Precinct 333

Thursday, January 06, 2005

No Crosses Allowed At Inauguration?

Why has the Secret Service banned the symbol of Christianity from rallies and demonstrations in public parks and on public sidewalks?

The Washington-based Christian Defense Coalition is protesting a proposed ban on the display of crosses during inauguration ceremonies for President George W. Bush.

In a December 17 letter to the National Park Service, the Secret Service-- which is responsible for the safety of the President and other US government officials-- asked for a ban on numerous items during the inauguration festivities. The Secret Service sought a ban on potentially dangerous items such as firearms, explosives, and laser pointers; but the list of proscribed items also included "coffins, crates, crosses, crates theaters, and statues." No explanation was given for the inclusion of crosses on the list. The Christian Defense Coalition, which was planning to hold a prayer vigil during the inaugural parade, received a permit that listed the banned items, including crosses.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, decried the ban on crosses as a clear form of "religious bigotry and censorship." The restriction is even more offensive, he added, "when one realizes that it is only Christian symbols that have been excluded." The Secret Service regulations explicitly allow for bullhorns and signs of up to 20 feet in length.

Mahoney announced that members of his group "will be on the public sidewalks holding crosses at the inauguration parade even if that means risking arrest and jail."

I keep hearing that because of the reelection of George W. Bush and the increase in GOP strength across the country, we live in a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. This certainly is a strange way to show it, by banning the public display of that faith’s sacred symbol. I can see no legitimate reason for such a ban, and believe it to be invalid on its face.


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