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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Smithsonian Slammed for Kicking Out Christian Kids during March for Life

'The museum staff mocked the students, called them expletives... '

(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) A group of Catholic students wearing hats in support of saving the lives of unborn babies was booted out of the Smithsonian Institution, prompting a lawsuit and Congressional action from Republicans are investigating the incident.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, sent a letter to the secretary of the Smithsonian following a lawsuit alleging that the staff had discriminated against the students, who were also part of the March for Life, because of their religious beliefs, according to Breitbart News.

The lawsuit accuses the Smithsonian of violating the student’s First and Fifth Amendment rights and violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The students were all wearing blue pro-life hats that read “Rosary PRO-LIFE.”

“Once in the museum, [the students] were accosted several times and told they would be forced to leave unless they removed their pro-life hats,” the letter reported. “The museum
staff mocked the students, called them expletives, and made comments that the museum was a ‘neutral zone’ where they could not express such statements.”

The letter expressed doubts about the legality of the actions of the staff.

“As Members of Congress, we are unaware of any laws, rules, or regulations prohibiting members of the public from wearing pro-life hats inside Smithsonian office buildings,” it said. “Furthermore, there is a large body of jurisprudence reinforcing citizens’ First Amendment rights on public property.”

“As a federal entity and the recipient of more than $1 billion in federal funds every year, there should be no debate as to whether the First Amendment applies to the Smithsonian.”

The letter expressed a deep concern “about this unjust expulsion of young Americans from museums—subsidized with taxpayer dollars—for wearing apparel that your staff disagreed with,” and demanded the secretary answer several questions.

The Congressional Republicans asked several commonsense questions. They asked if the Smithsonian knew of the incident, if it had performed an internal investigation, for the name of the employee who had accosted the students, and how that employee was disciplined.

They also asked two, harder hitting questions.

“Does the Smithsonian have any policy prohibiting pro-life sentiments from being expressed in its buildings or any policy deeming it a ‘neutral zone?,'” was one such question.

“What efforts have you taken to ensure that the First Amendment rights of all Americans
are respected at the Air and Space Museum and an incident like this never occurs again
under your leadership?”

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