Dear PoP – Why are religious groups allowed to proselytize on the National Mall?

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

“Dear PoP,

When I’m running or walking on the Mall I often see various religious groups ranging from Scientology’s big yellow tents, which are typically down there at least once a month, to the Falun Dafa folks that often hang out across from the Air and Space Museum, and the Christian group that built a giant replica ark on the Mall last year. What’s the deal? Surely they had to have applied for a permit with the NPS somewhere, but does this strike anyone else as odd and why don’t more people seem to be bothered by it?”

Hmm, I’d think our founding fathers would be ok with this as it demonstrates our country’s tolerance and freedom of religion. What do you guys think – is the Mall an appropriate place for religious groups to proselytize?

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