Reagan Judge Reluctantly Rules Cross Displayed in Florida Park Must Be Removed

Photo Credit: Freedom From Religion Foundation

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President Ronald Reagan has ruled that a 25-foot cross display in a public park in Florida is unconstitutional and must be removed.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had sued the City of Pensacola last year on behalf of four local residents who asserted that the cross, which has been displayed at Bayview Park for over 70 years and maintained by the city, violates the separation of church and state.

The groups had written to city officials to request that the cross be removed, but their demands were rejected. Therefore, they took the matter to the courts.

“Mr. Kondrat’yev’s use and enjoyment of the local park is impeded by the Bayview Cross,” the legal complaint read, citing plaintiff Andreiy Kondrat’yev. “He feels a sense of peace and tranquility at the Bayview Park, but feels that is overshadowed by a religious symbol that signifies torture and violence to him.”

Kondrat’yev and his wife, who was also a plaintiff in the case, have since moved to Canada since becoming involved in the suit.

David Suhor, an atheist who delivered an invocation to Satan at the Pensacola city hall last year, was additionally one of the complainants in the legal challenge.

“Mr. Suhor objects to the government’s display of the Christian cross because he believes it is an endorsement of Christianity, placed primarily for religious purposes, including aggrandizing Easter Sunday services,” the filing read. “As a non-Christian, Mr. Suhor is personally offended and feels excluded by this governmental message. He opposes this appearance of governmental favoritism for religion and for a particular religion, Christianity.”

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However, attorneys for the city argued in court that the cross is simply a longstanding part of Pensacola’s history and has never been construed as favoring one religion over another.

“To say that this cross is purely a religious symbol is wrong. It’s a Christian symbol, sure, but it’s used to honor those who have fallen on Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” Nixon Daniel of the law firm Beggs & Lane said. “So, from the city’s perspective, there is a secular purpose for it.”

“The city of Pensacola cannot go out today and put a cross there,” he also stated. “But the determining factor that you have to look at is this has been there for 40 years and no one has objected to it.”

During oral argument last week, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson disclosed that he was a part of the Jaycee—the group the helped to place the cross years prior—in the 1970’s and served as the group’s president in 1974 and 1975. He seemed to suggest that he did not want to remove the cross, but felt he must.

“I may not agree with the law, but I still have to apply it,” he stated.

Vinson also outlined in his Monday ruling that he believes there is a difference between the original intent of the Founding Fathers regarding the Establishment Clause and the various case law that he felt bound to follow. He said that the cross would be deemed legal if viewed through the lens of what the nation’s founders intended.

“[H]ow is the Bayview Cross supposed to be analyzed? By applying [the] Lemon [standard]; one of the other tests; or no formal test at all?” he wrote. “May I look to what the Founding Fathers intended (in which case the cross is certainly constitutional), or must I look to how the ‘wall of separation’ metaphor has been applied (in which case it is probably unconstitutional)?”

“Ultimately, these are not difficult questions—legally speaking—because there is controlling precedent directly on point,” Vinson said.

The Reagan judge then pointed to the outcome of a similar case in Rabun County where a cross that was determined to be of a religious nature was found to be unconstitutional.

“If the cross under review in Rabun County violated the First Amendment and had to be removed, the cross here must suffer the same fate,” he wrote. “Indeed, not only are both of the above facts also present here (i.e., it is a Latin cross that was completed by, and dedicated at, an Easter Sunrise Service), but the mayor has said that he does not want the cross taken down specifically because he hopes there will ‘always [be] a place for religion in the public square,’ which is essentially an admission that the cross has been sustained for a religious purpose.”

Vinson said that the cross could have stayed if the land surrounding it had been sold to a non-governmental entity.

“To be clear: None of this is to say that the cross would have to come down if the City sold or leased the area surrounding it to a private party or non-governmental entity (so long as the transfer was bona fide and not a subterfuge),” he stated. “Nor would there be a constitutional problem with worshipers using a temporary cross for their services in the park (counsel for plaintiffs conceded that point during the hearing).”

