Alabama Mayor Loses It After Being Told He Can’t Break Law By Flying Christian Flag At City Hall

A mayor of a small town in Alabama is outraged after someone noticed that the Christian flag flapping in the wind right next to the American one at City Hall is blatantly unconstitutional.

Glencoe Mayor Charles Gilchrist is now crying Christian persecution because the tyrannical way residents are making him abide by the U.S. Constitutional requirement of separation of church and state. No fair!

But Gilchrist is in a bind. His Christian conscience won’t allow him to take down the flag without a fight, but this whole breaking the law thing will be massively expensive. As conservative Christians are learning across the country, their attempts to shoehorn religion into public life is so obviously against the law that in almost every case a lawsuit is brought against them they lose. In a similar case to that of Glencoe, a town was forced to pay over $500,000 after a court ruled that they couldn’t promote Christianity on state property. Gilchrist has begun to freak out.

Gilchrist says the city attorney warned about another town that was sued over a similar matter. That town had to play $500,000 in damages plus $50,000 in legal fees.

“That would just about ruin us,” said Gilchrist, by phone Friday night. “That’s what they do, they pick on these smaller towns that can’t defend ourselves.”

In what is becoming depressingly commonplace, Gilchrist says he has removed the flag but only because mean atheists ruined everything. Specifically, he accuses religious watchdog group Freedom From Religion Foundation of bullying Christians into not being able to practice their faith (which in this case involves flying the Christian flag at City Hall).


Christian flag flying in Glencoe before it was removed. (Image via WBRC)

In Glencoe’s case, the Christian flag’s removal has been long overdue. Ironically, it is probably because the town is so small that it manages to stay up for as long as it did. According to local news station WBRC, the flag has flown over the police station since the 1990s. However, recent events, including the fight over the Confederate flag and the legalization of gay marriage have made the Christian flag even more controversial.

For many, the Christian flag has taken on a new message: Defiance of gay marriage.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on same-sex marriage, anti-gay Christians have been “revolting” by flying the Christian flag above, or in place of, the American flag. In North Carolina, an anti-gay pastor named Rit Varriale called on churches across the country to boldly raise the Christian flag above the American one – intentionally breaking the U.S. Flag Code in defiance.

“We should be flying the Christian flag above the American flag as a demonstration that Christians will respect and obey the federal government up to the point that the government asks something that is inconsistent with what God has called His people to do,” Varriale said.

In short, gay marriage has shocked Christian conservatives to such a degree that they are now openly advocating that believers abandon the secular principles of governance and create a sort of autonomous theocratic shadow state within the U.S. borders. In other words, the exact thing the Founding Fathers were trying to avoid by creating a secular government.

Feature image via Flickr courtesy Salon