‘It’s my right to make you support my religion!’

At least that’s what many of the residents of King, N.C. may as well be saying. They’re all in a huff over a Christian flag the city council decided to remove from a war memorial after an Afghanistan war veteran made a complaint.

“This monument stands as hallowed ground,” said Martini, a tall, trim man with a tattoo on his right arm commemorating the day in 1988 when he became a born-again Christian. “It kills me when I think people want to essentially desecrate it.”

It now appears that many of the Christians in this small town have replaced the flag with a replica and are now guarding it. (It’s unclear from the article if the new flag is in the same place as the old one.) It’s a great display of ignorance, really. Someone doesn’t want the government supporting religion? Well, that person must just be desecrating everything! Actually, that wouldn’t be so bad – we really should never hold any ideas sacred, sealed off in a box where it’s unthinkable that anyone should ever question them. But that isn’t what’s happening here.

Of course in all this, the ACLU, as usual, has taken the correct position. They’ve praised the town for taking down the flag while allowing these people to hold their silly vigils. It’s no surprise that the ACLU is holding to actual principle. But that isn’t so clear to the residents.

The protesters, though, aren’t satisfied with the vigil. They’re planning an Oct. 23 rally in support of their ultimate goal, which is for the city to restore the Christian flag to the permanent metal pole on the memorial.

At a recent public hearing, roughly 500 people packed the King Elementary School gymnasium, many waving Christian flags. Of more than 40 speakers, no one spoke in favor of removing it.

“We’ve let our religious freedoms and constitutional rights be stripped away one by one, and I think it’s time we took a stand,” King resident James Joyce said.

James Joyce is just being a mook. The separation of church and state is well established; no one’s rights have been taken away by the removal of an illegal display of government-supported religion.

Of course, if the flag was a Muslim or atheist symbol of any sort, there would be an immediate uproar, quick adherence to the constitution, and no one in that town would be holding any vigil of support. It isn’t about principle for the Christian majority in King, North Carolina anymore than it is in the rest of America.