Dogma Alert

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Group Threatens Lawsuit Over Crosses

This is an odd story from the Chicago Tribune that shows to what extent fundamentalist Christians are hypnotized and enslaved by their symbols.

Associated Press Writer
Published January 10, 2005, 5:00 PM CST

WASHINGTON -- A conservative group is threatening to sue the Secret Service for religious discrimination over security guidelines that would ban Christian crosses from President Bush's inaugural parade route.

The Secret Service said Monday the guidelines were meant to prohibit large structures that could be used as weapons. Crosses were the only religious symbols on the list of banned items.

Oh, the irony. The thought that our intrepid Dubya might be threatened by a 6-foot crucifix as a weapon is hard to imagine while keeping a straight face. What are they gonna do, sharpen the end and throw it at him? One would think that ol' George, being such a pious Christian and all, would welcome such ancient symbols of pain and suffering to decorate his inaugural route. In fact a giant crucifix would be doubly meaningful because it could also serve as a portend of the all pain and suffering the next four years of his rule will most likely bring.

In a Dec. 17 directive to the National Park Service, the Secret Service mandated that signs and placards along the inaugural parade route down Pennsylvania Avenue be made out of cardboard, poster board or cloth. They may be no more than three feet wide or 20 feet long.

The directive also prohibited folding chairs, bicycles and other structures, and displays "such as puppets, papier mache objects, coffins, crates, crosses, theaters, cages and statues."

"The way it's written, it's an unequivocal ban on crosses," said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition. The group is seeking to have the prohibition overturned in federal court if the Secret Service fails to retract it.

"They are not banning large displays of the Star of David or Islamic symbols," Mahoney said. "The only resolution is that they would have to pull 'crosses' out. And they could easily protect religious freedom by saying, 'We ban all structures made of wood.'"

Notice how the good Reverend gets his kickers in a twist over the way the directive singles out crosses and not other religious symbols, particularly ones from Judaism and Islam? I wonder if the vampire coalition should mount a protest over the ban on coffins as well? Looking at the other items on the list, it seems obvious that the directive was talking about large structures or things that could be used to disguise weapons of some sort. Only someone who is either not very bright or is over-emotionally attached to their symbolic belief system would think otherwise.

That's the curious thing about the hypnotic effect of true belief in the three monotheistic religions, is that emotional identification with the symbolism or meaning of an object is so overwhelming that any perceived attack or snub against the symbol is perceived as a direct threat to the person themselves.

The Secret Service was working on a clarification Monday to resolve the flap. Spokesman Tom Mazur said the ban on crosses "is strictly in regards to structures -- certainly not the symbol."

"There is no prohibition on crosses, symbols or messages based on content -- only structures made of materials or of a size that could be used in a potentially threatening or harmful manner," Mazur said.

I wonder if Jesus walked his ministry in the American wild west, whether his followers today would remember his suffering by wearing a noose around their necks?

"Come down off the cross, we could use the wood."



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