An attorney is labeling as "preposterous" a federal ruling that allows the city of Boston to deny requests to fly a Christian flag.
An organization known as Camp Constitution wanted to fly a Christian flag on a pole that Boston uses to fly various flags – alongside poles flying the U.S. and Massachusetts state flags.
United States District Court Judge Denise Casper said that the city's policy against flying non-secular flags is reasonable, based on the city of Boston's interest in avoiding the appearance of endorsing a particular religion – and a consequential violation of the Establishment Clause.
"This case is of personal interest to me for a variety of reasons – one of which is [that] I used to work in a building right there on City Hall Plaza, and so I would see out [of] my window every day the three flag poles that are in question here," Massachusetts Family Institute President Andrew Beckwith shared. "One was the U.S. flag, the second one was the state flag and the third was sort of originally the city flag, but almost literally every day, there was another flag going up that flagpole, and we actually sort of had a little game in the office where we'd try to figure out what the flag, what country or organization the flag represented."
Some of those flags were from other nations whose symbols, included crosses. The Christian flag includes a cross in the upper left corner.
"I know there were certainly flags that had the Islamic crescent moon on them as part of the national flag," Beckwith continued. "The LGBT rainbow flag was flown pretty regularly, the transgender flag has been flown on that flagpole, and those express very clear worldviews, which frankly, are being pursued with as much vigor as a religion in many cases."
Regardless, the pro-family leader maintained that one cannot take what is effectively a public forum – "which is what they've made that city flagpole into" – and then restrict it to not include certain flags or certain speech because it is religious in nature.
"You cannot – under the First Amendment – discriminate against faith groups because they're a faith group," Beckwith explained. "It is ironic that in the city of Boston itself, which has such a deep history for our nation, there are Christian and religious symbols – engravings literally carved into the stone of the statehouse and on Boston Common – just a block away from city hall, so to say that we somehow can't have a flag that represents and is consistent with that Christian heritage in the city is pretty preposterous."
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