Like it or not, the Secret Service is in place to protect Presidents, candidates, sitting, and former. Guidelines are put in place, specifically for safety in mind. So it comes as no surprise that anything that could be used as a weapon has been banned from the January 20th inagural pathway.

Well, a conservative group is threatening to sue the Secret Service, because they feel they are being singled out for being religious, because they are not going to be able to carry crosses on the parade route. They can’t understand anything beyond the King James version, and they do a bad job at that. They don’t get it that crosses aren’t banned — just ones that are of the size that can be used as a weapon.

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Inaugural cross ban lawsuit threatened

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

In a December 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.”‘

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.

By walterh

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