Pa. Gov. Wolf COVID-19 Student Masking Mandates Are Dangerous and Violate Existing Child Abuse Law

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s office last week tightened up the state’s requirements for all-day mask wearing by students in schools, effectively contradicting current child abuse laws and abuse prevention policies Wolf has until now supported.

The latest clamp-down on masks drew fierce criticism from parents, teachers, students and the American Pastors Networkwhich recently sent all three branches of state government an Open Letter detailing the reason for Pastoral leadership in calling the citizens to Restore the Law (, and a Resolution citing the Executive and Judicial Branch abuses of power along with Defining the Problem, the Causes, and the Solution to the Governor’s unconstitutional mandates imposed on the Commonwealth’s citizens as a result of his March 6, 2020 Declaration of Emergency.

“Most parents, teachers and even the kids are resisting the mask mandates as applied to students who attend school, and they rightly should, because the mask mandate is not in the child’s best interest,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, a nine-term former Pennsylvania representative.

“Forcing students to wear masks all day not only produces student distraction and anxiety, it meets the definition of child abuse under existing law passed by the Legislature to protect children’s health and well-being,” Rohrer continued.

APN and the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, which together represent more than 1,200 pastors in Pennsylvania alone, identified the harm being done to the citizens of the Commonwealth child abuse laws being violated in the Open Letter to the Citizens and historic resolution copied to all three branches of state government.

“The mandated mask guidelines for children over 2 years of age and all day in school settings, according to the provisions of 23 § 6303 (b.1) (8v) relating to child abuse, constitutes interference with the breathing of a child,” the resolution states.

“Additionally, the mask order, combined with the mandatory social distancing guidelines for children, may well constitutes unreasonable restraint or confinement of a child (b.1)(8ii), and therefore inflicts on the children of this Commonwealth a clear instance of child abuse under the law.”

Rohrer says the Wolf administration’s decisions are unlawful and harmful to children.

“Are we now at the place where such protections under existing law can be cavalierly discarded when required by a single state official and not rise to the charge of ‘state-sanctioned’ child abuse?” Rohrer said.

The Resolution with recommended legislative action as drafted by APN condemns the Executive Branch for compelling upstanding citizens to become enablers of child abuse under current law.

“Further, the mask order encourages and ultimately forces adults who are mandated reporters to enable and participate in the very actions carefully identified by existing Commonwealth child abuse laws,” the resolution states.

Rohrer says the Wolf administration’s latest abuse of power not only violates the law but also coerces citizens — including parents and teachers responsible for the safety of their children and students — into breaking the law.

“The Executive Branch’s infatuation with mask wearing, first over adults and now students, forces people in the setting of the school to actually participate in a violation of the law as written — and that is truly unjust,” Rohrer said. “This is hypocritical not only of Governor Wolf but of all those in Executive Branch positions who are making these rules based on feeling, disregarding existing law or objective fact. This is just one more example of continuing harm resulting from the Governor’s refusal to follow the lawful Legislative directive in HR 836 to rescind his March 6, 2020, Disaster Declaration and the need to Restore the Law!”

All people are invited to read and sign the Open Letter to the Citizens and historic resolution at

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Pastors Send Historic Open Letter with Resolution Urging PA General Assembly to Restore the Law and to Declare Unlawful the Current COVID-19 Mandates by Gov. Wolf and PA Supreme Court Decisions

Includes the Constitutional Lawmaking Remedy to Restore the Balance of Power Usurped by the Governor and the Supreme Court, Restore Violated Constitutional Freedoms and Declare Certain Actions to Be ‘Null and Void and Without Authority’

As a growing number of restaurant and bar owners prepare to open at full capacity in defiance of coronavirus-related restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, hundreds of pastors led by the American Pastors Network and Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, are raising their voices as leaders in the pulpit — and now at the statehouse — with an Open Letter to the Citizens and an historic resolution copied to all three branches of state government, and also featured today on

This letter from APN and PPN, which represent more than 1,200 PA pastors, explains that the current COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the executive branch are without authority, are therefore unlawful, and in violation of both the Constitution and statutory law, particularly since the General Assembly in accordance with the law ordered the Governor to rescind all COVID-19-related orders resulting from his natural disaster proclamation on March 6. The resolution calls out these realities and highlights how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has only deepened the constitutional crisis, the letter states.

“To make matters more serious, the justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unilaterally assumed ‘King’s Bench’ supreme authority and aligned the court with our defiant governor and executive branch against the General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Constitution and the citizens of the Commonwealth….

