Persecution Complex, Continued


Before the holidays, I poked a bit of fun at the attempt by some activists to claim that Christians in America are somehow persecuted. But this press release, about a Secret Service prohibition of crosses on the inaugural parade route, sounded like it might be a genuine instance, even if the idea of this kind of "bigotry" (in the words of Christian Defense Coalition head Patrick Mahoney) sounded implausible coming from the Bush administration.

Then I took a look at the actual document the group's so upset about. The ban is actually on a wide range of "structures" including puppets, folding chairs, crates, statues, and so on. Since it explicitly exempts "signs' made of "cardboard, poster board, or cloth," a handheld cardboard cross is presumably fine, meaning this isn't a content-based restriction, but rather a general ban on big wooden objects, with crosses being one example thereof. (I expect if the Secret Service thought there was much chance of anyone bringing one, they might've specified giant wooden Stars of David or jade Buddhas too.) I'm sure there must be at least some genuine examples of anti-Christian discrimination; can't these guys find one to get upset about?