constitutional religious rite… Shouldn’t they be the ones to be held accountable??? IF they had been – perhaps it would make others in a position to give commands – PAUSE, and remember they are in AMERICA!! not Germany!!

    • Sid Rabin

      July 23, 2023 at 9:47 am

      I truly hope there are many who read your reply! Unfortunately, during my military service in the late 50’s and early 60’s, I was stationed with a majority of personnel from the deep south when the “Jim Crow” laws were prevalent, and experienced Antisemitism at it’s worst. Although there is little if any problems with religion in the military today, the problems you describe DEFINITELY start at the top of any management, and those responsible must be replaced.

  5. Dwayne Oxford

    July 22, 2023 at 9:38 pm

    Taxpayers paying for their Mayor’s appointee police chief and his bad calls/hires.

  6. Jim

    July 22, 2023 at 9:45 pm

    Moscow is a college town. Like most college towns, it has been taken over by the Marxist/Communists that control the university there. Like all Commies, they have infiltrated every level of government to gain power and control over their subjects. City councils, mayorships, school boards, zoning and planning, etc.. It is the Communist model of total control. It has happened all across the country. Don’t call them ‘Liberals’. They are Communists.

    • Chad

      July 23, 2023 at 4:06 am

      Jim —Spot on ! Excellent ,accurate,truthful post !

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