“Recognizing that the constitutional status of the General Assembly has been unlawfully assaulted, the freedoms of the citizens limited or violated at will and seeing these actions justified by ever-changing guidelines and policies, we as pastors and moral leaders serving in ordained positions of authority within the church and society are compelled to step forward with wisdom and courage,” the pastors write.

APN President Sam Rohrer, a nine-term former Pennsylvania representative, says it’s time for the citizens of Pennsylvania to demand accountability of officials who clearly, repeatedly, unlawfully abuse their authority.

“Our goal is to make the people of Pennsylvania — pastors, ordinary citizens and even members of the legislature — fully understand how the current orders and guidelines imposed by the executive branch, and aided by the judicial branch, have their entire basis outside the law,” Rohrer said.

APN and PPN represent more than 1,200 pastors in Pennsylvania alone “committed to Truth and Liberty” — and poised to lead the country in lawful resistance to unlawful civil authority.

We are asking Pennsylvania citizens to urge their respective state representative and senator to issue a concurrent resolution declaring the decision of the PA Supreme Court justices acting on ‘King’s Bench’ authority in declaring the lawful action of the General Assembly, as contained in House Resolution 836, to be null, void, and without authority. This action would restore the law and the Constitutional Balance of Power usurped by the governor and court and set a needed precedent for other state legislatures to do the same,” Rohrer said.

The letter crescendos into a four-page resolution as a framework for immediate use by state lawmakers. Between the letter and the resolution, the actual Problem, Cause and Solution for the enormous hardships and confusion caused by unlawful executive orders are carefully considered and can with the fulfilment of Constitutional duties and obligations by the General Assembly Restore the Law in the Commonwealth. The resolution includes such statements as:

“WHEREAS, in defiance of the law, and with ill respect for the cries of the citizens and in defiance of the actions of the legislature, the governor and the Secretary of Health are guilty of imposing continued physical harm and perpetrating actions detrimental to the health of the citizens of the Commonwealth, as evidenced by measurable and identifiable increases in hospitalizations, panic, suicide, and addictions,” the resolution states.

“WHEREAS, the mandated mask guidelines for children over 2 years of age, including the guidance for mask wearing of children and social distancing of children in schools according to the provisions of 23 § 6303 (b.1)(8ii) and (8v) relating to child abuse, constitute interference with the breathing of a child. Additionally, the mask order, combined with the mandatory social distancing guidelines for children, constitutes unreasonable restraint or confinement of a child, and therefore inflicts on the children of this Commonwealth a clear instance of child abuse under the law. Further, the mask order encourages and ultimately forces adults who are mandated reporters to enable and participate in the very actions prescribed by the Commonwealth’s child abuse laws,” it continues.

In addition to causing physical harm and directly violating statutes — such as by depriving the children of Pennsylvania of “necessary educational opportunities as required by law” — the executive branch has proactively and illegally cut the legislative branch out of the now ill-informed regulatory process.

“The governor and the Secretary of Health not only do not seek but actively refuse the input of the legislature, they also reject the experience of other western nations and health professionals in the Commonwealth who understand that there is no proven harm for children to return to schools nor an increased risk to teachers or parents of children transmitting COVID-19.”

Rohrer says pastors should take the lead in holding officials accountable for abusing authority.

“Pastors should guide and lead citizens in identifying these violations of moral and civil authority and seek to hold these officials accountable to the Constitution and to the Bible, both of which make plain that all authorities are subject to God and are obligated to use their power with fidelity. In the United States, this includes obeying constitutional limits on each branch of government.”



American Pastors Network: Pastors Should Impart to Church Members Basic Biblical Teaching That Civil Authority Is Limited

Officials keen to enforce coronavirus-related mandates imposed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf have issued another spate of citations to businesses allegedly in violation, drawing criticism from faith leaders who point out Wolf’s rules were never approved by state lawmakers, which the constitution requires.

When officials flout the limitations of their offices, it’s up to citizens — led by their pastors — to hold them accountable, according to Pastor Sam Rohrer, a nine-term former state representative and the president of the American Pastors Network.

“When Executive Branch officials demand changes in the lives of their citizens which affect their duty to God or violate their constitutional guarantees of freedom, these same officials are guilty of violating their oaths of office and the constitutional Separation of Powers, and usurp the authority of the Legislature.” Rohrer said. “Pastors should guide and lead citizens in identifying these violations of moral and civil authority and seek to hold  these officials accountable to the Constitution and to the Bible, both of which make plain that all authorities are subject to God and are obligated to use their power with fidelity. In the United States, this starts with obeying constitutional limits for each branch of government.

