During the COVID pandemic, Moscow, Idaho, was one of the many cities where officials simply took the law into their own hands and banned some events, such as church meetings.
It now is facing a civil rights complaint over its actions.
It’s because in protest of the lockdowns, members of Christ Church held various outdoor Psalm sings organized by Douglas Wilson, pastor of the church.
One of his grandsons, also in the church, Rory, was threatened by police for “standing too close to his cousin without a mask” at one of the outdoor events.
The Psalm sings were to object to the city’s shutdown orders, “which were issued without public consent while ignoring public input.”
Various church members at the sing were arrested and charged, although the cases later were dropped.
The pastor’s son, Nathan, and grandsons, Rory and Seamus, while the charges were pending, created decals – mostly about 3 inches across, made of vinyl, that could be stuck to objects and later removed without damage, the law firm said.
They said, “SOVIET MOSCOW” and included a hammer and a sickle emblem.
Further, they quoted the city’s own slogan it used to promote its lockdown orders: “Enforced because we care.”
The younger boys posted them on light poles, parking poles and signs, where “other decals, stickers, and handbills were or have been posted in the past,” the law firm said.
“It is an accepted and routine practice in the small university city to post messages, specifically including commercial messages, political messages, and messages on matters of public interest, on poles and other city property throughout the city. The city permits this practice and has created a forum for speech by doing so,” the firm said.
The boys, however, were given criminal citations for their speech, the legal team revealed.
And the city assigned workers to remove those messages, while leaving others, on various other subjects, alone.
The ones left posted included those insulting the Wilsons’ Christian community, the report said.
Those messages included “F— Christ Church” and “All Kirkers Are B——-.”
So now the America Freedom Law Center has filed a civil rights complaint on their behalf.
“The city’s bias and prejudice against the Wilsons, their political and religious views, and their religious beliefs were evidenced by a city prosecutor’s written exchanges in which she describes the Wilson’s religious community/family as ‘religious idiots’ and ‘Christ Church a——-,” the complaint notes.
AFLC explained, “It is a civil rights action brought under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging Defendants’ unlawful actions and selective enforcement of the law that were motivated by Defendants’ hostility toward Plaintiffs and their political and religious viewpoints and religious beliefs.”
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