Mayor awaits guidance from 'Holy Spirit' before issuing face mask mandate

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

(KMOX) - A mayor in Tennessee who is being pushed by some to order a face mask mandate for his community of 34,000 residents says he's waiting to see if the "Holy Spirit" guides him to do so.

Lincoln County, Tenn. Mayor Bill Newman says he's in favor of people wearing face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, but not yet enacting a law.

“I do believe masking helps prevent the spread of it, but I don’t feel I should mandate people wearing masks at this time," Newman says, according to WHNT. "The Holy Spirit dwells within us. When I pray for guidance, I may not know the answer immediately.”

And he's not without support. A local nurse says, "if he is led by the Holy Spirit, and he thinks that there should be a mask mandate, then if God tells him, maybe there should be. Maybe that’s what he needs to do."

But not everyone in his town is on board with waiting. A Facebook Group called MaskUpLincolnCounty is hoping to change the mayor's mind.

“The Holy Spirit will never advise us to do anything harmful to others. He is making a mockery of it," stated one post in the Facebook group.

Tennessee if one of 14 U.S. states currently without a face mask mandate.

© 2020 KMOX (Entercom). All rights reserved