Appeals Court Rules Maryland Veterans Memorial ‘Excessively Entangles’ Government With Religion

BLADENSBURG, Md. — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a Maryland veterans memorial in the shape of a cross violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution because it “excessively entangles” the government with religion.

“We hold there is excessive religious entanglement in this case for two reasons. First, the Commission owns and maintains the cross, which is displayed on government property. The Commission has spent at least $117,000 to maintain the cross and has set aside an additional $100,000 for restoration,” wrote Judge Stephanie Thacker, appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama.

“Second, displaying the cross, particularly given its size, history, and context, amounts to excessive entanglement because the Commission is displaying the hallmark symbol of Christianity in a manner that dominates its surroundings and not only overwhelms all other monuments at the park, but also excludes all other religious tenets,” she opined.

Thacker, joined by Judge James Wynn Jr., also appointed to the bench by Obama, ruled that the presence of the cross would convey to “any reasonable observer that the [Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning] Commission either places Christianity above other faiths, views being American and Christian as one in the same, or both.”

As previously reported, the Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial, also known as the “peace cross,” was erected in 1925 by the American Legion to honor the lives of 49 men from Prince George County who died during the war.

The cross stands 40 feet tall in Memorial Park, and also features a plaque that reads, “The right is more precious than the peace; we shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts; to such a task we dedicate ourselves.” The site is mainly used by the American Legion for Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations.

In 2014, the American Humanist Association (AHA) sued the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission over the presence of the cross, alleging that it violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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“When the government erects an exclusively Christian monument on government property, it violates this central command of the Establishment Clause by sending a clear message that Christianity is the preferred religion over all others,” said AHA attorney Monica Miller in a statement surrounding the filing of the suit.

In Nov. 2015, U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow ruled that the monument is constitutional because it is used for nonreligious purposes and is meant to honor war vets rather than promote any religious message.

“The monument’s secular commemorative purpose is reinforced by the plaque, the American Legion’s seal, and the words ‘valor,’ ‘endurance,’ ‘courage,’ and ‘devotion’ written on it. None of these features contains any religious reference,” she wrote. “[The construction of the cross] was not an attempt to set the imprimatur of the state on a particular creed. Rather, those who erected the cross intended simply to honor our nation’s fallen soldiers.”

AHA then filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled 2-1 on Wednesday that the memorial is unconstitutional. It said that because there are no other religious symbols in the park, the memorial sends the message that the government favors Christianity over other religons.

“Although the reasonable observer may recognize that the cross is located in the Veterans Memorial Park, such reasonable observer also could not help but note that the cross is the most prominent monument in the park and the only one displaying a religious symbol,” Thacker wrote.

“Further, the reasonable observer would know that a Latin cross generally represents Christianity. These factors collectively weigh in favor of concluding that the Cross endorses Christianity—not only above all other faiths, but also to their exclusion,” she asserted.

Judge Roger Gregory, nominated to the bench by then-President Bill Clinton, dissented, opining that most observers would simply consider the display as a veterans memorial and not the promotion of religion. He noted that the courts have ruled that it is not necessary to scrub all traces of religion from public life in order to remain neutral.

“I conclude that a reasonable observer would understand that the memorial, while displaying a religious symbol, is a war memorial built to celebrate the forty-nine Prince George’s County residents who gave their lives in battle,” he wrote.

“We must be careful not to push the Establishment Clause beyond its purpose in search of complete neutrality,” Gregory warned. “‘[U]ntutored devotion to the concept of neutrality can lead to invocation or approval of results which partake not simply of that noninterference and noninvolvement with the religious which the Constitution commands,’ but of extreme commitment to the secular, ‘or even active, hostility to the religious.’”

AHA applauded the ruling, stating that the monument’s message is too narrow.

“Government war memorials should respect all veterans, not just those from one religious group,” Executive Director Roy Speckhardt said in a statement. “Religious neutrality is important in a pluralistic society like ours.”

But the religious liberties group First Liberty expressed deep concern and vowed to appeal.

“If this precedent were allowed to stand, it would affect veterans memorials across the landscape of our country,” President Kelly Shackelford lamented in a statement. “I promise you, we are not going to stop until this is reversed. We and the American Legion, our client, are going to do everything in our power to make sure that this is overturned.”


