by Lowman S. Henry | December 07, 2002

“Unconstitutional” parking is the latest issue

It has become, unfortunately, an all too familiar Christmas tradition.  An annual battle, played out somewhere in this country, over the rights of Christians to celebrate the coming of our Lord against the church/state separation gang seeking to deny us our constitutional rights.

This year’s battle is taking place in the City of Pittsburghwhere the ACLU, which should more properly be known as the Anti-Christian Liberal Union, has raised objections to public parking near a downtown manger scene.  That’s right, the issue isn’t the crèche, the issue is parking.

A group of ten Pittsburgh-area religious organizations known as the Christian Leaders Fellowship each year places the manager scene, a replica of the scene portrayed at the Vaticanin Rome, on private property near Steel Plazain the city’s downtown area. That’s right,the manger scene was paid for by a Christian group, and placed on private property. The nativity was kicked off county property in the 1980’s after the ACLU  sued in court to deny the constitutional rights of Christians to have such a display on public property they had helped pay for with their tax dollars. But, that is another story.

Suffice it to say that everyone involved in the new depiction of Jesus’ birth worked to avoid incurring the wrath of the church/state separation crowd. Who would have thought they would run into a controversy over parking?

But, that is exactly what has happened.  It seems the City of Pittsburgh allocated several parking spaces near the manger scene to be posted for ten minute parking, thus allowing easy access to view the crèche.  This has been going on for the past four years and, by all accounts worked out well. This year, however, the Christian Leaders Fellowship erected signs that said “crèche viewing”.

Well, that was too much for the looney ACLU gang.  One of their attorneys, a fellow by the name of Jon Pushinsky accused the Pittsburgh Police of giving the religious group unconstitutional free parking because it the parking is associated with a religious symbol.

This Pushinsky guy needs to get a life.  Aside from the fact there is no clause in the Constitution requiring church and state to remain separate, only a clause that prohibits the government establishment of religion, the provision of a parking space hardly qualifies as a violation of anyone’s rights.  In fact, if the City of Pittsburgh had failed to provide parking, a stronger argument could be made that the municipality was infringing on the Constitutional rights of Christians to freely assembly and worship as they pleased.

Of course today infringing on the rights of Christians is politically correct.  But fringe elements like Pushinsjky and the ACLU are to be protected.

The issue has been at least temporarily resolved by the posting of new signs throughout the area allowing parking after 7:00 P.M. on weeknights and on weekends with no mention of the crèche.

Oh well, at least the Constitutional rights of Christians are protected nights and weekends, which is better than we usually get.