“Many Christians assume that the Bible commands people to yield blindly to authorities or to follow every command of every person in office, but this is not true.” Rohrer continued. “America’s pastors must lead their flocks to properly understand the principles of basic authority, which demand ordered submission insofar as they uphold the Revealed Law of God, which is then reflected — in our nation — in our state and federal Constitutions.

“Christians need to grasp from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans in the New Testament that authorities who rebel against God’s authority undermine the basis of their own authority,” Rohrer concluded.

Rohrer says the preservation of religious liberty hinges on whether America’s pastors will speak up and stand up against unlawful actions imposed on them — in disobedience to the highest civil laws of man and highest moral laws of God.

“The law is the law. Just law starts, of necessity, with objective truth — God’s moral Truth, and in our nation the precepts of the State and Federal Constitutions as our highest civil truth,” Rohrer said. “When either body of truth is ignored or redefined, both the moral and civil law are violated. It is then the citizen’s duty led by others in authority — in either civil government or the pulpit — to biblically and constitutionally resist that law or order and to seek a re-calibration to the truth and law. We as pastors, teachers and defenders of the truth, are urging that our legislators and all people begin asking the right first questions: ‘What is the law?’ And ‘What is the authority behind the civil order or directive?’ ” 

To see what Pastors in Pennsylvania are doing to hold their officials accountable, please click HERE.

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Pastors Must Lead in Pandemic Response by Asking Most Basic Questions about Authority and Law, Separation of Powers, Says American Pastors Network

As states experiencing increases in the number of patients testing positive for coronavirus, reprisals of mandates arising out of limited duration and questionable executive branch ‘emergency powers’ threaten to become the new normal. Although pockets of Americans continue to dispute the sweeping regulatory powers that non-legislative bodies are wielding, many are blindly yielding to these unlawful demands. Others are asking if resistance is possible or how it should be done.

Pastor and statesman Sam Rohrer says that’s because they’re asking the wrong question.

“The question each human being should start with precedes questions about the efficacy, consistency with medical science and basic truth regarding face masks, church and business closures or social distancing — although asking substantive questions about these policies will certainly illuminate whether mandating those measures is even justifiable.” Rohrer said.

Rohrer, a 9-term former Pennsylvania state representative and the president of the American Pastors Network, says Christians must find the courage to ask — out loud — the most basic questions about the source of civil authority in our American Constitutional Republic and about the foundational moral authority outlined in the Bible which undergirds the duties, extent and  limitations of all civil  authorities and the basic structure of our civil law.

“Any individual — man, woman or child — who wants to emerge from this pandemic with their health and freedoms intact must start by asking, Who or what is the source of authority behind civil orders or directives coming from civil authorities? Where does authority come from in this matter? What is the actual law? Christians know from the Bible that all authority is not merely ordained, (established, ranked and ordered) by God but subject to God — obligated to obey God, and will give account to God including acting in accordance with Natural Law.”

Consequently, America’s federal and state governments were founded and designed specifically to ensure that elected and appointed officials recognize the existence of Revealed law, and the reality of sinful hearts which lead civil authority to become tyrannical and deceive themselves into believing they are the law.

“Separation of powers is one of the obvious and essential principles in recognizing the Rule of Law and preventing tyranny (exceeding lawful restraints),” Rohrer continued. “According to our Constitution, only lawmakers- the Legislative Branch – possesses the authority to make laws. The executive branch is intentionally restricted and therefore lacks this authority. Judges lack this authority. The power belongs exclusively to the legislative branch in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C.

“So-called ‘laws’ not passed through the constitutionally prescribed legislative system are therefore unlawful and illegitimate , regardless of what the executive or judicial branches say. . Most middle schoolers know this — but do their parents? Do their pastors? Do our government officials?”

Rohrer says the preservation of religious liberty hinges on whether America’s pastors will speak up and stand up against unlawful actions imposed on them — in disobedience to the highest civil laws of man and highest moral laws of God.

“The law is the law. Just law starts of necessity with Truth.  When Truth is ignored or redefined and the proper lawmaking process is usurped or violated, it is our duty to morally and constitutionally resist that law or order and to seek a re-calibration to the truth and law,” Rohrer said. “We as pastors, teachers and defenders of the truth, are urging that our legislators and all people begin asking the right first questions: ‘What is the law?’ And ‘What is the authority behind the civil order or directive?’ ”

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American Pastors Network’s Note to Fellow Pastors: Denounce Government Overreach Now To Preserve Freedom Tomorrow

Leading conservative Christian voices are calling on Americans to recognize and resist the overreach of elected officials who oppress God-given and constitutionally protected rights by imposing restrictions on businesses, schools, homes and even churches.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer invited fellow pastor and author Matthew J. Trewhella, author of “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate,” onto the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio show to sound an alarm and to inspire pastors and parishioners to resist tyranny God’s way.

