The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum reportedly turned away a dozen Catholic high school students and their chaperones for wearing pro-life beanies.
On January 20, students and chaperones from Our Lady of the Rosary School in Greenville, South Carolina, journeyed to Washington, D.C., for the annual National March for Life. The members of the organization were all wearing similar blue beanies with the slogan “Rosary PRO-LIFE.”
Many observers are now arguing that the act was an unacceptable act of religious persecution.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represented the parents of several of the youngsters involved, stated that museum workers derided the students, shouted expletives, and claimed the museum was a “neutral zone” where political or religious themes were not permitted.
According to ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow, other visitors to the museum were wearing a variety of caps as they walked around the displays.
“This is a clear and egregious abuse of the First Amendment, which protects their right to free speech without government interference, and we are ready to take action. A government institution cannot censor an individual’s speech, much less speech from the inherently Christian pro-life position.” Sekulow stated.
The Smithsonian Institution is a governmental agency that gets more than $1 billion in government funding each fiscal year.