Broadway Star Chad Kimball Will ‘Respectfully Disobey’ COVID-19 Restrictions Against Singing in Church

Courtesy Chad Kimball
Courtesy Matt Simpkins

Broadway star and COVID-19 survivor Chad Kimball has sworn to “respectfully disobey” Washington state’s restrictions against singing in church, saying that such religious prohibitions represent an overreach of power by Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

The Tony Award-nominated actor of the musical Memphis tweeted that he would never allow a governor or anyone to restrict his religious liberty.

“Respectfully, I will never allow a Governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God. Folks, absolute POWER corrupts ABSOLUTELY. This is not about safety. It’s about POWER. I will respectfully disobey these unlawful orders,” Kimball wrote Sunday.

Gov. Inslee has decreed that church groups won’t be able to sing during services, but that soloists will be able to. Congregation members are also prohibited from singing during services. This weekend, the governor re-instituted stringent lockdown measures — including a ban on indoor dining in restaurants — as COVID-19 cases rise across the state.

In March, actor Chad Kimball revealed that he was diagnosed with COVID-19. “My symptoms could be classified as this: flu-like, but not the worst flu I’ve ever had. Still very uncomfortable,” he posted on Facebook. The Seattle native eventually recovered.

Following some social media backlash to his tweet no Sunday, Kimball added: “To be clear: nobody is going maskless. The overreach – in my opinion! – is not being able to sing even WITH a mask. No singing WITH a mask ON. Everyone will continue wearing masks. With respect and with hope and with care.”

The backlash came from fellow Broadway actors, including Steve Kazee, who appeared to call Kimball selfish and a religious hypocrite. Comedian and left-wing activist Billy Eichner seemed to mock Kimball’s religious convictions.

Kimball, who also starred in the hit Broadway musical Come from Away, has recently tweeted about freedom, saying that “it must be fought for, protected, and handed on.” He also tweeted against censorship, saying that Americans ought to be free “to speak our opinion.”

The original photo on this article has been updated to show a photo of Chad Kimball. 

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