Idaho Police Arrest 3 at Outdoor Church Worship Event in Defiance of Mask Mandate

Officers arrested Gabriel Rench, Rachel Bohnet, and Sean Bohnet, according to Moscow Report, a local independent news outlet. A video uploaded to social media shows Bohnet, a local music teacher, and his wife telling officers they refused to comply with an inaudible order. Moscow Report says the apparent infraction is that they refused to show identification.

Footage of the couple’s arrest shows the church body singing the hymn “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” as officers place them in handcuffs.

Rench is a co-host of CrossPolitic, a Christian political talk show, and a candidate for county commissioner. “You guys should not be doing this,” he told officers as they walked him to a squad car. “And doing this kind of crap for the mayor, this is embarrassing. You guys are stronger than this.”

Released that same day, Rench appeared on his talk show to discuss the arrest, playing extended footage of his conversation with officers. One of his companions is heard telling the officers “We backed you guys” at recent Black Lives Matter protests advocating to defund the police. “They didn’t send you [to enforce social distancing] with BLM to go do that when they said defund you guys. We backed you guys.”

“I got booked in jail; I was in jail for about two hours,” he said. “And as they were de-booking me, or whatever they call it, I’m walking out and I go by their office, which is right next to where I’m getting booked out. And there’s three deputies in the officer, and two of them aren’t wearing masks and sitting right next to each other. And I said, ‘hey, should they get arrested?'”

The Lewiston Tribune reports that about 150 people attended the event, organized by Christ Church — a Reformed evangelical church famous for its outspoken pastor Doug Wilson, an author who debated atheist Christopher Hitchens in the 2000s.

The paper quotes a Christ Church pastor as saying the event was a “statement” against the city’s “largely groundless” laws:

“Is it about the masks? Kind of,” Rench said of the protest on CrossPolitic. “But it’s not. It’s way bigger than that.”

“It’s about the direction our country is going,” co-host Toby Sumpter chimed in. “About us rejecting Christ, rebelling against Christ… if you can riot in Portland, for how many days? A hundred days? If you can have CHOP or CHAZ or whatever it was in Seattle, and all of that going on — and the police are hands off, getting defunded. And if you can have a Black Lives Matter rally in Moscow, Idaho, in the middle of July — completely unharassed — and then you have a few hundred Christians singing praises to Jesus and they’re getting arrested, what has happened to your country?”