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  • mr goody two shoes

    glad iam a Lutheran Christian because we don’t have to believe in the establishment clause . or any ones interpretation of it.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      there is no modifier to the term christian ……… so not sure what a “Lutheran Christian” is …. but the rest i agree with ………..

      • ThroatwobblerMangrove

        You need to specify these days because of No True Scotsman-loving Christians who will tell you that you’re not a True Christian™ if you’re a Catholic, or a Lutheran, etc.

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …………

          • ThroatwobblerMangrove

            Not much of an improvement over “ignored”, is it?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            nope …. you are just boring ……… zzzzzzzz …….. putting me to sleep …… better than ambien …………

          • ThroatwobblerMangrove

            Every “nope” I get out of you fills me with pure, sweet satisfaction.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            zzzzzzzzz ………

          • ppp777

            That’s a mind bending drug isn’t it ?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            If any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him, for you are worse than he thinks you to be. – Charles Spurgeon

          • ThroatwobblerMangrove

            That’s right.

      • mr goody two shoes

        For folks with a sence of humor. I suggest Lutheran satire videos on youtube . there a bunch of new ones out to.

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          well i use an ad blocker and do not see any ads ….. so ……. does not alter the fact ….. scripture does not recognize any modifier to the term christian ….. no lgbtqrstuvwxyz christians ….. no murderer christains ….. no “Lutheran” christians …. or any other denominations …… Christ does not save on that basis ……..

          • ppp777

            Amen .

  • cobalt100

    In the end, any appeal by the Liberty group will fail because there is precedents set in other federal courts that also ruled against a cross on public property.

    • Jerome Horwitz

      Don’t be too sure.

      • Lexical Cannibal

        I mean, SCOTUS literally just kicked back a case about a 10 commandments monument, upholding its illegality, so clearly they’re not exactly chuffed about this whole “religiously exclusive monuments on state property” idea.

        • Jerome Horwitz

          And they also did the exact opposite a few days before.

          You should really be paying attention.

          • Lexical Cannibal

            You’re going to have to cite your source, friend. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and tried to find the case you mentioned, but couldn’t locate any other SCOTUS cases about the ten commandments in the last few days.

  • Trilemma

    Normally, I’m against a cross on public property since the cross is the symbol of particular religion. But I think a cross that was erected almost 100 years ago has historical value. Also, a cross erected as a memorial to soldiers who died in a war doesn’t particularly bother me since the cross is also a symbol of sacrifice.

    • Cady555

      The cross is a christian symbol. To christians it may be a “symbol of sacrifice.” To everyone else, it means “christians marked this spot as theirs.”

      What would you say to the mother of a jewish soldier who died in battle when you tell her that this 40 foot tall christian cross is supposed to honor her child? We know that the christian cross only honors christians.

      • Trilemma

        The cross was erected to honor the lives of 49 men from Prince George County who died during World War I. How many of them were Jewish?

        • Cady555

          Actually, according to b the National Register of Historic Places paperwork, the 40 foot cross honors those who served and those who died in WWI.

          Do you think not one single non christian from Prince George’s County Md served in WWI?

          As for the 49 who died, I could not find this list online, anywhere. Apparently it is only to be found at the inaccessible base of the cross. So there really no way for either of us to know who this great big cross supposedly honors. Except christians of course.

          • Trilemma

            The names of those honored are listed here. (Delete the space after each dot.)

            princegeorgian. blogspot. com/2012/12/peace-cross-monument-bladensburg-upper. html

            I’m sure there were non-Christians who served in WWI from Prince George’s County Md. But why should I believe they or their families were offended by being honored by this cross and were against it being built?

          • Cady555

            If your family member sacrificed all, would you be honored if he/she were remembered with Buddhist symbolism?

            Wouldn’t that feel like a slap in the face that says your loved one doesn’t actually matter?

            In Maryland, the state Constitution says atheists are not eligible for public office. There were no atheist representatives in 1918. (The SC found that provision unconstitutional around 1960.)

          • Trilemma

            No, I would not consider that a slap in the face. Buddhist symbolism is very personal and important to a Buddhist. For a Buddhist to use Buddhist symbols to honor a loved one of mine tells me they are sincere in the honor they are giving. So I would accept the honor in the spirit it was given.

          • Cady555

            If my family member were buddhist, buddhist symbolism would be respectful. Otherwise, not so much.

            You seem more open minded than most. Most christians could not bear to be represented by symbols of a non christian religion. They would consider this idolatry. I respect that. I just wish they would show the same respect to others that they demand for themselves.