Interviewing Trewhella, Rohrer identified complacent citizens as one of the greatest accomplices of totalitarian dictatorship.

“You know, the greatest ally of tyranny are citizens and pastors and government officials who refuse to confront lawlessness and aggressive immorality in a Biblical and historical way,” Rohrer explained“We’ll either define the problem of tyranny and resist it God’s way and therefore defend freedom, or we’ll embrace tyranny by choosing to work the system to our own selfish advantage.”

Trewhella offered a 1-to-10 scale to gauge how the Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the government’s abuse of power and increased the threat to religious liberty.

“[With] 10 being you’re sitting in a gulag or being haunted by the officials for simply trying to live free and faithful and true to Christ, we’re definitely at 8,” Trewhella said. “This is a pernicious evil, this whole COVID thing.”

Rohrer says the preservation of religious liberty hinges on whether America’s pastors will speak up and stand up against authoritarian actions.

“I submit that here in America, if we don’t soon begin stepping up, including our pastors in our pulpits and all in positions of authority, then instead of being the home of the free and the land of the brave, America will become the home of the enslaved and the land of the coward,” Rohrer concluded.

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Dear Pastor, Should Your Church Accept CARES Relief Funding from the Government?

Dear Pastor Friend,

Last Thursday, April 23, 2020, additional SBA “Guidance” was distributed in relation to accepting CARES Act funds from the federal government. Certain warnings then were issued by various law firms to carefully evaluate the requirement to certify the ‘necessity’ of the funds under penalty of fraud. And, if any doubt all funds could be repaid by May 7 with no harm, no foul considerations.. My concern has long existed in regard to whether it is advisable for churches to pursue and accept loan assistance from government. My own fellow deacons and church leadership have grappled long and hard with this decision. But my experience as 18 years in the PA General Assembly and studying history, law and biblical teaching on God’s order of jurisdiction has taught me that entanglement is easy. Getting caught in a trap is easy. Getting out is hard.

I would like to pass along two specific lines of comment on this entire deliberation. First,regarding the need to be cautious in regard to this deliberation, I previously sent cautionary notes to our Deacons and Pastor’s staff on April 3, April 14, and April 21. In each of these
notes, I expressed a range of concerns: there is no such thing as free money; strings are always attached; there are no Biblical precedents for accepting civil authority aid; it challenges a church’s reliance on God; it sets a negative precedent for the future. The list goes on.

Secondly, upon closer examination of the legislation itself, my concern became even stronger. Within the language of the law, definitions are purposefully vague; the use of ‘guidance’ by government bureaucracies is left incredibly open. Clearly invasive ‘strings’ or ‘entanglements’
are rarely included in the actual text of law; otherwise, it would be easily identified and rejected out of hand. “Strings” happen most often through regulations and rulemaking of enforcement entities, in this case the SBA, in conjunction with the Treasury and likely the
IRS. Prompted by atheist organizations who bring lawsuits that end up in liberal courts, these ‘strings’ can become hanging ‘ropes’. The strings of this bill end up as a result of the open ended “Guidance” and to a lesser degree the ‘Sense of the Senate’. The strings, however, can only occur where there is ‘linkage’.

Unfortunately, linkage with government already exists with churches who took 501c3 non-profit status when Congress and the IRS created
this Treasury Department designation. Secondary linkage occurs when government money is pursued and accepted by a church.
According to this CARES Act, a free-standing church (non-501c3) would not be qualified for any of this financial aid. The law states that only non-profits as a 501c3 can apply. The ‘business’ designation is the existing linkage/category that makes a church ‘qualify.’ Ignored by most
attorneys, however, is the fact that churches are tax-exempt because they are churches. The linkage of the 501c3 status is the only ‘legal’ way the IRS can leverage churches and the pulpit.

This linkage is a problem because all business entities—corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, non-profits—are by law “creations of the state.” And what the state creates, the state has a right to regulate. Pursuing and accepting money places every church in a position of not only potentially committing fraud under the regulations, but defacto confirms this linkage before the law as a ‘creation of the state,’ not a distinct, separate body of God-created jurisdiction. I am therefore, firmed in my sense that we should decide as a body of elected leaders to decline any acceptance of funds from the CARES Act. It is our responsibility to understand this issue and refuse entanglement.

Thank you for your consideration of these thoughts. If I had not worked through details like this in my 18 years in office, I would not be laying out this thought process. But I learned much and feel I must pass this along.

