Colorado Pastor Threatened with Fines and Jail Time If He Doesn't Comply With Mask Mandates at His Private Christian School

Jim Tarr is pastor of Cornerstone Christian Center, which as part of its ministry operates a classical Christian school in Basalt, Colorado.

Pastor Tarr shared his shocking story of how Eagle County is threatening to fine his church and lock him up if he doesn't comply with the county's draconian masking rules.

In a Nov. 30 interview with Brannon Howse, Tarr said his school lost one-third of its students when the Eagle County Health Department threatened to fine or imprison any parents or staff found on the Christian school's property without a mask. The only way to avoid the severe punishments was to prove that at least 80 percent of the schools staff and eligible students were injected with the experimental Covid "vaccines."

The fines could be up to $5,000 and the imprisonment up to 18 months.

"When we opened up our school this year we felt by our convictions and by our faith that we were to operate with family choice, and we really believe it's not even the role of the church or of a school or of a state or anything like that to mandate whether a child should be wearing a mask eight hours a day, five days a week, or 180 days per year," Tarr said.

This decision was made in accordance with the biblical Sixth Commandment, which established an authority structure within the family.  "Honor your father and your mother," the commandment states, which Tarr points out is completely contrary to what is happening in public schools today in America.

In September, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said "parents are not the primary stakeholders in their children's education."

The mask mandate in Eagle County was issued on a moment's notice without any input from churches or the parents of kids who attend private schools, said Pastor Tarr.

"So we decided to honor the decisions of the parents on masks. It's freedom of choice, it's liberty and the rights of families that we were going after," he said.

The county health department reacted by demanding that the school turn over its private emails to parents concerning its mask policies.

"Of course I couldn't give that to them," he said. "That's protected. Second, we would have to remain masked until 80 percent of our building was vaccinated.

"It became obvious this is not about masks this is about a punitive requirement placed upon us."

And when the county health director signed his name at the bottom of the email correspondence, he made sure to identify his preferred pronouns as he/him/his.

"He knew he was sending this to a private Christian school. We are going to raise our boys to be men and our daughters to be women and that's going to be our position," the pastor said. "Then when I clicked on the 'he/his/him,' six pages popped up from a pro-transgender organization."

And that LGBTQ rights group touted on its website that transgenderism is "becoming one of the leading healthcare issues of our day," Tarr noted.

"So I'm thinking this: If they can come to my private Christian school and violate our values and require us to wear masks, and then the next step they have is that we have to be vaccinated by 80 percent by the requirement of who? By the county health department. And then after that what's it going to be? It's going to be the public-health issue of the transgender agenda being forced upon our school."

Of course not everyone, even in the Christian community, is able to connect these dots.

"So some people are saying to me, 'Pastor Jim, why about the mask? Just put on the mask.' And I'm trying to tell them, it's not about the mask. That's a punitive thing they are requiring of us to get us to fulfill their [overall] purpose and agenda."

The county health department also ordered that if Cornerstone Christian School is going to open back up every teacher and child has to get tested twice per week for Covid. This must be done with a designated private testing company, "and the parents have to sign that they're allowed to take the saliva from our infants and that they can keep that genetic material and it will be kept [in a database]," Tarr said.

"They said anyone who comes to our property if we don't follow the mask mandate and testing orders everyone on our property is subject to a $5,000 fine or 18 months in jail. So I had to meet with our staff this week and notify them that they and parents can be fined or jailed. So we lost a third of our students and our income. But I will tell you this, every one of our teachers stayed with us.

"That meeting was one of the more challenging things I've ever had to walk through."

Meanwhile, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners has called an emergency meeting for Thursday 8:30 a.m. Mountain Time to decide how to deal with organizations deemed out of compliance with the new county masking rules.

"If anyone is within driving range we just welcome you to come out and support us," Tarr said.

Anyone wishing to leave a polite message with the board of commissioners, which has authority over the county health department, can call the county at 970-328-8600 or send an email to

Howse asked Pastor Tarr if the mass injection program could be connected to the well-documented elitist desire to depopulate the world through a program of eugenics.

"You know I think I've been aware for years that Margaret Sanger has been the most effective eugenicist in the history of the United States," Tarr said. "She bragged about what she wanted to do.

"We know that 80 percent of abortion clinics were planted in minority neighborhoods. And it's documented how she felt about minority communities."

When Covid hit and was declared a "crisis," these same globalist elites forced a program of lockdowns, closing churches and most small businesses, declaring them non-essential, while liquor stores and big-box stores remained free to do business. Rioters poured into the streets of major cities during the summer of 2020 to burn and loot, often encouraged by Democrat mayors and members of Congress.

"At that moment our government broke faith with me," Tarr said. "Colorado is a late-term abortion state. That is the most brutal, barbaric violence against children imaginable. ...So the thing is they are pretending that because we had nine kids get Covid in our school and experience what amounted to a head cold, that they can force masks. And I told them you know what, you're coming against a Christian school of 100 kids so you can go home at night and preen your progressive feathers, and you can feel as though you've done such a wonderful job, 'we shut down a school because they weren't wearing masks,' yet at the same time you turn a blind eye to what's happening to the most innocent and vulnerable and defenseless among us all. And coming after our school and coming after me it's like shooting at fish in a barrel, I'm not lawyered up like they are. I don't have the financial resources. And when I look at this whole situation I realized they've been placed in a positon of power and then weaponized by a law that came out of Denver giving county health directors cart blanche power during a time of crisis, declared by them. They can enter your buildings when they want, they can take control of your buildings when they want."

Tarr said he drew a line in the sand.

"I told them you are not allowed in our building. I said you are not coming into our buildings and if you come into our buildings you better bring the sheriff."

This prompted the county commissioners to call an emergency meeting Thursday morning, Dec. 2, to figure out how they're going to deal with those not in compliance with the mask mandates.

Howse said he would personally introduce Tarr to Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, a Christian public-interest law firm, and have his audience pray for a breakthrough with the Eagle County Health Department.


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