Next Step for Christian Flag: U.S. Supreme Court

Next Step for Christian Flag: U.S. Supreme Court

Jan 22, 2021

BOSTON, MA – Following a decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Liberty Counsel will file a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Boston resident Hal Shurtleff and his Christian civic organization, Camp Constitution, arguing that the city of Boston violated the First Amendment by censoring a private flag in a public forum merely because it contained a cross.
Despite the clear evidence presented at trial, the First Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the city of Boston’s censorship of the Christian viewpoint on the public forum, a place designated as a “public forum” by the city itself, and where it never censored private speech – until Camp Constitution’s application.

Never has Boston censored any flag until the Christian flag, which is white with a blue square in the upper corner and a red cross. The flag contains no writing. Under oath, the city official testified the flag would have been approved if the application did not refer to it as a “Christian flag.” The word “Christian” on the application alone triggered the censorship. The official said he had never heard of a “Christian flag” until Camp Constitution’s application. This testimony showed that if Camp Constitution had not referred it the flag on the application with the word “Christian,” it would not have been censored.

The city refers to its flagpole as a “public forum” and allows private organizations to temporarily raise their own flags on the flagpoles. However, the city censored the religious viewpoint of Camp Constitution’s flag, which was to be raised for about an hour on September 17 in observance of Constitution Day, while supporters gathered around the flagpole. The flag was part of the ceremony to honor the Constitution and recognize the Christian Founders.

Shurtleff and Camp Constitution first asked the city in 2017 for a permit to raise the Christian flag on Boston City Hall flagpoles to commemorate Constitution Day (September 17) and the civic and cultural contributions of the Christian community to the city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, religious tolerance, the Rule of Law, and the U.S. Constitution.

The city’s records show Boston has allowed at least 284 applications by private organizations on the city hall flagpoles without denial except for the Christian flag. Other flags raised include the Turkish flag (which depicts the Islamic star and crescent) and the Portuguese flag (which uses religious imagery). City officials have also never denied the “messages” communicated by the “Chinese Progressive Association,” the  rainbow flag of Boston Pride, and a “transgender” pink and blue flag. The flags of private community groups include Albania, Brazil, Ethiopia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, as well as of Communist China and Cuba. No flag was ever denied until the city denied the flag of Camp Constitution.

Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The city’s discrimination against Camp Constitution’s Christian viewpoint is both obvious and unconstitutional. There is a crucial difference between government endorsement of religion and private speech, which government is bound to respect. Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted is unconstitutional. We look forward to the next step in our journey to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

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(The above article is a news release from Liberty Counsel:  https://lc.org

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Determination of the Secretary of State on Atrocities in Xinjiang

The United States of America has led the world in holding the perpetrators of the most heinous human rights abuses accountable. From the Nuremberg Trials, to the creation of the Genocide Convention in 1948, to the declaration of ISIS’s recent genocide against the Yazidis, Christians, and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, Americans have given voice to those who have been silenced by evil, and stood with the living who cry out for truth, the rule of law, and justice. We do so not because we are compelled to act by any international court, multilateral body, or domestic political concern. We do so because it is right.

For the past four years, this Administration has exposed the nature of the Chinese Communist Party and called it what it is: a Marxist-Leninist regime that exerts power over the long-suffering Chinese people through brainwashing and brute force. We have paid particular attention to the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghur people, a Muslim minority group that resides largely in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China. While the CCP has always exhibited a profound hostility to all people of faith, we have watched with growing alarm the Party’s increasingly repressive treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups.

Our exhaustive documentation of the PRC’s actions in Xinjiang confirms that since at least March 2017, local authorities dramatically escalated their decades-long campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Kyrgyz. Their morally repugnant, wholesale policies, practices, and abuses are designed systematically to discriminate against and surveil ethnic Uyghurs as a unique demographic and ethnic group, restrict their freedom to travel, emigrate, and attend schools, and deny other basic human rights of assembly, speech, and worship. PRC authorities have conducted forced sterilizations and abortions on Uyghur women, coerced them to marry non-Uyghurs, and separated Uyghur children from their families.

Party apparatchiks have denied international observers unhindered access to Xinjiang and denounced reliable reports about the worsening situation on the ground, instead spinning fanciful tales of happy Uyghurs participating in educational, counter-terror, women’s empowerment, and poverty alleviation projects. Meanwhile, they are delivering far darker messages to their own people, portraying Uyghurs as “malignant tumors,” comparing their faith to a “communicable plague,” and exhorting the Party faithful to implement a crushing blow, telling them “you can’t uproot all the weeds hidden among the crops in the field one-by-one; you need to spray chemicals to kill them all.”

