A mayor in Tennessee won’t force residents and visitors to wear masks unless he feels ordered to do so by the Holy Spirit, according to The AL.
“(The virus) is science and it’s true and I do believe masking helps prevent the spread of it,” said Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman, according to The AL. “But I don’t feel I should mandate people wearing masks at this time.” (RELATED: ‘It’s Supposed To Be A Free Country’: Restaurant Refuses To Follow State Mask Mandate)
Newman, an Auburn University-trained veterinarian, tracks COVID-19 numbers in his county, which is located north of Huntsville, Alabama, The AL reported. The rural county of 34,000 people had 1,322 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, according to The AL.
“The Holy Spirit dwells within us,” Newman, a Baptist, said. “It’s a heart thing. It’s not a mind thing. But you’re using all your God-given (talents), your physical or mental or spiritual, all those things. When I pray for guidance, I may not know the answer immediately.”
The now-260 members of the private MaskUpLincolnCo Facebook group have expressed frustration, according to The AL. One commenter wrote, “People feel like there’s a chance for leadership and he’s not taking it and he’s ducking behind the Holy Spirit. We have all talked to the Holy Spirit and gotten different ideas.”