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Monday, January 10

Secret Service To Prohibit Cross Displays At Bush Inauguration

Secret Service To Prohibit Cross Displays At Bush Inauguration: "Secret Service To Prohibit Cross Displays At Bush Inauguration"

Maybe Bush has hired his Moonie Cult bretheren to toss them into garbage bins.

WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Public display of crosses at President George W. Bush's Inaugural Parade on January 20 will be prohibited, according to a letter sent to the National Park Service by the U.S. Secret Service last month.

On December 17, 2004, the Secret Service sent a letter on U.S. Department of Homeland Security letterhead to Terry Carlstrom, who serves as the regional director of the National Park Service in the National Capitol Region.

A list of banned items during the Inaugural Parade is outlined in the letter, including firearms, ammunition, explosives, weapons of any kind, aerosols, sign supports, packages, coolers, thermal or glass containers, backpacks, large bags, laser pointers, animals, structures, and anything else determined to be a safety hazard.

Specifics are mentioned in the letter about the size and scope of any signs brought to the Inaugural Parade, including being made with materials that do not pose any danger to parade participants by means of concealing a weapon.

Other prohibited items that the Secret Service deems as threatening to parade participants are also listed within the text of the letter, including props, folding chairs, bicycles, puppets, paper mache, coffins, crates, crosses, theaters, cages, and statues.

Approved items at the parade according to the letter include signs, portable bullhorns, cell phones, baby carriages, baby strollers, wheelchairs, and other devices used by handicapped persons as long as they have a National Park Service permit.

The Christian Defense Coalition was granted one of these permits on December 23, 2004 to hold a prayer vigil and demonstration at the Inaugural Parade, but its director was appalled that they would not be allowed to display any crosses at this event.

"By prohibiting the public display of crosses at the Inauguration Parade, the Secret Service has trampled the First Amendment and crushed religious freedom in the public square," remarked Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition. "Simply put, it is religious bigotry and censorship."

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