      • Jerome Horwitz

        The cross is a christian symbol.

        And? So what?

        What would you say to the mother of a jewish soldier who died in battle when you tell her that this 40 foot tall christian cross is supposed to honor her child?

        This is such a strawman if I did not know exactly why you wrote it, there would have been a facepalm all the way through my head.

        This memorial was erected in 1924. It is extremely unlikely any mother of a WWI soldier would complain, as they, and the 49 soldiers, are equally dead. Nobody is going to give two poots on account of their being deceased.

        Your BS argument is nothing more than a justification for there not being a cross at all.

        • Cady555

          It is not a straw man. Christians over and over and over put up christian symbols and say they are honoring veterans. That is simply untrue.

          They clearly and intentionally honor only those veterans with the preferred religious belief. Christians never give any thought or consideration to ensuring all veterans are honored. If they did, they would chose any of a dozen or more symbols that honor those who served regardless of religious belief.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Christians over and over and over put up christian symbols and say they are honoring veterans. That is simply untrue.

            The dead don’t care. Because they are dead.

            But there are atheists that also want crosses removed from the actual graves of our military. Which is tantamount to grave desecration.

          • Cady555

            Their families care. Their families deserve compassion, not selfish arrogance. “Too bad about your loved one. But we only care about christian vets. Non christians don’t get recognition. Tough luck.”

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Are you seriously retarded? We are talking about a WWI memorial that was created 92 years ago.

            They’re dead. And the dead don’t care.

            Now stop being stupid and make an argument that is logical and coherent or just shut your piehole.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Hey, mods, thanks for deleting my comment but not the troll I have been responding to.

            And sorry, bigot, but WWI? 92 years? They’re dead. They still don’t care.

          • Cady555

            Saying the families of war heroes deserve compassion is not trolling.

            Polite disagreement is not trolling.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            But this is not polite disagreement. You have shown yourself as an anti-Christian bigot for all to see.

            The posting rules say to be civil, but it is simply impossible to be civil with someone who hates not only Christians, but also Christianity to the point they refuse to condemn the open and obvious persecution of Christians and the equally open mission of the Freedom From Religion Foundation et al to completely remove God and Jesus Christ from the public square.

            In short, you hate us. And so you do not deserve respect or civility for that very reason.

          • Cady555

            You have called me a liar, a bigot and a troll. And what was my crime? I believe veteran’s memorials on public land should honor all veterans rather than just those veterans who belong to the majority religion. I expect christian veterans and non christian veterans to be honored equally.

            Pearls. Pearls. Must clutch pearls.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Now you are being intellectually dishonest.

            You have been called out before for your bigoted comments here.

          • Arliss Stevens

            You’re the biggest bigot of them all, you horse’s ass.

          • ThePantomimePrincessMargaret

            He’s being a lot more polite than you are. All your name calling is really putting you in a bad light.

          • Cady555

            Citation please, on removing crosses from individual graves.

            Because at national cemeteries, the grave markers are all shaped the same –
            rectangular with a rounded top. But each marker has a symbol selected by the family that represents the person’s belief system. There are several dozen christian symbols, plus symbols for other religions, humanism and atheism. About 200 in all.

            This approach is very good and very respectful to all.

  • Cady555

    Look up “google earth bladensburg cross.” Look at the satellite view. The cross is located between highway on ramps and off ramps. There is absolutely no pedestrian or vehicle access. There is no way for any person to see, much less read, the plaques at the base of the cross.

    This is a 40 foot tall monument to christianity maintained with taxpayer funds. Period.

    • Trilemma

      If there is absolutely no pedestrian or vehicle access then how do people get over to mow the grass, plant flowers and raise and lower the flag?

      • Cady555

        Wow. Really? You need this explained?

        Government employees in government vehicles with government road maintenance warning signs mow and otherwise maintain this restricted access area exactly the same way government employees in government vehicles with government road maintenance warning signs mow and maintain any restricted access area.

        But the general public still cannot access the area. Duh on steroids.

        • Trilemma

          I looked at the satellite and street view images. I could park across the street and easily walk over to the memorial. I’ve seen pictures of people standing in front of the cross. Also people have no problem getting to the cross to attend memorial services as shown in this picture. (Delete the space after each dot.)

          bv9fd. com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/peacecross11-e1416266338424. jpg

          However, I concede the location is not ideal. It’s not all that safe for children. It’s in the middle of traffic where a driver could lose control. I didn’t see any cut curbs so a person in a wheel chair would have trouble getting the the cross. In that light, it might be best to move it to a nearby park or cemetery if the cross is structurally strong enough to withstand being moved.

