“War on Christmas” gets an early start this year

Back in 2005, the School Board’s Legislative and Policy Committee was meeting regularly to discuss how they could rewrite freedom of expression policy, at the behest of Dick Black, without violating federal law. After one memorable meeting during which some inadvisable confessions were made, I titled my report “It was late and they were tired.” […]


Suppose that you wanted certain policies enacted in Loudoun, policies that would enrich you at the expense of other residents and the long-term health of the county. Further, suppose that if you were honest about this goal, those who would do your bidding would never stand a chance of being elected. The quickest, easiest route […]

Debates, Distractions and Religious Freedom

I sometimes find Glenn Greenwald to be a bit much. I know that makes me a blasphemer in the progressive blogosphere, but here I stand and I can do no more. That being said, his post about the furor over the Park51 Islamic Center in Manhattan made me think about the current “debate” over the […]

‘Tis the season for cheap political grandstanding

Readers who get their news online may have missed some new information about the Courthouse displays/public forum controversy in the print version of the Leesburg Today article. This information came to light on Tuesday, after they had posted the online version but before they went to press. I don’t know why Leesburg Today didn’t update […]

Holiday display solution moves forward

According to the Leesburg Today, the Finance, Government Services and Operations Committee is recommending that the Courthouse Grounds Facility Committee “be directed to work up a plan for seasonal display sponsored by the county government” that would replace the increasingly contentious “limited public forum” policy in place for the past three years. The solution is […]

Ken Reid decides to invite lawsuits

Posted on his Facebook page: The Board of Supervisors last night unanimously adopted my amendment to temporarily ban those ugly atheist billboards on the Courthouse lawn (and other ‘unattended displays’ ) until the Supervisors issue a new policy on religious and other holiday displays. This is not a ban on the creche of Christmas tree, […]

Does this look like hate speech to you?

Update: See more photos from the Leesburg courthouse on Saturday, when four new displays were added. Just added: the text of the “Letter from Jesus” that was vandalized the evening of December 5. Another update: The Beltway Atheists’ take on all this is up at their blog. They are quite right about this: “The NOVA […]

How to ruin a ‘positive statement of belief’

You know, I pretty much agree with a sentiment expressed by the many people who wish the perennial courthouse unpleasantness would just go away. That sentiment is commonly expressed something like this: I uphold the right of anyone to express any belief, no matter how offensive, because that’s what the Constitution guarantees – but it […]

Ken Reid justifies mob rule

Update: After consultation with the author, I’ve changed the headline to more accurately reflect what happened here. Is the meaning different in this context? No. By telling the public that it was the lawful display, and not the unlawful vandalism of it, that “crossed the line,” Ken Reid gave his tacit endorsement to anyone who […]

Once More, With Feeling

Just a reminder that all those people who came out screaming and crying that their First Amendment rights would be trampled if the Courthouse Lawn were not available for them to display their creches and menorahs now need to suck it up when others use their First Amendment rights to put up other displays on […]