However, he concluded that because of existing case law, the cross must come down and ordered it to be removed in 30 days.

“We are pleased that the Court struck down this Cross as violative of the First Amendment,” Monica Miller, senior counsel at AHA’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, said in a statement. “The cross was totally unavoidable to park patrons, and to have citizens foot the bill for such a religious symbol is both unfair and unconstitutional.”

But area residents, as well as supporters from across the nation, are upset about the outcome and are still seeking a way to save the cross.

“Don’t let four people, of whom two now reside in Canada, decide what’s right for the City of Pensacola,” one petition being circulated reads.

The petition already has 11,000 signatures as of press time.


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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    America needs the Cross for a view always and for-ever. America is supposed to be a Christian land. Non-christian America just pushes destructive depraved decadence into the world. The West lives for nothing noble when they are Non-christian. The West needs Christianity for meaning of life, not just for salvation. America must stay Christian to be good. Americans need to remember who they are by viewing the Christian Cross.

    • TheKingOfRhye

      “America needs the Cross for a view always and for-ever”

      Like I think I told you before, in the area I live in, I almost couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a Christian church or school, so there’s no shortage of crosses to view around here.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        No, you need more views of the Cross in America. You guys will have to remove the Earth’s crust if you want to remove Christian symbols in Europe and America’s public land. Start with the money-making national Cathedrals. You guys are living better-off today doing nothing all because of the church buildings and the the cross poles which your noble hard-working slender white Christian forefathers have created and left for you. Free-loaders should learn history properly even when they refuse to work hard.

        • TheKingOfRhye

          “No, you need more views of the Cross in America”

          I’m an atheist. I could look at a million crosses, and that’s not gonna change, so I don’t know what you think that would accomplish.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Why are you here in a Christian news site talking to the Christians, unless you are seeking the Truth? Americans used to be the best species on Planet Earth when they were Christian. Atheistic Americans push blasphemy and infanticide and Sodomy and the transgender insanity and suicide upon mankind; they are worse than atheistic Russians. Even the English do evil when they are Anti-christian. Americans need God to be good and sane.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            There is only one “human species on Planet Earth”. Perhaps you should keep that in mind.

            And what on earth are you even talking about with “manual population control”?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Okay. The best human tribe. Manual population control = an attempt to decrease the number of humans by abortion-murder and suicide-by-easy-death and the push of Sodomy and AIDS.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Read the Word of God:

            “I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

            What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans chapter 8)

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The fool says in his heart,

            “There is no God.”
            They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
            there is no one who does good.

            “The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind
            to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
            All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
            there is no one who does good, not even one.

            Do all these evildoers know nothing?

            They devour my people as though eating bread;
            they never call on the Lord.
            But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
            for God is present in the company of the righteous.

            You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
            but the Lord is their refuge.

            Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
            When the Lord restores his people,
            let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!”

            (Psalm 14)

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Canada used to be more Christian-godly than the USA in the 1960’s, so I heard. Something bad happened to the West after 50 years from WW2. The English should not oppress humanity by a falsehood ( push of Sodomy, Satanism, etc.) like Nazi Germany did with Darwinian humanism and the hatred against the Jews. God punishes nations that do evil. The English are no exemption.

    Today’s USA really gives a dire picture about mankind. If depravity ruins even the good guys like Americans, who can be spared from the moral deterioration on Planet Earth? Well-fed secular nations can be seriously grateful to God for multiple problems. Endless ease brings horrible abuses from the people who have no real problem in life. American atheists oppress the Christians because they are bored. It’s time America should be serious and seek God again.

