Home The Loft I'm sure Lincoln would not have wanted 'content neutral'

I'm sure Lincoln would not have wanted 'content neutral'

August 11, 2010 at 7:13 am 36 The Loft
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Bobby_Loft

Since when is patriotism considered a “demonstration”? Worse yet, since when is displaying your patriotism IN AMERICA considered a biased activity? It is if your group decides to sing the national anthem on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. At least that is the explanation given by U.S. Park Police as to why they ordered a group of high school students to stop singing the national anthem. In their zeal to keep the area “content neutral,” the park officials lost track of the fact that in America, patriotism used to be expected.

As noted in a story on FoxNews.com, “A group of high school students attending a conservative leadership conference in Washington, D.C. said they were ordered by a security guard to stop singing the national anthem during a June 25 visit to the Lincoln Memorial.” According to the report, “U.S. Park Police confirmed that the students were in violation of federal law and their impromptu performance constituted a demonstration in an area that must remain “completely content neutral.”

Sgt. David Schlosser explained that the area the students were in was “restricted for this type of activity,” and he added that “performances, regardless of content, are banned to “maintain a contemplative and reverent area for the Lincoln Memorial, for the other guests and visitors.”

Here’s my take on the whole situation. First of all, the police officer should have just let the kids finish singing. They were already part way through the song. Once finished, the officer could have said, “I’m sorry, but this area of the memorial is supposed to remain quiet for visitors to show their respect and reverence.”

Done. No big deal. I know that some people may knee-jerk and complain that this is stifling of free speech, that is not the point. The point is that it is ok for the area to maintain its quiet nature, but the officer could have handled it much better. By waiting until the song was over, the officer could have simply asked them to move down where singing was permissible. Instead, he made an issue out of nothing by “breaking up” the “demonstration.”

The second point is the larger issue to me. This whole idea of “content neutral” seems a little bit crazy when talking about the national anthem. This is America, right? If a group were protesting abortion, either for or against, that content clearly would not be considered “neutral.” If a group was advocating amnesty for illegal aliens, that would not be considered “neutral.” But can someone tell me how singing the national anthem in America is somehow biased or not “content neutral”?

Schlosser told Fox News:

“We need to make certain that all other visitors that don’t want to be a part of that or just choose to be tourists are able to do so in the same light that probably President Lincoln wanted – which is completely content neutral,” he said.

President Lincoln died for his efforts to bring America back together. He paid the ultimate price for his love for his country. I seriously doubt that singing the national anthem would have been considered biased in his eyes. It would have been expected.

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I'm sure Lincoln would not have wanted 'content neutral'
I'm sure Lincoln would not have wanted 'content neutral'
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36 Comments

  1. Liberty4310 August 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

    It’s not likely that Abraham Lincoln would have been content neutral about much of anything. It certainly wasn’t content neutral when he asked the band to play “Dixie” at the end of the War Between the States. It was an act of outreach. At any rate, since this is the United States of America and the “Star Spangled Banner” is it’s official anthem, I seriously doubt that Abraham Lincoln would have objected to it being sung at his memorial.
    If the police sergeant was correct, it’s a case of another law run amuck.

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  2. onewildman August 11, 2010 at 9:26 am

    It is just more of liberals run a muck. This Officer should removed from active duty and sent to that liberal favorite “Sensitivity Training”. If it’s good for the goose it’s good for the gander. Liberals are so intolerant they cant even see it. One more thing if some one visiting the Lincoln Memorial is offended by the singing of the National Anthem. Well… maybe they don’t belong here.

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  3. Dingbat36 August 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

    This is probably the most outrageous heap of male bovine fecal matter ever piled up anywhere in this entire country.
    Frankly, I could care less if some hide bound bystander who might not have been able to stand the cheeks of his (or her) own butt rubbing together was (or might have been) offended. People with that attitude do not belong anywhere near a memorial to any of the great men of our history. EVER!

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  4. Ringo August 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

    on a scale of 1 to 10…Students 10, Schlosser(kraut?)0.

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  5. Old Bill August 11, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Lord I pray that when the conservatives retake the country, we see and end to the political correctness ****.

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  6. rthom August 11, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Don’t forget that this is the Amerika Obama and the Libs want. Fly the American flag-you are making a divisive statement.
    If a U.S. service member defends himself too vigorously-charge him with murder.
    If you will not roll over and fork out more of your hard earned cash to be spread around-well you are not patriotic.
    Defend the Constitution and the Founders-you need to be watched as a possible Radical Militia member of recruit. Check out LIncoln’s “House Divided ” speech.
    The split in this nation is as wide and sharp as that prior to the Revolution and Civil War. How can one be “bi-partisan” with another whose belief system is diametrically opposite with your own?

