Friday, August 04, 2006

Something New

If you read our website (www.faithandaction.org, you probably know David New, who is a regular columnist. David is a dear friend, brother in Christ and fellow minister of the Gospel. He is also an outstanding constitutional attorney.

This past week, David called Mr. Lars Etzkorn, the Government of the District of Columbia official who notified us of the reversal on their order to remove the Ten Commandments monument in our front garden. By way of David's call, we were seeking a more complete explanation of 1) What went on in the time leading up to their initial decision to cite us for not having the proper permits, 2) What led them to make their initial decision, and 3) What led to their decision to rescind their initial order.

Predictably, the officials David spoke to referred back to their second letter rescinding the order and basically said it speaks for itself. (You can read the letter on our website.) What else would you expect from government officials? The only new information David learned is that the Government took into consideration the totality of the case. In other words, they didn't simply stick to the letter of the law (at least in their application of it), but took all the attendant circumstances and claims into the process. That's interesting. It may mean had we not had petitions, a national network of good people, the interest of the media--and the possible scrutiny of a now more conservative Supreme Court--we would be racking up draconian fines by now.

It's disturbing to think that we get to enjoy our First Amendment rights ONLY because we fought back. Not everyone is in a position to do so. I only pray that our boldness in standing for our God-given, constitutionally protected rights will help ensure them for others.

One thing we did learn this past week (and not from David's conversation), is that the Washington, DC chapter of "American Atheists" met with D.C. government officials at some point in the process. We believe it was BEFORE the order to remove the monument. If you put that together with the above, you get: D.C. gives in to whoever pushes harder. That shouldn't give anyone much confidence in the government that runs our U.S. Capital!

Final word: The head of the local chapter of the American Atheists told a reporter he believes the government was intimidated by me, and that's why they changed their order.

I don't know what to make of that . . .

1 comment:

jewels4000 said...

I think that they would not be intimidated by one person but maybe all the other people that have your back.