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The Wrath Over The Wreath And The Exercise Of Free Speech

By now, most of you have heard about the peace sign wreath: USA Today: "Pagosa Springs -- A homeowners group says it will fine a resident $25

By now, most of you have heard about the peace sign wreath:

USA Today:

"Pagosa Springs -- A homeowners group says it will fine a resident $25 day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that has offended some other residents as an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. Lisa Jensen said she's not taking it down until after Christmas."

[..] Kearns, who fired a five-member neighborhood panel that refused to cite Jensen, gives his argument against the symbol: "The peace sign has a lot of negativity associated with it. It's also an anti-Christ sign. That's how it started." Read on...

UPDATE: After this story went viral, calls and email started coming in, most not very supportive of Kearns. Kearns has now resigned from the board (and consulted his attorney) and the wreath can stay up.

But variations on this theme are cropping up elsewhere. Here in Northern California, a hillside memorial of crosses for the troops lost in Iraq have spawned protests and counter-protests.


SF Chronicle:

Critics said the display has drawn a national spotlight to this Contra Costa County suburb and given it a bad image. But supporters claimed the 420 crosses, Jewish Stars of David and Muslim crescents are a dignified memorial to the thousands of U.S. soldiers who have sacrificed their lives.

Lisa Disbrow of Moraga, whose son, Zach, 22, is a West Point student graduating in May and preparing to serve in Iraq, told the council that the crosses had to go.

"I do not consider this a memorial,'' she said. "I am just appalled. This hillside is painful.''

Jim Minder, 53, of Lafayette called the display "a travesty'' and said the people who put it up were "despicable and morally bankrupt.''

But Jeff Heaton, of the builders of the memorial known as the Crosses of Lafayette, called it a "reminder that war is a grim event'' and added that the crosses had "struck a chord in this nation.'' Read full article here

And Newt Gingrich (at a First Amendment awards banquet no less) advocates MORE restriction on Free Speech before we "lose a city."

The Constitution: Apparently, to some, we must destroy it to save it.

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