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  7. fallsch August 11, 2010 at 11:07 am

    “Liberals are so intolerant they cant even see it.” – onewildman
    Agreed. Liberals are about the illusions of tolerance, open mindedness and unity. In truth, if they were actually about these things they would cease to exist as they would immediately destroy their own perspective on the issues.
    What to liberals and cockroaches have in common? They both scatter when they can’t avoid the light.

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  8. B Key August 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

    And to the Republic for which it stands …if we stand for something we should & do at times ( WE) the people mostly do ..it’s our government employees that need to grow a backbone..seems the police has gone into their namby pamby state ..hmmm
    If they shouldn’t sing there should be no songs
    it is simply another pick & choose by the so called law enforcers …the new immigrants or visitors are to assimilate , not delegate or regulate … If you don’t like the Star Spangled Banner ..then go HOME !
    besides Lincoln isn’t exactly a good character to portray UNITY >>>..

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  9. Sandra Lea Schell August 11, 2010 at 11:24 am

    “content neutral”. . . another term to be entered into the Politically Correct Dictionary of Obama Double Speak.
    Remember November, Comrades!!!

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  10. Confirmed Conservative August 11, 2010 at 11:25 am

    God save America.
    Common sense, love of country, belief in God and patriotism is under attach at every step!

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  11. Eve August 11, 2010 at 11:26 am

    It makes me proud and warms my heart to see those youngsters with their hands over their hearts singing the national anthem for Lincoln! I bet he smiled down on them. Yes, we need to take back this country for them, the singers and believers, dreamers and earth shakers, our next generation. If we don’t they will have to do so. And it might prove a lot harder for them if we don’t turn this mess around soon. Politically incorrect? Oh yes, political correctness, doesn’t that term sound like something out of Hitler’s mouth? If patriotism for our country has become incorrect, then let us be incorrect!

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  12. Sandra Lea Schell August 11, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Eve, You are so right on with your comment. Thanks for warming my own heart. I should concentrate on those youngsters who sang their hearts out at the Lincoln Memorial.

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  13. amiacalva August 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t understand why we are fussing about not being able to sing the national anthem at the Lincoln Memorial. Nor why it is a big deal that Boy Scouts are unable to express themselves at the Lincoln Memorial. What the fuss should be about is why it has become illegal to hold demonstrations or otherwise freely express our speech at the Lincoln Memorial or any federal monument, park or portion of a government building as long as the demonstration does not legitimately impede conduct of business. A visitor’s right to enjoy a monument in peace and quiet is always overriden by the more important right to freedom of speech. If the visitor wants to enjoy the monument in a vacumn, rent the video and put on the earphones. Its not important whether or not a statement is “content neutral”. This article dilutes the important argument. Let’s keep the main issue at the forefront.

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  14. Wlmitch1 August 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Political Correctness will cause the demise of our Nation if it is not stopped!!
    To obtain REAL HOPE AND CHANGE, we grass-roots Constitutional Conservatives,
    Tea Party Activists, and other true American Patriots of ALL races must UNITE!
    WE HAVE THE MORAL HIGH GROUND!! Get registered as Republicans in your State
    if it is not too late. Educate yourselves on where each candidate stands on the issues.
    Vote for ONLY grass-roots Constitutional Conservatives and Tea Party candidates
    in the Republican Primary elections. VOTE OUT the RINOs, Country-clubbers, and
    Republicrats – THIS MEANS VOTE THE ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATES OUT – in the
    Primaries and take our Party back! Then vote for these Republicans in November and
    take our COUNTRY back! Investigations, likely impeachment, and possible arrest,
    of the current administration, and others, will surely follow!! Do the same in 2012 AND
    elect a REAL American Patriot for President. Only then can we fully restore this great
    Nation to a Constitutional Republic with a Government OF the People, BY the People,
    and FOR the People! YES WE CAN!
    The dates on which the 2010 Primary Elections are being held are listed by State
    and Territory at http://www.fvap.gov/resources/media/vaghandout3.pdf You will
    need the latest version Adobe Reader installed on your PC to view this .pdf file.
    Washington State and Wyoming will hold their Primary Elections on August 17, 2010.
    GET OUT AND VOTE!!!

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  15. Chris B August 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Bobby, I’m going to have to disagree with you here. The kids violated protocoll and did so in an obvious way. Last year I was a part of a group that sang a musical redition of the Gettysburg Address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. There were two important things; you had to get advance permission and you could only use the lower (the cheap stone) steps. I can’t tell about the former, but they clearly violated the later. The upper space is for silence.
    During the two days four men did go up to that area to try singing it as a quartet. The guard let them finish and told them not to do it again. A large crowd, however, is not going to get that lienency.
    This isn’t about political correctness or free speech but it about protocoll, decorum, and sacred spaces. If you respect the space you will respect the procedure and protocoll.

