DC drops opposition to Ten Commandments display

Thou shalt not require rule-following in the display of garish religious sculptures:
More than three weeks after District officials warned an evangelical Christian group about displaying a sculpture of the Ten Commandments on property across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court, they said yesterday that the 850-pound granite monument doesn't need a permit after all.
Officials with the D.C. Department of Transportation had said in a June 2 letter that Faith and Action lacked permission to erect the waist-high sculpture, which sits on the front lawn of the Capitol Hill rowhouse that holds the group's national offices. The officials threatened the group with $300-a-day fines, saying it needed permits from both the Transportation Department and the city's office of historic preservation because the rowhouse is in a part of the city deemed "public" and in a historic district.
…Yesterday, Lars Etzkorn, associate director of the office of public space management administration at the Transportation Department, sent a letter to the group rescinding the earlier warning.
What happened in the interim? Faith and Action's president, the Rev. Robert Schenck claimed they were being "singled out because of the display's religious nature," launched a petition drive (not mentioned in the article, but found at their website) which gathered thousands of signatures, and assembled a legal team including Judge Roy Moore (who was removed from office in 2003 after refusing to remove a Ten Commandments Monument from the Alabama Judicial Building) and the Alliance Defense Fund, which was founded by Dr. James Dobson.

To be clear, the Dept. of Transportation and the Office of Historic Preservation were not seeking to prohibit Faith and Action from erecting the sculpture, but to make sure they secured the proper authorization to do so. But instead of just following the law like everyone else, Faith and Action and their legal team of professional Dominionist bullies made a bunch of noise about being treated unfairly, so it was game over. They don’t have to play by the rules, because expecting the Dominionists to follow them undermines their right to religious freedom.

(Hat tip to Holly at The Moderate Voice; crossposted at Shakespeare's Sister.)

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