AS a matter of jurisprudential fact, unless set aside by a higher court, this order creates a Hitlerian precedent. The state could henceforth stipulate that any minister of religion must enunciate official propaganda whenever the tenets of a faith are at odds with it. Now, it could be objected that Pastor Pawlowski is not entitled to endanger others by encouraging them to disregard ‘health orders.’ Few would object to intervention if he was telling congregants to commit violent acts.
However, given that Western states have invented a casuistical distinction between compelling and ‘mandating,’ Justice Adam Germain is on a lawless jaunt in assigning culpability to a preacher for choices his hearers make about superstitions like “mask wearing.” Pawlowski might be yelling Liar! but he isn’t yelling Fire! Speech that is impermissible unless ‘counterbalanced’ by the ‘other side’ is an act of violence against conscience.