Since the Allied forces exposed the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, the refrain “Never again” has become the civilized world’s rallying cry against these horrors. Just because an atrocity is perpetrated in a manner that is different than what we have observed in the past, does not make it any less an atrocity. Today, I thus make the following determinations:

  1. After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that since at least March 2017, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. These crimes are ongoing and include: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians, forced sterilization, torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained, forced labor, and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. The Nuremberg Tribunals at the end of World War II prosecuted perpetrators for crimes against humanity, the same crimes being perpetrated in Xinjiang.
  2. In addition, after careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC, under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state. The governing authorities of the second most economically, militarily, and politically powerful country on earth have made clear that they are engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group, even as they simultaneously assert their country as a global leader and attempt to remold the international system in their image.

The United States calls upon the PRC immediately to release all arbitrarily detained persons and abolish its system of internment, detention camps, house arrest and forced labor; cease coercive population control measures, including forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced birth control, and the removal of children from their families; end all torture and abuse in places of detention; end the persecution of Uyghurs and other members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China, and afford Uyghurs and other persecuted minorities the freedom to travel and emigrate.

We further call on all appropriate multilateral and relevant juridical bodies, to join the United States in our effort to promote accountability for those responsible for these atrocities. I have directed the U.S. Department of State to continue to investigate and collect relevant information regarding the ongoing atrocities occurring in Xinjiang, and to make this evidence available to appropriate authorities and the international community to the extent allowable by law. The United States, on its part, has spoken out and taken action, implementing a range of sanctions against senior CCP leaders and state-run enterprises that fund the architecture of repression across Xinjiang.

The United States has worked exhaustively to pull into the light what the Communist Party and General Secretary Xi Jinping wish to keep hidden through obfuscation, propaganda, and coercion. Beijing’s atrocities in Xinjiang represent an extreme affront to the Uyghurs, the people of China, and civilized people everywhere. We will not remain silent. If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future.

Proclamation on National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2021 by Donald J. Trump

 

Every human life is a gift to the world.  Whether born or unborn, young or old, healthy or sick, every person is made in the holy image of God.  The Almighty Creator gives unique talents, beautiful dreams, and a great purpose to every person.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonder of human existence and renew our resolve to build a culture of life where every person of every age is protected, valued, and cherished. 

This month, we mark nearly 50 years since the United States Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.  This constitutionally flawed ruling overturned State laws that banned abortion, and has resulted in the loss of more than 50 million innocent lives.  But strong mothers, courageous students, and incredible community members and people of faith are leading a powerful movement to awaken America’s conscience and restore the belief that every life is worthy of respect, protection, and care.  Because of the devotion of countless pro-life pioneers, the call for every person to recognize the sanctity of life is resounding more loudly in America than ever before.  Over the last decade, the rate of abortions has steadily decreased, and today, more than three out of every four Americans support restrictions on abortion.

Since my first day in office, I have taken historic action to protect innocent lives at home and abroad.  I reinstituted and strengthened President Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy, issued a landmark pro-life rule to govern the use of Title Ten taxpayer funding, and took action to protect the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor.  My Administration has protected the vital role of faith-based adoption.  At the United Nations, I made clear that global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that protect innocent life.  Just a few months ago, our Nation also joined 32 other countries in signing the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which bolsters global efforts to provide better healthcare to women, protect all human life, and strengthen families.

As a Nation, restoring a culture of respect for the sacredness of life is fundamental to solving our country’s most pressing problems.  When each person is treated as a beloved child of God, individuals can reach their full potential, communities will flourish, and America will be a place of even greater hope and freedom.  That is why it was my profound privilege to be the first President in history to attend the March for Life, and it is what motives my actions to improve our Nation’s adoption and foster care system, secure more funding for Down syndrome research, and expand health services for single mothers.  Over the past 4 years, I have appointed more than 200 Federal judges who apply the Constitution as written, including three Supreme Court Justices — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.  I also increased the child tax credit, so that mothers are financially supported as they take on the noble task of raising strong and healthy children.  And, recently, I signed an Executive Order on Protecting Vulnerable Newborn and Infant Children, which defends the truth that every newborn baby has the same rights as all other individuals to receive life-saving care.

