Thursday, January 06, 2005

Inaugural Parade Controversy

"Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian Defense Coalition, contends the Secret Service has 'trampled the First Amendment and crushed religious freedom in the public square.'
'Simply put, it is religious bigotry and censorship,' he said. 'It is even more troubling when one realizes that it is only Christian symbols that have been excluded from the inauguration parade.' "

A spokesman for the Secret Service explained,"The reference to the cross is strictly in regard to structure, certainly not the symbol," he said. "There is no prohibition based on content, only structure or materials that could be used in a potentially harmful or threatening manner."
The prohibition was issued in a Dec. 17 memo to the National Park Service that the Christian Defense Coalition received along with its approved demonstration permit. The Secret Service memo says, in part:

"With respect to signs and placards, the Secret Service would ask that these items be limited to items made of cardboard, poster board or cloth and have dimensions no greater than three feet in width, twenty feet in length and one-quarter inch thickness. As noted above, we are asking that supports for signs and placards be prohibited as these items may be used as a means of concealing weapons or as weapons themselves."
Additionally, the prohibition on structures includes props, folding chairs, bicycles, displays such as puppets papier mache objects, coffins, crates, crosses, theaters, cages and statues.

Mahoney told WND his group plans to be at the Jan. 20 event for a prayer vigil and "to challenge President Bush to remember the innocent children who have been lost through abortion and to appoint pro-life justices." LINK

As a Christian, this vigil to challenge President Bush's memory, strikes me as being inappropriate. The campaign is over, the President is well aware that he had strong support from Christians and pro-life voters. This is a ceremony to inaugurate the President, not some campaign rally. The Democrats have lost and are being made aware that Christian, pro-life views played a large role in their defeat. Do we really have to rub their noses in their loss? Have we all not been angered by the mindless criticism of Christian, pro-life people by the left? Do we really want to emulate their behavior in crying censorship and violation of individual rights?

The first amendment rights are not being trampled. This group may use crosses on placards that fit the other requirements. The Secret Service has the primary goal of assuring weapons are not hidden in some way in items carried by the people. With all the suggestions of assassination in the media, you would think that any pro Bush group would want to follow all guidelines for protecting the physical safety of the President. In reading the article, It seems to support the view that we Christians are none to bright. There is an appropriate time and place to stand up for our beliefs. This is not it.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like everyone has their own agenda these days, and they want everything to be about them. Why not just show your support of the President, as an American. Not some special interest group.