There is a great difference between being ordered to stay in our homes and doing so voluntarily. I am very skeptical that the government can order us to not gather together in groups, can order us to stay in our homes. I think we have an inherent and guaranteed right to assembly.
Though we may have the right to do these things, I don’t think it is necessarily wise. Which means that a governing authority might ask us to refrain from having church or from having a block party, and as people of conscience we should restrain ourselves. However, individuals should have the right to determine whether they will or will not follow such advice.
In the current crisis (Covid-19 for those reading this in the future), in order to stop the spread of virus the government has clamped down on public meeting and private meeting. And this has had a good effect in saving lives. But it has also set a precedent with regard to the lengths the government can go in protecting the perceived public good.
In closing businesses and churches based on priorities set by an almost unaccountable executive, much havoc has been wreaked on the ability of people to make a livelihood. It has also handed the government the power to determine what activity is essential and what activity is not. Such power in the hands of a few negates the benefits of a free society where citizens are able to determine their own priorities.
I have personally scrupulously followed the government’s orders. There are two reasons for this. First, I have felt the coercion of government power. Second, because it is the right thing to do at this time. I only wish the government had left the option in my hands.