There seems to be no end to the government’s infringement on our freedom of speech and religion. And now the latest excuse is that the Catholic diocese is threatening the safety of our citizens with their advertisements. An article in The Federalist explained the problem.
On October 24, the archdiocese submitted advertisements to be displayed in the DC Metro. In response, the Metro explained that the ads were not in compliance with Metro guidelines and therefore couldn’t be posted. Under those guidelines, “advertisements that promote or oppose any religion, religious practice or belief” were not permitted. They further explained that the religious scene in the ad promoted religion.
After unsuccessfully appealing to Metro officials, the diocese sued:
On Tuesday, the archdiocese filed a five-count complaint against Metro in a federal district court in Washington DC. The lawsuit alleged violations of the archdiocese’s constitutional rights to free speech and free exercise of religion, as well as a denial of equal protection and due process. A final count charged Metro violated the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The archdiocese was denied a restraining order and preliminary injunction. Federal district court judge Amy Berman Jackson explained her rationale:
The [Metro] Assistant General Manager for Customer Service, Communications, and Marketing also averred that she heard from the Metro Transit Police Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that running certain issue-oriented ads could pose security risks on trains and buses. One of the factors that spurred [Metro] to close its advertising forum was the submission of an ad featuring a cartoon depiction of the Prophet Mohammad. Drawing the Prophet Mohammed is highly offensive to Muslims, and [Metro] was aware that the ad was drawn at a contest where two gunmen were killed in an attempt to prevent the event.
Apparently, a government agency can limit advertising access, “…as long as the lines drawn are reasonable given the purpose of the forum involved, they do not favor one viewpoint over another and they are consistently applied.” I wonder how the Metro will explain their allowing yoga ads but not Christian ads?
But now we learn that the latest attempted terrorist attacker chose the location “…because of its Christmas themed posters,” as well as US airstrikes against ISIS.
Again, we acquiesce to terrorists even when they aren’t successful.
Was this decision against the diocese reasonable? Do you believe anti-religion forces are at work? Do you think that religiously themed posters are a problem? Do you think that all Christmas ads should be banned, including those for department stores and other retail outlets to protect our country?