May God add His blessing and Guidance to us.
Sam Rohrer
The Hon. Sam Rohrer is an 18-year veteran of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and president of the American Pastors Network. He also co-hosts nationwide radio and television programs, Stand in the Gap Radio and Stand in the Gap TV. Learn more at

Pandemic Places Educational Responsibility on Parents, Allows Pastors to Offer Vital Support

As COVID-19 pushes curriculum content, social issues, and worldviews toward deeper parent scrutiny, the pandemic has opened wide the door for pastors to guide parents through tough decisions about the upcoming school year — and American society is counting on them to do so.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer says that parents — not schools — are ultimately responsible for their child’s education.

“God gave the responsibility to parents for the primary education of their children,” Rohrer said on APN’s “Stand in the Gap Today.” “He told fathers, ‘You pass along what I have done and what I have commanded to your children and pass it along even to your grandchildren,’ so there is a generational responsibility that comes to parents.”

A parent’s responsibility begins with personally knowing the God of the Bible and extends to imparting a “virtuous education”—both of which are vital to America’s experiment in self-government.

“William Penn laid out a frame of government, which actually became a foundational element for all of government broadly, but he made it clear that self-government must function under God, which means our founders had to understand who God is,” Rohrer continued. “Penn also said there had to be a virtuous education of the youth, and that it was the parent’s responsibility. Frankly, the only way you can have a virtuous education is if they’re taught biblical principles.”

As parents attempt to fulfill this responsibility amid pandemic-induced school closures, understanding and evaluating options can be overwhelming. Pastors have the opportunity of a century to guide parents through options such as Christian schools and homeschooling.

E. Ray Moore, co-founder of Frontline Ministries, Inc., and leader of Exodus Mandate, was a guest on the “Stand in the Gap Today” episode. Moore said, “Pastors have a unique opportunity to point families to the Christian school option. The curriculum world for homeschooling and Christian schools is so rich and so manifold that it’s hard for people to make decisions [because] they’ve got so many good choices. But the scripture is clear about pastoral responsibility for the flock, so we see this as falling in that category.”

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American Pastors Network President: SCOTUS Ruling Against Louisiana Abortion Limitation Flouts Sanctity of Life

A divided Supreme Court of the United States struck down a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to secure admitting privileges at local hospitals as a condition of remaining open for business. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices in the 5–4 ruling, citing the court’s 2016 ruling as a precedent.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer says the government is obligated by God’s law to protect the rights of the unborn, a responsibility America’s leaders neglect at their peril.

“We are endowed by our Creator God with certain God-given rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No more profound human words were ever spoken,” Rohrer said. “Recognizing God as Creator is where understanding liberty begins and human responsibility extends. Life results when God creates.

“The sacredness and sanctity of all life—born and unborn—exists because God creates,” Rohrer continued. “It’s this life that government is to protect. Government leaders position themselves to receive dire judgment from God, the Judge of mankind, when life is murdered.”

Listen to the Stand in the Gap Minute Series “Spiritual Victory” airing this week!

To listen to the rest of the minute programs, please click HERE.

American Pastors Network President: Anarchy, Toppling of Monuments Supports Growing Fear of Next Civil War

With the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) occupation in Seattle dissolving after gunshots left one dead, protestors in many U.S. cities are emboldened to knock down or deface monuments of national founders or heroes such as Teddy Roosevelt, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Francis Scott Key, and others. Authorities seem paralyzed to protect and preserve public property.

The demonstrations that have led to the militant takeover of blocks of Seattle and the toppling of statues from east to west support the growing suspicion that civil war is imminent, according to American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer.

“It is important to confront what is happening in America’s streets,” Rohrer said. “This is particularly important in light of this month’s Rasmussen poll findings that over 34% of all Americans and 40% of registered Republican voters believe the U.S. will experience a second civil war within the next five years.

“The open anarchy in the streets is one problem,” Rohrer continued. “But the toppling of monuments across the country is another troubling action. With the toppling of monuments of people who fought to end slavery in America, and then the toppling of the statue of Francis Scott Key the writer of the national anthem of the United States—“The Star Spangled Banner”—there is more happening than meets the eye.

“Instead of destroying monuments, Americans and especially Christians should leverage God’s purposes for monuments by reflecting on God’s provision and blessings in this nation and thank Him for how He blesses this nation with greater justice and more freedom when we follow God’s moral law, and how He judges this nation with a great evidence of injustice and less freedom whenever we reject God’s moral law—just as God instructed Joshua and His people after He freed them from 400 years of Egyptian slavery,” Rohrer concluded.

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