          • Cady555

            Thanks. The gathering in the photo included first responders. A fire truck with flashing lights would certainly help. This is not a location a person could casually visit as reaching it requires jaywalking across highways.

          • Trilemma

            True. A person has to jaywalk across one lane of traffic which is apparently what people do. The other URL I gave you that has the names on the monument also has a picture of a couple jaywalking.

          • Cady555

            Thanks forn finding the list of names.

            I couldnt find religious demographic info for PG County in 1915, but in 2010 it was 44% christian (protestant and catholic) and 54% “None.”

          • Cady555

            Thanks for finding the list of names.

            I couldnt find religious demographic info for PG County in 1915, but in 2010 it was about 44% christian (protestant and catholic) and 54% “None.”

            www. city-data. com /county/religion/Prince-George-s-County-MD. html

            (Remove spaces)

          • Trilemma

            That’s interesting. The percent of “none” is much higher than the
            national average. The page also says the percent of “none” in 2000 was
            37% so that was a big jump. I imagine the number that would be brave enough to identify as none was pretty small back in 1915. Back in the seventies, I identified as a none but crosses on public property as memorials didn’t bother me.

          • Cady555

            I was surprised by the 54% also. It seemed high, but I found similar stats on another site. PG county is a suburb of Washington DC. I don’t know if v that b makes a difference or not.

            Crosses on public land are beginning to bother me more just because when they go unchallenged they are used to justify even more incursions of religion into government.

    • Jerome Horwitz

      Look up “google earth bladensburg cross.” Look at the satellite view. The cross is located between highway on ramps and off ramps. There is absolutely no pedestrian or vehicle access. There is no way for any person to see, much less read, the plaques at the base of the cross.

      Again, the cross was erected in 1925. Are you making the argument the landscape, as you describe it, was that way 92 years ago?

      Another strawman.

      Just admit you are a bigot and get it over with.

      • Cady555

        I am describing the cross as it exists today, maintained with taxpayer funds.

        Newsflash – it is the opposite of bigotry to expect our secular government to be secular and to avoid promoting religion.

        • Jerome Horwitz

          I am describing the cross as it exists today, maintained with taxpayer funds.

          And again, so what?

          Newsflash

          Yes. Newsflash: You are not fooling anyone. You are a hateful bigot and a liar.

          • Arliss Stevens

            All right, if calling names is suddenly cool, you’re an obnoxious asshole, Matthew. I’m surprised they haven’t banned you yet, maybe they still haven’t figured out that you’re also Jason Todd and slidellman4life, both of whom WERE banned for being obnoxious name-calling assholes.

          • ThePantomimePrincessMargaret

            I think you can get thrown off this channel for talking to people like that.

    • Ben Welliver

      Oh wow, 40 feet tall.

      I wish it was 80.

      • Cady555

        I wouldn’t mind if it were 120 feet tall as long as it was on private property and maintained with private funds. It just needs to be moved off of govt property.

        • MCrow

          Pretty much this. Public funds cannot support any religion or must support each equally. It’s far easier to simply say “no”

          • Eldrida Urika

            It’s going to be kind of hard to move a 40 foot cross. Is it possible to have some privately funding for the maintenance – It will be hard to move it in tact if someone is willing to do it, it will also cost a heck of a lot so maybe they could compromise with the fact that it won’t be maintained by government funds? It seems a pity to remove something for the veterans that has been there for 100 years and has always been about them not the cross or the religion. It is about the men who fought, not their religion. So there must be some reasonable way to deal with it. Otherwise it is denying what the people wanted to do for those veterans. It’s just so wrong to be tearing down something that is supposed to be about the veterans, not the religion.

          • MCrow

            Crosses have been moved in the past. It may cost money, but Christians have shown willingness to donate tens of thousands to bakers who won’t make cakes for gay weddings, so I’m sure that will not be an issue.

            And while I can empathize, I also see the need to be rather strict about this. The US has created a strict divide between religion and government, and that divide needs to be maintained. I side on de jure rulings because…honestly, it’s the only representation in government any non-religious person gets to have.