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  16. Sandra Lea Schell August 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I honestly feel the real issue here is the right to peaceable assembly in public. But I won’t quibble over any of the points so far posted. They are all good comments and deserve serious attention. We all have one common enemy, folks, and it’s not each other.

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  17. Mort_f August 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Iwonder if there is a dress code as well.
    Red, white and blue is banned. The greens and oranges of Mexico and Islam are just fine.

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  18. Lngntooth August 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I just hope that in 10 years, we can smile, look back and say thanks to Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, for waking up the sleeping giant that is middle America. Those hard working, quiet types that just keep going back to work everyday,worrying about what shape we will leave this nation in for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

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  19. TRUTHTELLER August 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I absolutely agree with you Mort.
    If a group of Muslims, were carrying Kourans up those steps, chanting prayers, that guard would have sung a different tune. First of all his boss (the liar in Chief) is a Muslim.
    Secondly, we wouldn’t want to offend the favored religion of this administration.
    Also, Chris B., all that proceidure and protocall
    **** doesn’t apply to this administration. “Content neutral” only applies to us, not to the chosen one and his court. As long as it is Left wing, Marxist, Communist content neutral, it is acceptable.
    If that gusrd wasn’t such a power and control freak, he could have handled this situation a lot differently.
    Those kids were not a bunch of screaming chanting demonstrators, looking for trouble, they were singing our National Anthem to President Lincoln. I am positive that he was smiling down on them.

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  20. onewildman August 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve been to the Lincoln Memorial 3 times in my life. The last time was in 1982. I don’t recall a sign that said quite or no talking. I do remember a tour guide with a megaphone. I guess next time I have to go to York Town I will have to make time to go to Washington and see for myself. even if these were posted I cant imagine singing the National Anthem would offend any true American.
    IMPEACH OBAMA NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  21. Eve August 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    This is how I percieve this, perhaps somewhat influenced by the boisterous youths here at home that sing like angels for the choir at Flathead High. Rough and tumble boys still wet behind the ears and girls with the fresh blush of spring in their cheeks. Yes, they could burst out in songs that would tug at your heart for the sheer impetious nature of youth and laugh when they see a tear in your eye, and oh yes, most definitely yes, a patriotic song at the Lincoln Memorial, a trip that is now more worthy of the telling, I would predict to all those future grandchildren. I applaud them! Singing. Through song we speak our hearts. Let them sing! More of our children should sing out with hope and faith for their future. Perhaps then we could all sleep better at night, knowing our country will be cherished and protected and sung of by those precious ones that follow us.

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  22. Bob Barber August 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    How does Obama get dragged into this? This has nothing to do with Obama. This has been the policy of the Park Service for years. Why didn’t Reagan change it? Why didn’t Bush I change it? Why didn’t Bush II change it? Blame them as much as you blame Obama. Just another example of mindless, brainless conservatives acting in a knee jerk manner without thinking. Actually, that makes sense since they are brainless after all.

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  23. geoffrey August 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I distinctly remember MLK making anything but a “content neutral
    speech during his I Have A Dream “shout-out” many years ago.
    Where were the park police then to control the hundreds of thousands who clapped and cheered about the “neutral content” of that speech?
    Just wondering.

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  24. Hillbilly_gunslinger August 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Bob Barber has it right.
    What in the world does this have to do with Obama? I might not agree with his policies, but at least I won’t make myself look like a pavlovian idiot crying for his impeachment the moment something doesn’t go my way. Whatever happened to disagree with the man, but respect the office (?)

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  25. TRUTHTELLER August 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    To answer you, Bob Barber, yes, Obummer has everything to do with this. The attitude and actions of subortinates, from Cabinet members to park guards, are determined by the tone and attitudes set, starting at the top. (the White House) and its’ hopefully, short termed tennant.
    If Obummer had an ounce of decency, a Presidental apology would have been sent to those children and they should have been told that they could sing our beloved National Anthem on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, any time they wanted to.
    Instead, our august President won’t even wear an American flag pin on his lapel. He bows to Muslim kings and Sheaks, apologizes for America’s actions and in general, shows a distinct distain for our country, and it’s symbols.
    Don’t you think that these attitudes eventually trickle down the through the system? Even to park guards.
    It’s a sad day in America, when our youth is prohibited from singing our National Anthem, any time, any where, any place.
    It makes me proud, however, to know that these fine, upstanding and patriotic kids are out there. They are our future.
    Treasure them.

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