The DC Circuit Court ruled that an ad showing the Nativity for Christmas sponsored by the Catholic Church violated a ban on “separation of church and state”:
A three judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court has upheld the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s rejection of a Christmas ad by the Catholic Church.
In a decision released Tuesday, the panel ruled against the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, which had sought to include their “Find the Perfect Gift” ad campaign.
While current United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was part of the panel, according to the decision’s text he did not participate in the panel opinion.
Judge Judith Rogers authored the court opinion, concluding that WMATA was not unlawfully suppressing the Archdiocese’s viewpoints with its ban on religious ads, because banning all religious ads in a “non-public forum,” regardless of sect, doesn’t violate religious freedom.
The ruling labeled metro’s ad space a “non-public forum,” which meant that the government could restrict what advertising it allowed, including religious and political content.
Not allowing the limitation of ads to commercial content would “upend decades of settled doctrine permitting governments to run transit companies without establishing forums for debate on the controversial issues of the ages and of the day,” Rogers wrote, “including not only the subject of religion but also politics and advocacy issues.”
Rogers also concluded that the archdiocese’s argument would open the gates to allow for all kinds of advertising content that most people may find objectionable.
“Were the Archdiocese to prevail, WMATA (and other transit systems) would have to accept all types of advertisements to maintain viewpoint neutrality, including ads criticizing and disparaging religion and religious tenets or practices.”
In a concurring opinion, Judge Robert Wilkins wrote that the WMATA ban “does not take sides” and “restricts all speech on the topic equally, without discriminating within the defined category.”
“Practicality permits government to restrict content within its nonpublic forums in a prospective, administrable manner, but once the parameters of those restrictions are set, administrators cannot further discriminate against a disfavored view that falls within those predetermined parameters,” continued Wilkins.
In 2015, WMATA banned advertisements of a religious or political nature, reportedly in response to receiving many complaints from multiple groups over their content.
Last November, the archdiocese filed a lawsuit against WMATA for rejecting a Christmas season ad that was part of their “Find the Perfect Gift” campaign.
At specific issue for the archdiocese was WMATA Guideline 12, which stated “Advertisements that promote or oppose any religion, religious practice or belief are prohibited.”
“The ban effectively silences any viewpoint that might challenge commercialism or consumerism or attempt to emphasize the religious reason for the season,” stated the lawsuit.
In December, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled against the archdiocese’s request for an injunction, arguing that is was not likely to succeed in its case.
In January, the United States Justice Department filed an amicus brief on behalf of the archdiocese, urging the appeals court to overturn the Jackson ruling.
“WMATA’s rejection of the Archdiocese’s proposed Christmas advertisement in this case falls squarely within the class of viewpoint discrimination,” stated the DOJ brief.
“In the context of Christmas advertising, WMATA’s guidelines permit messages which generally express commercial or charitable viewpoints, but exclude messages that express religious viewpoints.” (source)
The ruling is not a surprise. The USA has been turning against Christianity for a long time. In fact, it is arguable that the USA, in spite of the proclamations of “religious freedom,” never actually had religious freedom because all religions were recognized so long as the submitted to certain nationalist principles, effectively replicating the same effects of the Protestant revolution except instead of having a open “national church,” the new nationalism because a secular ethos defined for the culture and likewise subject to change in the future.
While Christianity has been the main religion of the USA, in spite of the wide divergence in beliefs between the different groups, it has managed to mitigate the more negative effects of a purely secular ethos. However, as Christian practice has declined the ethos has been transformed into an increasingly hostile approach to Christianity, manifesting what a large number of Americans privately think.
The “war on Christmas,” in which Christians lose ground each year is paltry in comparison to the greater tend of secularization and a rebirth of paganism that is now being legally instituted by the government.
Christians should take this in combination with American history as a warning based on their own history.