The United States is a shining example of human rights for the world.  However, some in Washington are fighting to keep the United States among a small handful of nations — including North Korea and China — that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks.  I join with countless others who believe this is morally and fundamentally wrong, and today, I renew my call on the Congress to pass legislation prohibiting late-term abortion.

Since the beginning, my Administration has been dedicated to lifting up every American, and that starts with protecting the rights of the most vulnerable in our society — the unborn.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we promise to continue speaking out for those who have no voice.  We vow to celebrate and support every heroic mother who chooses life.  And we resolve to defend the lives of every innocent and unborn child, each of whom can bring unbelievable love, joy, beauty, and grace into our Nation and the entire world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2021, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.  Today, I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born.  I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home.  And finally, I ask every citizen of this great Nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

Camp Constitution’s Annual Report for 2020

(This report is a few weeks late due to the fact that we recently moved from Boston to New Hampshire.)

 

 Camp Constitution’s Report for 2020

Our 12th Annual Family Camp: This was our first time at Singing Hills Christian Camp in Plainfield, NH.  We had the largest turnout in our history with over 140 attendees and guests.  We were pleased to have new instructors Dr. Felecia Nace, Attorney Jonathan Alexandre of Liberty Counsel, and William Brown of Save the Persecuted Christians.  For the first time in our camp history, we had marksmanship where 40 people young and old fired weapons for the first time.  

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YouTube Channel:  We were averaging 10.000 and have approximately 1,200 new subscribers. Our most popular videos are Debbie Bacigalupi’s class on California Wildfires, and Agenda 21, Manning Johnson’s, and Rev. Steve Craft’s Color, Communism, and Common-Sense class from last year’s family camp.  If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to visit our channel and subscribe.    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN7ME18Q1xiqcrPEn5h5FbA?view_as=subscriber     

The Sam Blumenfeld Archive:  We are averaging 0ver 100,000 views a month, with over 3,000 Alpha-Phonics downloaded per month.   http://campconstitution.net/sam-blumenfeld-archive/  

 Since launching the Blumenfeld Archives 33 months ago, close to 250,000 Alpha-Phonics and 50,000 Alpha-Phonics instruction books have been downloaded. 

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Camp Constitution Radio on Podomatic:  Our listenership has almost doubled over last year with over 9,000 visits and over 3,000 shows downloaded.  A donor recently gave us the funds to become a “Broadcaster” giving us unlimited space.     https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/shurtleffhal       

Facebook Page:  Over 3,000 likes.  We also manage nine Facebook groups.  Facebook recently disabled my account.  All of my Camp Constitution Facebook videos, pictures with the exception of those on our page went down an Orwellian Memory Hole.  We started a group on MEWe and encourage readers to visit and like our new group on MEWE:  https://mewe.com/group/5e0cca3101162c26682b7278  

Speakers Bureau:  Prior to the lockdown we had eight speaking engagements which included an all-day seminar in New York hosted by the Gimenez family.  We hosted two videos showing of the movie Unplanned.  Since the lockdown and gradual reopening, we spoke at six Open Up Massachusetts rallies.   Rev. Craft, Tom Moor, Rich Howell spoke at the annual Flag Day-Second Amendment Rally in Central Massachusetts. In August and September, we had ten speaking engagements in Maine including Rev. Craft as the keynote speaker at a rally in Houlton.  Rev. Craft and I spoke to a group in Douglas, MA hosted by State Senator Ryan Fatman. We hosted well-attended   barbecues at the Lane House in Lexington on Independence Day, and Labor Day Weekend.  Rev. Craft conducted several presentations in the Naples, Florida area after a pastor saw his video on Color, Communism, and Common Sense.  We also hosted video presentations and started up our monthly luncheons in November at the Lane House.

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  Information Tables and Outreach: Prior to the lockdown in March, we had information tables at several venues, and a first-time presence at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. During the lockdown, we had information tables at the annual Flag Day Second Amendment Rally in Massachusetts, and for the first time, we had an information table at the Heaven’s Saints Motorcycle Club Rally in Helen, Georgia         

       Camp Constitution’s Website: We are seeing a steady monthly increase with over 40,000 views from January to June.  Our on-line shop experienced steady sales over last year.   http://www.campconstitution.net

Camp Constitution Press: We reprinted And Not a Shot if Fired.   We published Sam Blumenfeld’s School-Induced Dyslexia and How It Deforms a Child’s Brain, reprinted Negroes in a Soviet America and American Negro Problems.  These were Communist Party pamphlets that were reprinted by Patriot groups in the 1950s and 1960s to show how the Communists were promoting race hatred.