Friday, September 14, 2007

Permission Granted

After much run-around, we have finally secured permits for the Sunday evening peace witness. I hope this means that none of us will wind up in jail.
You never want to do these things too far in advance! Of course, the rules only stipulate 48 hours in advance notice, and we made our first calls a week in advance for an event that requires no extra security ... unless they're afraid of those who pray for peace. (Well, I suppose the fact that we'll have a bunch of rocks might intimidate -- but we'll begin in confession and remind ourselves that the one without sin can cast the first stone.)
Turns out, in the end, that a typical Washington maneuver was all we needed. When my friend Gene Betit got on the phone with the park police this morning he finally told the till-then uncooperative administrator that if she couldn't get the process moving that perhaps Gene's next call would have to be to his fellow parishioner, Jim Moran. Next thing you know, the approved forms were faxed our way.
What does it say about our democracy that a simple permit to assemble and petition the government is only made available when you happen to go to church with the right people? What does it say when you can only get a permit to gather to pray for peace in front of the White House if you happen to be personal friends with a member of Congress?
Just asking.

No comments: