Christian Groups Protest Banning of Crosses Along Inaugural Parade Route

January 11, 2005

Source: Star-Telegram

On January 11, 2005 the Star-Telegram reported, "secret Service agents protecting President Bush along the inaugural-parade route Jan. 20 will be on the lookout not only for guns and explosives but also for coffins and crosses. The ban on crosses is drawing criticism from the director of the Christian Defense Coalition, which has carried large wooden crosses in pro-life demonstrations. 'It is blatantly unconstitutional,' the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney said Monday. 'For them to say that a cross could be used as a weapon is even more offensive than just listing the cross itself as a prohibited item.' Mahoney's group, based in Washington, D.C., rallied last year in support of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who defied a federal order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building. An ethics panel removed Moore from the bench. Secret Service spokesman Tom Mazur denied that the agency is trampling on religious freedom or the cross in its preparations for the inauguration."