Federal Judge Denise Casper recently denied the City of Boston’s request to dismiss Camp Constitution’s lawsuit, and earlier this week, Attorney Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, gave an oral argument on our behalf art the Federal Court of Appeals in Boston. Here is the text of Liberty Counsel’s news release sent out earlier this week:
Boston Censorship in Court
May 7, 2019
BOSTON, MA – Liberty Counsel will present oral argument tomorrow in a federal court of appeals against the city of Boston and one of its officials for censoring the Christian flag that Boston resident Hal Shurtleff and his Christian civic organization, Camp Constitution, requested to fly on the city’s public forum.
The city censored the religious viewpoint of the flag in a public forum. The flag would have been raised only during the one-hour event held by Camp Constitution.
The city regularly extends to other civic and cultural organizations the freedom to raise their flags on a flagpole to commemorate whatever events are important to the organizations. The city’s application policy refers to the flagpoles as “public forums.”
However, when Camp Constitution asked the city in 2017, and again in 2018, 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, religious tolerance, the Rule of Law, and the U.S. Constitution, city officials denied the permit because the flag was religious.
Tomorrow, Mat Staver will present the oral argument at the court of appeals in Boston.
“The city’s blatant discrimination against Camp Constitution’s Christian viewpoint is an unconstitutional censorship and insult to the First Amendment,” said Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “Boston’s rich heritage has a focal point of liberty and free speech at America’s founding. The city cannot close its public forums to religious viewpoints. It is tragic that a Boston official censored the flag at the event to celebrate the Constitution,” said Staver.
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Mr. Staver is optimistic about the outcome, and prepared to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. We wish to thank Mr. Staver and Liberty Counsel for their efforts.
Our case has been receiving a fair share of media coverage both locally, nationally and even internationally. A number of conservative legal groups have contacted Liberty Counsel and sent “friend of the court” briefs supporting our lawsuit, and the Left or, as our friend and Camp Constitution instructor Lord Christopher Monckton would say, “The Forces of Darkness.” have also taken notice. Here is a poorly researched article from Americans United:
City officials in Boston should not have to fly a Christian flag on municipal flagpoles to mark a private event, Americans United and a broad collection of allies told a federal appeals court March 11.
Americans United, the Anti-Defamation League, the Sikh Coalition and 12 other religious and public policy groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a case pending before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerning an event that was held last year. Harold Shurtleff, a resident of West Roxbury, sought to compel city officials to fly the flag during an event he sponsors in Boston called “Camp Constitution.” When officials refused, Shurtleff asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction requiring them to do it. A federal court ruled against Shurtleff, and the case is on appeal.
“Because religious symbols are powerful expressions of ideas, for many people it would be profoundly affirming to see a flag promoting their own religion flying outside city hall,” observes the brief. “But to those who do not subscribe to the beliefs represented by the flag, the display instead may send a stigmatizing message of exclusion from the political community. And even for adherents to the favored religion, the government’s use, for its own purposes, of their religious symbol may be demeaning to both their faith and the revered symbol.” (Shurtleff v. City of Boston)
We are optimistic about the outcome of the case. I firmly believe that God’s hand is in this. What was planned to be a simple ceremony has become a legal case that should set a precedent and will hope to inspire people around the country.
Camp Constitution’s 2019 Family Camp:
Our annual family camp is less than three months away. Our class schedule is almost complete, and should be posted on our website sometime next week. We are accepting applications with our updated on-line registration: https://campconstitution.registration.payscape.com/ We are looking forward to the best camp in our eleven year history. We hope that you can be part of it.
Camp Constitution is able to run an annual family camp, and engage in year round activities thanks to the efforts and generosity of our supporters. If you haven’t already, please consider a monthly donation to help expand our efforts. Donations may be made via our PayPal account via our website’s homepage: http://www.campconstitution.net