    • RWH

      Grace, you can’t respond without throwing everything into the pot. This story is not about gays. It is not about abortion. It’s not about the Jews, nor the Nazis. Houses of worship are free to put whatever symbols they want on their property. We do not have a state church, nor do we want them. Religious symbols favoring one group does not belong on property which all taxpayers support. With the plurality of religious groups, I would prefer not to see parks cluttered by all sorts of religious symbols of all the competing faith systems, and that is exactly what will happen. If I don’t want to have a satanic monument imposed on me, I should have the same respect for others.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    So sad. Christianity has been America’s goodness itself, as a good conscience is everything to a man. When will Americans realize it?

    • paulvalery

      Nobody is tearing down churches, Grace. Relax. Your belief doesn’t need the endorsement of the government to be respected, does it? Forcing those that don’t believe the same as you to pay for your symbolism isn’t right, is it? You wouldn’t want your tax dollars going toward the placement of a crescent and star, right? It’s pretty easy to understand, when you consider that the symbol being paid for might be the symbol of something you don’t agree with. Unless we allow the symbol of every fringe group imaginable to trash up all public property, we can’t allow any. How much more fair can we get? And citizens get to worship in any way they wish, in their own home, in their own churches, where ever they wish, and the state can’t do a thing about it. How much more free can we get? That’s exactly the way it’s supposed to work, right?

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        You are altogether wrong. Non-christian USA forces Sodomy upon the land and ruins global children. America needs Christianity to do good at all.

        • paulvalery

          You’ve been forced into sodomy? I don’t think so… it was your choice. Nobody has forced me, or anybody I know. Just you, I guess?
          If you don’t think Christians are capable of human rights abuses, you missed a few lessons in history class. I suggest looked at the era between 400 CE and 1400 CE, when Christianity ruled the west. It’s called the dark ages for a reason. Ever heard of “the rack”? How about shoving red hot pokers up the anus of anybody that disagrees with you? That’s how Christians rolled for centuries. It’s only since breaking the total control of that sick cult that any social progress at all has been made. Good luck with trying to take us back to the middle ages. You’re going to be sadly disappointed.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Christianity prevented the Europeans from polluting the planet faster. Be grateful to Christianity; there wouldn’t be any habitable places left on Earth if Christianity did not protect Europe civilized or birthed America. Every Sodom gets nuked. II Peter 3. Sodomy = endorsement of Sodomy. This century is the Earth’s Darkest Age because of secular West’s inclination to Sodomy and peodiphilia. The West is illiterate barbaric like the rest if it had no Christianity.

          • DoorknobHead

            KWON THAT FINDS HERSELF EXISTING IN THE WRONG TIME PERIOD
            I believe Grace is one of those poor creatures that is suffering some severe mental torture, and/or challenges, and this is coupled with extremely perverse religiosity, and these two unquiet maladies both feed off one another. She is definitely a kindred spirit of the dark ages, and could very well be (have been), if given the chance, a voracious gormandizer of any secular flesh that would dare refuse to submit to the more ISIS-like portions of biblical tenets. Just like ISIS is often considered the truest most literal expression of Islam, Grace is one of the truest expressions of what fundamentalist Christianity wants to be, but can’t be, because fundamentalist Christianity is shackled and kept at bay by the moral secular world. Grace belongs to a dystopian religion’s time and landscape, and as such is one of the truest expressions of literalist Christianity. Sad. If the world ever gives up on secularism, it will quickly fill up with twisted Grace-like creatures that resemble the Christian version of Satan.

