The chairman of legal firm that defends religious freedom says an American city famous for its historical landmarks is guilty of viewpoint censorship in its denial of a request to fly the Christian flag.
Liberty Counsel has asked a federal court to forgo a trial and order the city of Boston to allow resident Hal Shurtleff and his Christian civic organization, Camp Constitution, to fly the Christian flag on a city flagpole. The flag would be raised only during a one-hour event on Constitution Day (September 17).
Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel co-founder and chairman, points out that the city of Boston has allowed hundreds of other organizations to fly flags on the flagpole – including those celebrating "gay pride" and transgenderism.
"All the discovery is done, the depositions are done, everything is ready for the judge to make a ruling and there's no need to have a trial on this matter because everyone agrees to the facts," he states.
"What we've discovered is that [since 2005] around 300 applications to raise a flag of a private organization have been approved … and not a single one has been denied – except for the Camp Constitution flag because of the word 'Christian.'"
Staver contends that if the flag had been called something other than a "Christian" flag, Boston would have allowed it, even if it had the same symbols.
"It's the word 'Christian' that they ultimately censored, even though the word 'Christian' is not on the flag itself – but it is the Christian flag," he continues.
"So this is clear violation of the First Amendment because they are clearly targeting the word 'Christian,' or anything related to 'Christian' for censorship – and that is viewpoint censorship which the Supreme Court has ruled many times is unconstitutional."
Boston's motto is "SICUT PATRIBUS, SIT DEUS NOBIS" – Latin for "God be with us as he was with our fathers."