(RNS) — Days after the Supreme Court docket dominated that Boston had violated a Christian group’s rights by denying a request to fly its flag over Boston’s Metropolis Corridor Plaza, the Satanic Temple, a non secular freedom advocacy group, has utilized to fly its flag throughout “Satanic Appreciation Week” later this summer season.
The Satanic Temple’s goal is to check whether or not the town’s court-ordered acceptance of flags from non secular teams features a dedication to plurality.
“A public discussion board that permits for non secular expression can both announce a dedication to spiritual pluralism,” mentioned Lucien Greaves, Satanic Temple’s co-founder and president, “or it could sign a decline into theocracy by permitting public representatives to dictate limits on the civic capacities of some non secular identities by exercising unique choice for others.”
The town didn’t reply to a request for remark.
In July 2017, Harold Shurtleff, director of Camp Structure, a New Hampshire-based group that seeks to show households about “(America’s) Judeo-Christian ethical heritage,” utilized to fly a Christian flag in Metropolis Corridor Plaza throughout an hour-long ceremony commemorating Structure Day, September 17. Previously the town has flown flags honoring varied international locations, teams and causes. Boston didn’t have any pointers on what flags will be flown.
Shurtleff’s request was declined by Boston officers on the grounds that the non secular flag would violate the First Modification’s institution clause, disallowing help for any faith by the federal authorities. Shurtleff sued, and whereas intermediate courts sided with the town, on Monday, the Supreme Court docket concluded that “the town’s refusal to let Shurtleff and Camp Structure fly their flag primarily based on its non secular viewpoint violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Modification.”
Justice Kavanaugh, in a concurring opinion, wrote, “Below the Structure, a authorities might not deal with non secular individuals, non secular organizations, or non secular speech as second-class.”
Shortly after the choice was introduced, there have been calls on social media for The Satanic Temple to use to hoist a flag in Boston. The Salem-based group didn’t disappoint.
“Removed from being an arbitrary train in hilarity — as we regularly see our claims for equal entry contextualized within the press,” Greaves informed Faith Information Service, “our calls for that the federal government respect viewpoint neutrality in a public discussion board has profound penalties for anyone involved with the preservation of their civil liberties, no matter their non secular identification.”
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