          • Beeg Noyz

            I think you are mistaken …..During dark ages or any other ages before or thereafter, Christianity (If you are hinting at what Jesus or any of the apostils taught) never ruled in Europe or anywhere. As I understand teachings of Jesus does not commensurate to the worldly governmental ways. Christianity is never meant for one-man ruling over another …So let us not talk irreverent …And that is why the idea of separation of church from statecraft, fell from sky in Christian society, and no other known societies…
            Europe (If you are specific about Europe) was always ruled by white skinned warlike, ferocious, and bloodthirsty barbarian tribes of Europeans. So its history had to unfolded the way it did all along
            Dark ages and all other ages persisted in Europe not because of Christianity …..It persisted there INSPITE of Christianity because of genet problems ….Forefathers of Europeans were the all kinds of war warlike, ferocious, and bloodthirsty tribes. Even Romans who were supposed to be the most civilized of their time, were no less brutal. If you know of their special mode of entertainment was either gladiator’s bloody fights to death, or alternatively gory sights of ferocious wild beast tearing apart innocents Christians…..No doubt in spite of Christianity the dark age persisted for long time

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    [Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
    And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
    Look, He(God) lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
    …All nations before Him are as nothing,
    And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.

    To whom then will you liken God?
    Or what likeness will you compare to Him?…

    Have you not known?
    Have you not heard?
    Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
    It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
    And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
    Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
    And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
    He brings the princes to nothing;
    He makes the judges of the earth useless. …

    “To whom then will you liken Me,
    Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
    Lift up your eyes on high,
    And see who has created these things,
    Who brings out their host by number;
    He calls them all by name,
    By the greatness of His might
    And the strength of His power;
    Not one is missing. …

    The everlasting God, the Lord,
    The Creator of the ends of the earth,
    Neither faints nor is weary.
    His understanding is unsearchable…]

    quoted from Isaiah 40

  • Vaughn D

    Here’s a complete list of all the people harmed by that cross:

    1.

    • RWH

      Perhaps you should look a lot harder. A local church offered their building as a venue for a Holocaust Memorial Service. The minister became offended when the Jewish leadership asked that the cross be taken down. As a result, a new place was found for the ceremony. I know of lots of people of other faiths who feel that religious symbols in public parks are divisive and resent having their tax dollars used to fund such displays.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      So if it were a big ol’ pentagram with a goat head in the middle, you’d be fine with that?

  • meamsane

    Get what the Judge outright admits here? That Judicial Opinion I.E. “Case Law” usurps and supersedes the actual US Constitution!! Even if an opinion by a court is contrary to the Actual Intent of the supposed “Law of the Land”!
    This demonstrates cowardice and lack of conviction by this judge and even opposes his own oath of office!

    • Ambulance Chaser

      He said no such thing. He said that the current state of the case law was contrary to what the Founding Fathers meant, but that he’s obligated to follow it.

      • meamsane

        Exactly what I said, in a different way. He is obligated to follow the Constitution, not case law. The oath of office says not about “case law”.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          And I’m saying that case law IS what “the Constitution says,” as applied to certain circumstances.

          The oath of office doesn’t say judges have to wear pants on the bench either but I’m pretty sure it’s implied.

          • meamsane

            I am aware of your indoctrinated belief system out of law school.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            It’s not “indoctrination;” law schools teach students how to practice law, the way it’s practiced. What else would you have them teach?

          • meamsane

            Yeah, how to practice law disregarding any Principled stance or critical thinking. Just pick whatever Interpretive method (there are several) that you favor and the outcome you favor and go get em. Lets not forget that SC Doctrine (almost held as a religious dogma these days) is what is taught as “the Law of the Land” irrespective of what the Constitution actual states and means. Just manipulate a legal text so you can try for the outcome you want.
            It is Indoctrination!

          • Ambulance Chaser

            “Just pick whatever Interpretive method (there are several) that you favor and the outcome you favor and go get em. ”

            Uh, no, that’s actually the opposite of what we do. Our system requires that we follow precedent. If we didn’t, it truly would be a free-for-all.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            “Our system requires that we follow precedent. If we didn’t, it truly would be a free-for-all.”

            yep ….. and that makes it no different than a free for all …. except in slow motion ……………. any judge can just say what is contrary to the constitution ….. precedent set ….. NEXT ….

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Who would you prefer make rulings on what is Constitutional?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            the problem is not my preference ….. the problem is the system of “precedent” ….. there is no consistent standard being used …. especially when you have certain justices saying things like ….

