Mad Mat Staver
Hate group leader Mad Mat Staver – Liberty Counsel

via YouTube/Fox News

Thursday, Hate group leader Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel is asking rhetorical questions in a blog post. He has been representing Harold Shurtleff and something called Camp Constitution for two years now. Shurtleff has been trying to raise a Christian flag on a government flagpole and keeps getting rejected.

Staver is always pissed off at something or someone. Today it is the City of Boston. On July 8, Liberty Counsel filed suit in federal court (Boston) asking for summary judgment in favor of his client (the Christian flag flyer). Summary judgment means that no facts are in dispute — only issues of law.

On July 6, 2018 he did pretty much the same thing except that he requested an injunction prohibiting the City of Boston from denying the use of the flagpole. The judge denied the injunction last September. Staver appealed to the First Circuit. On June 27, 2019, the First Circuit concluded that the flagpole is government speech and that the city is therefore required to respect the Establishment Clause. This is consistent with the reasoning of the city by email in September, 2017 (nearly two years prior):

I am writing to you in response to your inquiry as to the reason for denying your request to raise the “Christian
Flag”. The City of Boston maintains a policy and practice of respectfully refraining from flying non-secular flags
on the City Hall flagpoles. This policy and practice is consistent with well-established First Amendment
jurisprudence prohibiting a local government from “respecting an establishment of religion.” This policy and
practice is also consistent with City’s legal authority to choose how a limited government resource, like the City
Hall flagpoles, is used.

There is more to the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit but the bottom line is that it upheld the decision of the lower court. Staver being Staver, he has essentially refiled the same case which will yield the same result at both the district court and the First Circuit. (When oh when will Liberty Counsel be sanctioned for abuse of process?) Staver will then try to get this case before the United States Supreme Court.

In the blog post, Staver writes:

The city has allowed other civic and cultural organizations the freedom to raise their flags on the city hall flagpoles to commemorate whatever events are important to the organizations more than 300 times since 2005, and nearly 40 times just in the year preceding Camp Constitution’s request. The city’s application policy refers to the flagpoles as a “public forum” open to “all applicants.” City officials have never denied the “messages” communicated by Boston Pride and the pink and blue “transgender” flag, and even the flags of Communist China and Cuba, but will not allow the civic and historical Christian message of Camp Constitution.

Staver knows perfectly well why the Christian flag has been rejected. The City of Boston, a United States district court judge and the First Circuit Court of Appeals have made it abundantly clear.

As of today, Staver might have another problem. The image on the right is from Camp Constitution’s website. It clearly states that all donations are tax-deductible. I find that interesting:

  • Camp Constitution is not a federally recognized tax-exempt organization.
  • Camp Constitution is not registered as a charity with the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Camp Constitution is not registered as an entity with the secretary of state of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I shall take the appropriate action.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.