The Liberty Counsel is continuing their crusade to become the religious right version of the ACLU by threatening the city of Boston over a flag. The law firm is taking up the cause of a man who wants to fly the Christian flag at City Hall.
An organization called Camp Constitution (which is proudly sponsored by quality supporters like Spunky the Clown, The Bible Museum, and “the most listened to woman on Connecticut radio”) applied and received a permit to hold a rally at Boston City Hall. The group also requested the ability to raise the Christian flag on the city’s flagpoles next to the American and city flags.
The group’s founder, Hal Shurtleff, wanted to “include short presentations by clergy members, a brief historical overview of Boston as “the city set on a hill,” and the raising of the Christian Flag on one of the City Hall Plaza flagpoles” in the program according to an email Liberty Counsel sent to city leaders.
When the group was denied the permit to fly the flag, Property Management Commissioner Gregory Rooney told the organizer the city only allows secular flags to fly from city property, but that request was denied.
The City of Boston maintains a policy and practice of respectfully refraining from flying nonsecular flags on the City Hall flagpoles,” Rooney wrote. “This policy and practice is consistent with well-established First Amendment jurisprudence prohibiting a local government from “respecting an establishment of religion.” This policy and practice is also consistent with City’s legal authority to choose how a limited government resource, like the City Hall flagpoles, is used.”
While going through a convoluted argument why flying the Christian flag at City Hall could ever possibly be considered an endorsement of a specific religion, the firm manages to work in a couple of digs at the LGBT community, black history, and cultural diversity. Because, of course they do.
“Numerous private organizations have raised flags related to their respective events. These events have included ethnic and other ‘cultural celebrations,’ corresponding with the raising of the flags of various countries or causes, and announcements of the same on the CityHallPlazaBoston.com website,” the lawyer writes. “Approved flags flown at such events include those of Albania, Brazil, Ethiopia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, as well as of Communist China and Cuba. The flag of the private ‘Chinese Progressive Association’ has been raised. The ‘Juneteenth’ flag has been raised by the private National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. A homosexual rainbow flag has been raised by the private organization Boston Pride. Even a ‘transgender‘ pink and blue flag has been raised.”
Not only is the firm demanding that the city allow Shurtleff to fly his Christian flag at City Hall, they also want it prominently placed on the plaza’s website “complete with the supplied description of the event.”
Which is probably smart because it would suck for them if a city employee decided to describe them accurately. “A group of white people will be standing around, playing godawful religious and patriotic music over loudspeakers to annoy passersby and claiming credit for everything good about the country while blaming others for the bad stuff.”