            “I frankly don’t understand all the brouhaha lately from Congress and even from some of my colleagues about referring to foreign law,”“Why shouldn’t we look to the wisdom of a judge from abroad with at least as much ease as we would read a law review article written by a professor?” ~ Ginsburg

            ummmmm …… BECAUSE IT IS NOT OUR LAW ………………

            the “constitution” has become irrelevant to their rulings …………

          • Ambulance Chaser

            So as usual, you’re not going to answer the question.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            you know ….. just because you do not like the answer does not mean an answer was not given ………… but any first grader should be able to figure out that if the SCOTUS is not going to follow the law it was given and instead make up stuff from other countries …… it really does not matter who is deciding ….. it is all made up BULLROAR anyway ……….

            either follow the laws of THIS COUNTRY …… and rule on that ……. or quit pretending and just tell us all that this is in fact a judicial dictatorship …… and quit lying to us ……..

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Who says SCOTUS isn’t “following the law” (which is basically my original question, that you continue to refuse to answer for some reason)?

          • meamsane

            Exactly Amos! The Constitution is supposed to be the standard, but that is ignored in favor of justices personal political ideology and preferences.

          • Oboehner

            We the people – period.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            So you want every trial in America to be put to a popular vote?

          • Oboehner

            Trial? I thought we were talking about law. Is that some type of cheesy lawyer tactic?

          • Oboehner

            Makes me wonder why I wasted time on jury duty…

          • meamsane

            Our system requires no such thing. And it already is a free-for-all. Our system requires fidelity to our Constitution, not a set of fools precedent.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            OK, so who makes the decision about what “our Constitution” has to say in a given circumstance?

          • meamsane

            Since we have three branches of government, They each have a role to play. The Constitution says nothing about The President, for instance, fulfilling his office (the oath) only when the SC tells him how to do it! The Constitution itself explains the limited authority given to each branch. The Founders expected the people to understand the Constitution as well. There is no excuse for not doing so.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            You keep accusing judges of “not following the Constitution.” Who decides that? You? The Really Really Even More Supreme Court?

          • meamsane

            I wonder if there is a point that you will not go beyond in your conformity to a few judges opinions?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Probably around the time you come up with a viable alternative.

        • Jason Todd

          Okay, what did AC say this time? I can’t see him, but from what you are saying here, it sounds like he said case law is the Constitution.

          Of course, the Constitution wasn’t written by modern day judges. Further, the Constitution is not defined by what people in black robes say it does. If it did, a judge could say Americans should put on feathers and speak like Big Bird and people would say “It’s in the Constitution” and “It’s the law of the land.”

          The fact is and remains Ambulance Chaser doesn’t know what he is talking about. He despises Christians and Christianity as well as anything that so much as approaches a moral standard and it is reflected in his biased and illogical rants.

          Disqus has given us a block function. Use it.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            “The fact is and remains Ambulance Chaser doesn’t know what he is talking about.”

            Yeah, you’re right. It’s not like I’ve been practicing law for over nine years or anything.

          • Oboehner

            Keep practicing, perhaps one day you’ll get it right.

          • meamsane

            Yes, To AC Case law is equal to the Constitution. This is what is taught in Law schools across the country. AC, like the vast majority of lawyers defend SC opinions, not the Constitution. Even if those opinions are contrary to the founders intent and history. They don’t care what the founders intent was. The interpretation of the Constitution is subjective in their minds, and you see this with the SC court justices as well.
            Liberals love to claim that the Constitution is a “living document” but if it is, (it is not in fact) then there is no meaning at all to it because anyone then can make it say whatever in any given circumstance. SC opinion on “Gay marriage” is a good example.
            You pick your favored way of interpretation and then try for a pre-determined outcome based on that.
            AC does not care about original intent. He has said this in other posts. It’s all about manipulation of legal texts.

