A new federal lawsuit alleges that the city of Boston is engaging in an unconstitutional infringement on religious liberty by banning a flag with a Christian cross emblem from being flown at City Hall while allowing nearly 300 other flags to be flown from the same location.
Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit on Monday on behalf of Hal Shurtleff and his Camp Constitution organization. Shurtleff wanted to fly a flag with the Christian cross prominently displayed to commemorate Constitution Day in 2017 and 2018 while hosting an event celebrating contributions by Christians to the cause of liberty, but was ultimately denied the request.
Shurtleff claims his basic civil rights are being violated by the refusal of his request. The lawsuit builds a strong case that unfair standards are being applied that are discriminatory against Christians.
The lawsuit claims that the city allowed the Turkish flag featuring the Islamic star and crescent to be raised at city hall at least 13 times between 2005 and 2019. Over the same time period, the town raised Chinese, Cuban and Vatican flags as well.
They totaled 284 different flags that have been allowed to be flown over that same time period, not even including the flags celebrating the explicitly anti-Christian LGBT agenda. No requests were ever denied until Shurtleff proposed the Christian flag to be flown, showing the town’s likely bias against believers in Christ.
“Yet, despite all of these many flag raisings containing religious symbols and imagery, and the City’s allowing the official flag of the Catholic Church, Camp Constitution’s proposed flag raising was denied because it was ‘religious,’” the suit says.
““There can be no dispute that the City’s denial impermissibly discriminated between religion and non-religion, and discriminated between religious sects. Both violate the Establishment Clause,” the suit adds.
Liberty Counsel claims that the city is violating the rights of Shurtleff that are enshrined in the 1st and 14th Amendments of the Constitution by refusing to fly the Christian flag.
“Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted violates the First Amendment,” Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said.
“Boston city officials may not ban the Christian flag as part of a privately-sponsored event when they allow any other flag by numerous private organizations. It’s time for the court to stop the city’s unconstitutional censorship,” he added.
A federal appeals court had previously upheld the ban on flying the Christian flag last month. US District Court Judge Denise Casper, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, had previously tossed an injunction filed by Shurtleff with the incomprehensible rationale that his request somehow infringed on “government speech.”
Aided by Liberty Counsel, Shurtleff will have another day in court to defend his rights. If the lawsuit is successful, that victory can help stem the tide of institutionalized discrimination against the Christian faith that is picking up in the U.S. and across the West.
California’s Santa Clara County, Reportedly the Last Place in America to Prohibit Indoor Worship, Finally Lifts Ban Following Supreme Court Order
Santa Clara County is home to Silicon Valley.
The Supreme Court issued an order on Friday that required California’s Santa Clara County to lift its prohibition on indoor religious services.
Santa Clara County is home to Silicon Valley and the city of San Jose. It may have been the last place in the United States to maintain its indoor worship ban prior to the Supreme Court order, which came almost a full year after the in-earnest beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in America.
Bishop Oscar Cantu of San Jose said in a Friday night statement that “I join all Catholics and people of faith in Santa Clara County in expressing our satisfaction in tonight’s U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting Santa Clara County’s ban on indoor worship services. Santa Clara was the only county in the country to continue such a ban. Banning indoor worship and yet allowing people to gather at airports, personal services establishments, and retail shopping is unconstitutional—and the Supreme Court has said so several times.”
Religious services in Santa Clara County, however, cannot take place at more than 20 percent capacity and without strict mask, social distancing, and sanitization protocols.
After hearing the South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom case, SCOTUS ruled on February 5 in favor of the former and effectively mandated that the state of California lift its ban on indoor religious services. Santa Clara County tried to maintain that the ruling didn’t apply to them because their county directives did not specifically target religious worship, but the court is evidently not buying that explanation given Friday’s order.
The decision back in 2020 to deem religious services “non-essential” was disastrous and evil from the beginning. Glad the Supreme Court has been doing its part to rectify that injustice.
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