Why not let Christians fly their flag?
Liberals’ intolerance bars simple expression of faith
Who knew the Christians even had a flag?
If you haven’t heard, an evangelical group called “Camp Constitution” is having an event on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Their mission is to promote the idea that American constitutional government as we know it would not have been possible without the faith traditions of the Founders. Not only is this not crazy, it’s pretty much historically indisputable.
Camp Constitution’s plan was to have short presentations from clergy and a brief summary of Boston’s religious history as “the city set on a hill.” (If you don’t get the reference, it’s a Bible thing. Just go with me.)
All the permits are in, the plans are made, except for one hitch: Camp Constitution wants to run a Christian flag up one of the flagpoles and salute it. After months of what they call stonewalling, the camp received their answer on Sept. 8: No Christian flags.
“The City of Boston maintains a policy and practice of respectfully refraining from flying non-secular flags on the City Hall flagpoles. … The City would be willing to consider a request to fly a nonreligious flag, should your organization elect to offer one.”
So, the same public plaza that’s hosted everything from the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Fest to a protest by a group of Ultra-Orthodox Jews against Zionism (it’s really complicated) and flown every flag from the Chi-Coms to the transgender won’t let the Christians fly their flag? Because it’s religious?
I could make the obvious point that, if this were a group of monks brandishing a Buddhist flag, or Tibetans attempting to fly a Lung Ta, or “prayer flag,” Mayor Marty would probably hoist it himself. But that argument misses the more basic question:
Why not just let them fly the damn … er, darn flag?
Even if there is a legal loophole Mayor Marty can use to keep evangelicals from “lettin’ their freak flag fly,” why stop them? Seriously, who’s going to be offended? Or more to the point: Who cares? We’re Boston — you know, the city of liberalism and tolerance and openmindedness, right? Why not demonstrate a little of that tolerance to these Christians?
Ooops. I think I just answered my own question …
When Camp Constitution’s Hal Shurtleff says the notion that a few minutes of flag waving would “indicate Boston is somehow a Christian city [is] kind of ridiculous,” I agree with everything except the “kind of” part. Nobody is going to mistake Boston for a mecca of religious fervor. (Pardon the pun.)
Is the Walsh administration actually afraid some angry atheist will complain? That some thin-skinned progressive will pout if the city graciously accommodates what is clearly a minority view in Massachusetts?
Ah, but the “accommodate minority views” wing of Massachusetts liberalism died out when they became the majority. Now they lead the charge against diversity of expressions and ideas.
These liberals used to attack the “intolerance” of religiously-faithful parents bothered by, say, explicit sexuality in public school reading assignments for middle-school kids. Now these same people can’t bear the thought that the banner of the Christian Church might be seen in the public square.
Camp Constitution says they’ll sue if the city bans the flag, and their lawyer Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel believes they have a pretty good case based on viewpoint discrimination. Other lawyers disagree.
But Boston liberals have made a terrific case for the argument that the left is a bunch of hypocritical, intolerant jerks.
PUBLIC PLAZA: City Hall won’t allow an evangelical group to have its banner join a range of others that have flown there.