          • Jason Todd

            Obviously AC is under the mistaken impression we live under rule of judges. Therefore his opinion is worthless at least and trolling at best.

            But there’s something else you need to know.

            Back around 1997, the American Psychological Association published the infamous Rind study. The authors actually claimed that not only do children who are sexually abused not suffer long-term ill effects, they may even benefit from it. Radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger brought this to the attention of the USA through her radio program, which resulted in virtually the entire US House of Representatives writing a motion of condemnation of the study.

            It was subsequently discovered the two authors were pedo-activists.

            And in spite of all this knowledge, AC said the following on April 6, 2016:

            “While I don’t think the Rind study was as bad as people think…”

            Another person called AC out on this breathtaking statement, and AC flagged the guy for not “being civil.” So the guy’s comment was deleted even though he, like myself, does not believe anyone who would in any way defend the sexual abuse of children is equally not entitled to civility.

            In fact, if AC is the attorney he says he is, the above comment alone should be enough to get him disbarred, if anyone knew his true identity.

  • MCrow

    Still with the fake persecution…Christian refugees are being targeted for deportation by the Trump administration. Where’s your outrage over that?

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      MINNEAPOLIS INSTALLS SHARIAH HOTLINE FOR ‘HATE SPEECH’ SNITCHES
      Citizens encouraged to turn in their neighbors

      • MCrow

        …a hotline to report hate crimes is persecution?

        Here’s a fun question: why do you immediately assume Hate Crimes are reported against your religion? Seems Freud was right…

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          who said it was about christians being reported ….. it is about a police state ….

          • MCrow

            “Reporting crimes” = police state…you may want to quit while you’re ahead…

          • MCrow

            Also, I specifically stated Christians being persecuted as my topic, so if you’re going to make a completely unrelated comment, maybe don’t state it as a reply?

      • MCrow

        Also, seriously, why is a Christian news site not all over Christian refugees being deported from the US? I am not one and I’m outraged.

  • ZappaSaid88

    “To be clear: None of this is to say that the cross would have to come down if the City sold or leased the area surrounding it to a private party or non-governmental entity (so long as the transfer was bona fide and not a subterfuge),” he stated. “Nor would there be a constitutional problem with worshipers using a temporary cross for their services in the park (counsel for plaintiffs conceded that point during the hearing).” – Or they could open that part of the park as a public display zone and allow ALL symbols to be displayed.

    • Dean Winchester

      No, they wouldn’t be allowed to display any symbols as the gov’t cannot show endorsement of any religion, which what you propose would still do.

      • Oboehner

        “endorsement” and “establishment” – both totally different.

        • Dean Winchester

          The government cannot either endorse or establish any one religion as outlined in the first Amendment, that essentially favors one over the other, which is unConstitutional.

          • Oboehner

            I see establish in there (as the church of England) yet I must have missed the endorse part, must be over by the leprechauns.

          • Dean Winchester

            Florida is NOT in England but America, learn your geography.

          • Jason Todd

            The Constitution says Congress cannot create its own religion. Anything beyond that was said by judges, which in light of the fact they run absolutely counter to what the Constitution says makes said rulings unconstitutional.

          • Trilemma

            The First Amendment says the government cannot be endorsing (respecting) a religion that has been established. The government cannot designate a particular religion as the official religion of the US.

          • Dean Winchester

            When are you g*d d*mned religious nutcase jebus freaks going to EVER get it into your pathetic minds that the founding fathers EXPRESSLY FORBADE the meddling of affairs between church and state, hmmm?

            “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
            ~Founding Father George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792

            “We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition… In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.”
            ~Founding Father George Washington, letter to the members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793

            “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
            ~John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

            “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
            ~1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by Founding Father John Adams

            “Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”
            ~Founding Father John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88)

            “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802

            “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814

            “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

            “I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

            . “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813

            Shall I keep going? I have plenty more quotes.

          • Jason Todd

            And flagged for profanity! Have a nice day!