America in its current form came from the peoples of the UK, mostly England, Scotland, and Wales. The Catholic Church was forcibly exterminated from all of the UK except for the Hebrides in Scotland, where the few Catholics fled to the boggy, hilly, and remote, underdeveloped regions for the sake of keeping their faith and still today remain the only area of Albion that is notably Catholic. Ireland endured a genocide at the hands of the English because of hatred of the Faith that also translated into racial hatred, in which he was compared to Africans as but another variant of the same “subhuman species.”
When the descedants of Henry and Cromwell’s rebels came to the USA less than a century after the Revolution, they carried their beliefs with them, including their genocidal approach towards the American Indians. This is to be compared with the same treatment afforded to the natives by the French and the Spanish. While there were abused and enslavement by the Europeans, and while the Indians also committed tremendous and many terrible atrocities, the fact is that the French and the Spanish generally integrated and even mixed with the natives, as well as sent Catholic missionaries to them. The Protestant Anglo-Saxons, by contrast, put them to death in the name of “manifest destiny” and racism the same way they treated their fellow countrymen and Irish neighbors who did not subscribe to the nationalism of the time. It was likewise the justification for the enslavement of the Irish and the Africans, and later manifested in the eugenics programs of the 19th and 20th century directed against the Africans, Irish, and now immigrants from other parts of Europe who, predominately, came from nations with large Catholic populations.
A history of modern eugenics is to a large extent a history of the American nation and her role in world affairs. A wise man would note that over four centuries of observation is enough to warrant caution, especially since America has a tendency to use others for what she believes she can “take” from them, and then will turn against her “friends” and destroy them to their complete destruction if she believes that is in he interest as well. The USA did this in Libya when she destroyed Qaddhafi’s work at making Libya one of the most modern nations in Africa in order to precipitate the “refugee crisis.” She did this Iraq when she invaded the nation, funded and supplied the creation of ISIS, and then allowed for Islamic terrorists to wipe out completely what was one of the world’s most ancient Christian communities and then refused to deny her role in the genocide. She is doing it now by attempting to break Russia up into a series of warring nations through stirring up Russia’s historical enemies that enslaved the Slavic Russian people for almost four centuries and then taking another two centuries to conquer and bring under control.
This pattern must concern Christians, because the USA is openly turning against Christianity, albeit slowly and methodically. Much of this comes in the form of attempting to re-write Christian doctrines in order to conform to the secular ethos, especially on controversial issues including but not limited to the LGBT. Those Churches who oppose the government’s pressure are finding themselves under increasing scrutiny concerning their “tax exempt” status, which is what allows most churches to function as they do not have to pay property taxes. If the tax exempt status was lifted, most churches regardless of denomination would be confiscated because they could not pay the taxes that would be levied on them. It would destroy many church ministries instantly.
It would be the same effect as when Henry VIII seized the churches and monasteries, stole their wealth, and proclaimed himself the head of the church in England, and the Catholic Church would be the most heavily impacted. The difference would be that it would be the secular government seizing the churches and shutting them down or selling them off altogether.
Past behavior is the best indicator of future trends, and the US has a history of genocide and exterminating by highly creative means groups with ideas deemed “unamerican.” It is a pattern that goes back to the UK.
As noted above, it is unlikely- but also not impossible -that such an extermination will come through direct violence. It will be through laws and declarations because Americans seldom like to give the appearance of being the “bad guy” even if their actions are the worst in the area. Remember that while Germany did the experiments on people, their inspiration came from the USA, the USA knew what was happening and refused to act, and after defeating Germany saw that all of said eugenicists were saved from prosecution, brought to the country, and given new identities and comfortable jobs in high-salary government positions. Look up “Operation Paperclip” if one wants proof, and for further reading look up “Operation Gladio.”
One of the best indicators of the future and metrics to watch will be the treatment of LGBT issues in churches in the USA. The LGBT actively preaches was is sin and opposed to all Christian doctrine, and many people accept this. It will be interesting to see how the tax exempt status of churches changes over the next decade regarding this issue of those who refuse to accept the LGBT versus those who do.