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Thomas Gallatin / May 5, 2021

Biden Tries to Silence Rolling Thunder and Ban Prayer

Joe Biden uses “security theater” to stop Veterans’ Memorial Day events.

“Deeply troubling.” That was the Reverend Patrick Mahoney’s response when he was denied a permit to hold a prayer service at the U.S. Capitol on the National Day of Prayer tomorrow. “For 70 years, there has been a public witness on the National Day of Prayer at the U.S. Capitol Building. Until today! Our request to have prayer service was denied,” read a statement by Mahoney. He further observed, “The ‘People’s House,’ as the U.S. Capitol Building is so rightly called, must be a place where all Americans are afforded the right to come and peacefully celebrate and express their First Amendment rights. Tragically, those rights and freedoms are being denied and prohibited.”

Remind us which political party runs DC and controls the “People’s House”?

Mahoney has now filed a lawsuit contending that “free speech is in danger all across America.” Moreover, he argues, “There’s a misconception out there that many people think the Capitol is closed, and it’s not.” That’s true. Members of Congress continue to meet, while grounds crews and other workers fulfill their duties. Of course, the Capitol building is still under virtual lockdown, and for five months DC has been occupied by National Guard troops.

Nevertheless, there is no legitimate justification for denying Mahoney’s request, and yet he isn’t the only one being denied access in our nation’s capital.

Joe Biden’s Defense Department denied a parking permit to the group American Veterans, or AMVETS, to access the Pentagon’s parking area, which for 32 years has served as a rallying point for the Memorial Day motorcycle riding tradition formally dubbed Rolling Thunder, now known as Rolling to Remember. The DOD’s reason was, of course, The All-Purpose Excuse™ — coronavirus.

A statement from the Pentagon reads in part, “Substantial community transmission of COVID-19 in Arlington County, Virginia; number of Americans fully vaccinated across the nation; nature of this event with its decreased ability to maintain physical distance; and large crowds in one location for an extended period of time. This event draws national attention and participation; therefore the risk of exposure from participants from other communities extends well beyond the National Capital Region.” No, that wasn’t an anti-vax ad, though you could be forgiven for thinking it was.

AMVETS had contacted the Pentagon about a parking permit nearly a year ago and received approval in March, only to have that permit subsequently revoked. Meanwhile, local news outlet ABC 7 News reports, “The Pentagon’s denial comes on the heels of the Smithsonian announcing last week that it will reopen eight of its facilities to the public in May, starting with the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly on Wednesday, May 5.” Great timing by the Pentagon.

AMVETS National Executive Director Joe Chenelly noted the general response from veterans: “It’s very disappointing … for our members. There’s been shock and deep disappointment expressed to us.” Nevertheless, veterans still plan on riding. “We are seeing it on websites and on social media all over the place,” he said. “Much smaller groups. They’re planning their own smaller rallying points and they’re coming in.” Indeed, more than a few of our Patriot veterans may be familiar with the phrase, “Improvise, adapt, and overcome.”

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