Knights of Columbus Sue Joe Biden, Claim First Amendment Violation

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Knights of Columbus have filed suit over what they say is a First Amendment violation, as the Biden administration’s National Park Service refuses to allow their tradition of a Catholic Mass on Memorial Day to honor fallen U.S. heroes.


On Memorial Day, for more than half a century, the Knights have had a Catholic Mass at Poplar Grove National Cemetery in Petersburg, Va. But enter “Catholic” Joe Biden, and suddenly the Knights are refused permission, with the claim of separating religious services from public grounds. 

The Founders, of course, never meant separation of church and state (a phrase not in the Constitution) to keep religion out of the public square. They wanted religion in the public square, but they also wanted individuals from different faiths to have the freedom to practice their religion publicly. Unfortunately, the Feds don’t agree.

Western Journal explained:

Although the tradition of a Memorial Day Mass at the cemetery dates back to the 1960s, the National Park Service under President Joe Biden is now saying religion is against the rules, prompting a lawsuit filed by First Liberty Institute and McGuireWoods LLP to allow the service on Monday, according to a news release from First Liberty.

The Biden administration is blatantly anti-Christian. If a Muslim group had requested a religious service in the cemetery, would they also have been refused?


McGuireWoods partner John Moran argued, “The policy and the decision blocking the Knights of Columbus from continuing their long-standing religious tradition is a blatant violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act [RFRA].” 

Liberty First senior counsel Roger Byron agreed. “The National Park Service is way out of line. This is the kind of unlawful discrimination and censorship RFRA and the First Amendment were enacted to prevent,” Byron said. Indeed, as contended in the motion for a temporary restraining order, “Defendants’ treatment of the Knights is unreasonable, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.”

According to the motion, “NPS is misapplying its own regulations,” and the Feds have mistakenly classed a reverent religious liturgy with disruptive demonstrations. “Memorial Day mass is no more disruptive of ‘the atmosphere of solemnity, quiet contemplation and tranquility’ than other permitted activity,” the appeal insisted. “Indeed, in the humble opinion of the Knights, their annual Memorial Day mass helps to contribute to the very atmosphere that NPS says it wishes to promote.”


Apparently, other faiths have not held such religious services, only Catholics. This year, not even Catholics will be allowed. The motion explained that when “the Knights pointed out that NPS had permitted another Council to hold their annual Memorial Day mass inside the Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia, NPS responded swiftly and harshly by revoking that permission.” NPS would only potentially allow a Mass outside the cemetery’s gates. So much for the First Amendment.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Knights. The superintendent of the Petersburg National Battlefield, however, is agreeing with the Biden administration’s NPS. The public practice of Christianity is increasingly under attack in America, and partly that is fueled by the constitution-trampling Biden administration.


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