November/December, 1997 Volume XII Number 9

Sudden Closer

Washington D.C. police -- especially the Park Police -- are known for their ability to handle large crowds and to be flexible about schedules. The famous Million Man March directed by Nation of Islam leader and infamous racist, Louis Farrakan, overstayed its welcome by several hours with no response by Park Police. But the man in charge of flexibility must have been asleep on October 4.
When Promise Keepers were edging up to the end of their six-hour program at 6:00 p.m., they realized that they would need an additional 15 minutes to complete their plans -- a pre-recorded message from Billy Graham and a closing prayer.
Thinking that a 15 minute overlap was a reasonable miscalculation for a six-hour event, PK leaders asked the Park Police for the extra time.
"No dice," was the immediate answer. They would not budge.
While PK leadership did not complain and simply lopped off these final two parts to the event, Pat Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition was not so passive. He fired off an immediate complaint to Rick Merryman, Division Chief of the National United States Park Service asking, "Why were the Promise Keepers held to a different standard than that of the 'Million Man March' and other events on the Mall?"
At the close of the letter, Mahoney asks for a meeting with Merryman.
Others had a different view.
Cathy Ramey of Advocates for Life Ministries in Portland, Oregon, who was at the event to pass out literature about abortifacient birth control said, "It was only Billy Graham, after all. He's a pro-abort, and he didn't even think that the Promise Keepers was important enough to show up in person anyway."

Copyright © 1997 AFLM