Over a year ago, the wheels of justice began rolling with a lawsuit questioning whether the Bladensburg Peace Cross inappropriately established religion. In the ensuing months, the claims and counterclaims have trickled in, and onetime Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Richard Douglas has occasionally kept me (and others) updated on the process.
But now the case has taken an interesting turn:
Question: Should the federal courts allow comfortable white atheists to use the suffering of black Americans as a battering ram to force their opinions on all Americans?
Answer: We’re about to find out, with the Bladensburg Memorial WWI Peace Cross case.
Earlier this month, the atheists filed an “expert witness” opinion about the Memorial. In their opinion, the “expert” chosen by the atheists pulled the Ku Klux Klan card, associating the Memorial Peace Cross with the Klan and its racist ideology.
It is not the first time in this case that the atheists have hijacked black suffering in America to force their views upon the rest of us. In their initial complaint in federal court, the atheists attacked the Memorial Peace Cross on two fronts: first, under the “Establishment Clause” of the First Amendment to the Constitution ; and second, under Title 42, United States Code, section 1983 (42 USC 1983).
42 USC 1983 dates to the aftermath of the Civil War. It was one of the so-called “Klan Acts” enacted by Congress to protect newly-freed black people from mistreatment by state and local governments. Today the atheists are trying to use 42 USC 1983 it to dismantle the Peace Cross. So much for congressional intent.
In my judgment, playing the Ku Klux Klan card is an atheist “Hail Mary” pass (with apologies to Our Lady) to try and rescue what is in my judgment a doomed lawsuit. By pulling the KKK card, they have drawn a line in the sand and dared federal Judge Deborah Chasenow to step across.
In 2015 the Bladensburg WWI Memorial Peace Cross has about as much to do with the Klan as the guillotine has to do with modern humanism. Pulling the KKK card to attack the Memorial is the next-to-last refuge of a scoundrel. Let’s see if this group of privileged white malcontents gets away with it.
Knowing the political climate in Maryland, they just might. Bear in mind that this case has dragged on for over a year, and it’s fortunate that Douglas is assisting the defendants on a pro bono basis.
But it’s always fascinating to me to see what else Douglas is up to, and it turns out he has a couple other irons in the fire.
One is a PAC he created called the Job Homes Future PAC, which, as its mission, “aims to put the American workforce back where it belongs: in first place on our nation’s priority list. It is time to pick a fight with Congress on behalf of the American workforce.” (Emphasis in original.) As in many cases I’ve seen over the years, I suspect this may be the prelude to a political run.
Further evidence comes in a cryptic comment left on Richard’s Facebook page after he appeared before the Charles County Republican Central Committee in April:
Great having you join us. I really enjoyed your words to us. I totally agree with your positions and look forward to supporting your campaign to give Maryland a responsive representative in 2016. Hoyer must go.
It’s interesting that, while no one has filed the FEC campaign finance paperwork to challenge Steny Hoyer on the GOP side, two candidates are already on the GOP primary ballot – Mark Arness, who lost in the 2014 GOP primary to Chris Chaffee, and Charles Faddis, a former CIA officer for whom Congress runs in the family – his grandfather, also named Charles, was a House member in the World War II era. So Richard would be joining in a contested race should he choose that route, but neither of the two have raised a significant amount of money yet. With the recent entrance of Chrys Kefalas into the race, the Senate nomination would also be contested should Douglas choose that route again.
Of course, Richard may also choose to stay on the civilian side as he’s become a reasonably in-demand political commentator based on his experiences with luminaries like Senator Jesse Helms and with foreign policy and the role of the Senate.
In any case, he will be one to watch as 2016 approaches and this court case reaches its conclusion in the federal district court.