          • Dean Winchester

            Awwww, is the pathetic little jebus freak snowflake butthurt that I just knocked you on your a**, hmmm?

          • Jason Todd

            Nope. None of the quotes mean anything to me as they are not quotes from the Constitution.

            You hate Christians and Christianity with an open contempt on display.

            And what’s pitiful is you’re doing this for no one but you.

            Blocked.

          • Dean Winchester

            These are quotes from the very founding fathers who WROTE the Constitution, what they had to write is VERY RELEVANT to what is the law of the land. You and the other holy rolling idiots will never understand this.

          • Dean Winchester

            You see, that’s what’s wrong with you pathetic xtians, you’d rather plug your ears and go lalalalalalala LOL

          • Dean Winchester

            “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual.
            State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. We have solved … the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in a speech to the Virginia Baptists, 1808

            “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
            ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814,

            “The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
            ~Founding Father James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”

            “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
            ~Founding Father James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

            “Every new and successful example of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance.”
            ~Founding Father James Madison, letter, 1822

            “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.”
            ~Founding Father James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical
            Endowments

            “It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin. Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.”
            ~Founding Father James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817

            “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obligated to call for help of the civil power, it’s a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”
            ~Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780

            “A man of abilities and character, of any sect whatever, may be admitted to any office or public trust under the United States. I am a friend to a variety of sects, because they keep one another in order. How many different sects are we composed of throughout the United States? How many different sects will be in congress? We cannot enumerate the sects that may be in congress. And there are so many now in the United States that they will prevent the establishment of any one sect in prejudice to the rest, and will forever oppose all attempts to infringe religious liberty. If such an attempt be made, will not the alarm be sounded throughout America? If congress be as wicked as we are foretold they will, they would not run the risk of exciting the resentment of all, or most of the religious sects in America.”
            ~Founding Father Edmund Randolph, address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June
            10, 1788

            “I never liked the Hierarchy of the Church — an equality in the teacher of Religion, and a dependence on the people, are republican sentiments — but if the Clergy combine, they will have their influence on Government”
            ~Founding Father Rufus King, Rufus King: American Federalist, pp. 56-57

          • Dean Winchester

            A general toleration of Religion appears to me the best means of peopling our country… The free exercise of religion hath stocked the Northern part of the continent with inhabitants; and altho’ Europe hath in great measure adopted a more moderate policy, yet the profession of Protestantism is extremely inconvenient in many places there. A Calvinist, a Lutheran, or Quaker, who hath felt these inconveniences in Europe, sails not to Virginia, where they are felt perhaps in a (greater degree).”
            ~Patrick Henry, observing that immigrants flock to places where there is no established religion, Religious Tolerance, 1766

            “No religious doctrine shall be established by law.”
            ~Founding Father Elbridge Gerry, Annals of Congress 1:729-731

            “Knowledge and liberty are so prevalent in this country, that I do not believe that the United States would ever be disposed to establish one religious sect, and lay all others under legal disabilities. But as we know not what may take place hereafter, and any such test would be exceedingly injurious to the rights of free citizens, I cannot think it altogether superfluous to have added a clause, which secures us from the possibility of such oppression.”
            ~Founding Father Oliver Wolcott, Connecticut Ratifying Convention, 9 January 1788

            “Some very worthy persons, who have not had great advantages for information, have objected against that clause in the constitution which provides, that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. They have been afraid that this clause is unfavorable to religion. But my countrymen, the sole purpose and effect of it is to exclude persecution, and to secure to you the important right of religious liberty. We are almost the only people in the world, who have a full enjoyment of this important right of human nature. In our country every man has a right to worship God in that way which is most agreeable to his conscience. If he be a good and peaceable person he is liable to no penalties or incapacities on account of his religious sentiments; or in other words, he is not subject to persecution. But in other parts of the world, it has been, and still is, far different. Systems of religious error have been adopted, in times of ignorance. It has been the interest of tyrannical kings, popes, and prelates, to maintain these errors. When the clouds of ignorance began to vanish, and the people grew more enlightened, there was no other way to keep them in error, but to prohibit their altering their religious opinions by severe persecuting laws. In this way persecution became general throughout Europe.”
            ~Founding Father Oliver Ellsworth, Philip B Kurland and Ralph Lerner (eds.), The Founder’s Constitution, University of Chicago Press, 1987, Vol. 4, p.
            638

