Gavin Newsom's clueless to think churches are not as essential as burger joints and coffee shops ... so claim a group of church leaders suing him over the lockdown.
A group of pastors and church members filed the suit claiming religious services are "essential for the spiritual health of the congregation so that the congregants can exhort one another during these difficult times."
In the docs, obtained by TMZ, one pastor believes they can hold services so long as they abide by social distancing tips recommended by the CDC ... like keeping congregants at least 6 feet apart and requiring they wear masks and gloves.
The leaders claim California's "shelter-at-home" mandate coupled with its "essential workforce" criteria has denied religious groups their fundamental right to continue congregating.
In fact, one pastor claims he was fined $1,000 for holding service on Palm Sunday. The church leaders are pissed they can't hold services ... even after they disinfect churches and practice social distancing.
According to the suit, they're also pissed baristas, burger flippers and laundromat technicians are considered "essential" ... while attending church is NOT.