September 30th, 2007 04:05 EST
Activist to Risk Arrest Today at Red Mass
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney will hold a sign with the full text of the First Amendment on a public sidewalk in front of St. Matthew's Cathedral during the annual celebration of the Red Mass, on Sunday, September 30, before the opening of the Supreme Court's new session on Monday.
Minister says it is hypocritical for our government to condemn the leaders of Myanmar for crushing free speech and human rights in that country, while threatening to arrest a minister for peacefully and prayerfully holding a sign on a public sidewalk in America.
The Red Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, especially by members of the Supreme Court and other public officials.
Rev. Mahoney will be in front of the Cathedral at 8:30 A.M. with the Red Mass beginning at 10:00 A.M.
St. Matthew's is located at 1725 Rhode Island Ave. N.W. in Washington, D.C.
In the past, Rev. Mahoney has been arrested twice for peacefully holding a sign of the Ten Commandments on the public sidewalk in front of the Cathedral during the Red Mass and recently lost a federal free speech lawsuit.
Activist troubled by the trampling of free speech rights by our government since 9/11, and calls the First Amendment the "second victim" of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney also adds, "It would be tragic for the federal government to arrest a minister for peacefully holding a sign of the First Amendment on a public sidewalk in our nation's Capitol. It would be especially troubling in light of the Bush Administration's recent condemnation of the leaders of Myanmar for brutally crushing free speech and political dissent in that country.
"In the past, I have been arrested by federal marshals for peacefully and prayerfully holding a sign of the Ten Commandments on a public sidewalk during the Red Mass. This was after I was told by federal law enforcement officers that I could stand on the sidewalk 'as long as I did not hold a sign.' In other words, I was arrested for peacefully convening a political message on a public sidewalk.
"In the time in which we living, it is important that citizens not be intimidated into surrendering their First Amendment rights. I would rather go to jail then to give up my free speech rights and be bullied by government officials."
Rev. Mahoney is being represented by the American Center for Law and Justice.
( See enclosed letter.)
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