            “Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.”
            ~Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 1791

            “God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.”
            ~Founding Father Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773

            “The American states have gone far in assisting the progress of truth; but they have stopped short of perfection. They ought to have given every honest citizen an equal right to enjoy his religion and an equal title to all civil emoluments, without obliging him to tell his religion. Every interference of the civil power in regulating opinion, is an impious attempt to take the business of the Deity out of his own hands; and every preference given to any religious denomination, is so far slavery and bigotry.”
            ~Founding Father Noah Webster, calling for no religious tests to serve in public office, Sketches of American Policy, 1785

            “The legislature of the United States shall pass no law on the subject of religion.”
            ~Founding Father Charles Pinckney, Constitutional Convention, 1787

  • https://disqus.com/home/channel/theangryatheist/ Michael Weed

    Good.

    • Jason Todd

      Really? Why do you say that?

      • https://disqus.com/home/channel/theangryatheist/ Michael Weed

        It’s not legal. Christian privilege has got to go.

        • Jason Todd

          Who said it isn’t legal? The Constitution doesn’t say that.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/theangryatheist/ Michael Weed

            The court just did.

          • Jason Todd

            Not the point. You said, “Good.” Why do you think so?

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/theangryatheist/ Michael Weed

            If you can’t figure it out. I can’t help you.

          • Jason Todd

            No. I want you to explain your mindset behind the comment.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/theangryatheist/ Michael Weed

            I’m an atheist. Crosses don’t belong on the public square, unless you let everyone post their symbols. Didn’t Jesus command you folks to pray at home quietly? Or, something like that?

          • Jason Todd

            I’m an atheist.

            Ah!

            Crosses don’t belong on the public square

            Your opinion.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/theangryatheist/ Michael Weed

            And the court’s.

          • Jason Todd

            But it is unconstitutional. The First Amendment does not prohibit religious speech simply because of where it happens to be made. Judges decided that.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/theangryatheist/ Michael Weed

            Yes, the cross is unconstitutional. Take care.

          • Jason Todd

            Was that a troll? Because it has nothing to do with reality, which means EPIC FAIL.

          • Dean Winchester

            Jebus freaks will never admit to this, they like showy, pomp and circumstance events, even at their local cracker barrel saying grace.

          • Dean Winchester

            You should see the founding father quotes I just posted to the jebus freaks, you should hurry before they’re deleted, the butthurt snowflake reported me LOL

  • Trilemma

    The Rabun County, Ga cross was built in 1979, after case law made such a cross illegal. A complaint was filed shortly afterward and a federal judge ordered the cross removed in 1983. This cross needed to be removed.

    The Bayview Cross was first built in 1941, well before case law made it illegal and it took 75 years for a complaint to be filed. The cross should now be considered an historical structure and should stay.

    It would be good if this case could be heard by the Supreme Court so they could give a definitive ruling on old crosses on public land. In Salazar v. Buono, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote this.

    Although, for purposes of the opinion, the propriety of the 2002 injunction may be assumed, the following discussion should not be read to suggest this Court’s agreement with that judgment, some aspects of which may be questionable. The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm.

    Apparently, the court may not have agreed with the original injunction to remove the cross in the Mohave Desert. There’s a good chance the court would rule to allow the Bayview Cross to stay.

    But why do Christians have this compulsion to make unto themselves graven images and place them on land they don’t own?

  • NCOriolesFan

    So the crybaby could not find another park nearby to enjoy his life.