          • Eldrida Urika

            I just think it’s silly to spend so time, energy and money to move something that has been there 100 years. Like I said, sell it to someone privately + let them maintain it. That money could be used for something that is needed. I think it is time to start fighting where it matters more. If you want government and religion to be separate, taking away the fact that there were Christians at the time that it was put there, and it won’t do a damn thing about stopping them from still having an influence on the government. Do you really think those “Christians” in the government give a hoot about those things when they consider how much more power they can get while the people fuss about those things. They are history as well as Christian and that history can’t be thrown away with the statues. You can’t write it out of the history books no matter how they try. (and they do try!)
            The only people that are affected MCrow are the people in the smaller areas that actually like the memories that those things give them. It just seems like it’s petty compared to the bigger problem in the government itself.
            Taking these away hurts the little people, not the big people. It’s like hitting them with a pea shooter. It’s not going to get those people up in arms.
            So why do we need to hurt the little people to try to stop the big ones again?

            Blessings!

          • MCrow

            I’d have no objection if they decided to sell the land to a private owner. At that point, it’s their decision what to do with it.

  • The lunacy of groups like AHA and FFRF is staggering. foregoing the whole perversion of law from a non-postmodern viewpoint; this is just more dismantling of what the true nature of the United States was supposed to be.

    Just look at the direction of the country:
    Marxism is actually considered a good idea; racial tensions at an all-time high; the irrational alliances between groups (feminism and Islam); the call to prayer in the streets of N.Y.; the ineffective educational system; perversion running rampant in the government and Hollywood; primary students being taught gender identity, while providing encouragement and assistance in taking hormone blockers…the list goes on. All the bad things mentioned in the Bible are being embraced with no recognition of the historically proven outcome that’s assured to follow.

    I get it! John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

    It’s just mind boggling that those who incessantly attack Christianity on one hand, pander to Islam for fear of being labeled Islamophobic on the other,

    Just remember…when the United States completely falls…and it will…the principle blame will lie with those that find anarchy appealing (i.e. atheists, agnostics, humanists, what have you…).

    • zeddicuskotor

      So a 40 foot stone cross on public land isn’t an establishment of religion?

      • Jerome Horwitz

        What religion is being created by its presence?

        • zeddicuskotor

          Non responsive. Thanks for proving my point.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Wrong. To establish is to create, and nobody is creating a religion by erecting that cross.

          • zeddicuskotor

            Establishment of religion, not creation.

            Nice try, but your semantics doesn’t work. Try being less pathetic.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Yes. Apparently you are using the 21st century definition of “establish” instead of the 19th, which is more relevant.

            Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines the word as “to create.” And Christianity was around some 1400 years before the Constitution was written.

            Further, you have to show the intent of the American Legion (who actually built it) was to place a particular religion over another by making that cross. Considering it was only meant as a memorial, the very suggestion is preposterous.

            Sorry about that.

          • MCrow

            Looking at that dictionary, I see 8 possible definitions of the word. Definition 3: “To enact or decree by authority and for permanence; to ordain; to appoint; as, to establish laws, regulations, institutions, rules, ordinances, etc.” Literally what we have been discussing. Further, the reason this was done was because Virginia Baptists feared what may happen if a church such as the Church of England were to have undue influence in government. Given their history, this isn’t surprising

            Now, looking at the law, the memorial must have a secular purpose, neither promote nor inhibit religion, and must not entangle government with religion. First part is ok, honoring fallen soldiers. The second two points it does not, as it advances a particular faith and entangled government spending on a religious monument.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Unfortunately, definition 3 isn’t relevant. Only definition 1 is, as evidenced by the use of the word in the Preamble.

            Done.

          • MCrow

            Definition 3 is entirely relevant as it is, quite literally, what the constitution is meant to do: establish laws, regulations, institutes and ordinances. In fact, this is what the definition means in legal parlance. Unless you can prove that “to establish” can only ever mean “to create” with regards to US law, that is an entirely ridiculous claim

          • bwgirl

            Your all just angry because a Cross reminds you that YOUR religion that YOU established in our government isn’t believed by everybody!

          • MCrow

            You’re projecting hard enough to display PowerPoint. My lack of religion isn’t represented in government except in law, and yes, I support it. However, it seems most Christians are annoyed that they can’t control government, and I will fight their control tooth and nail as I see what historically and in modern times happens under religious rule.

          • Trilemma

            The First Amendment doesn’t use the word “establish,” it uses the word “establishment.” Webster’s 1828 dictionary does not define “establishment” as “to create.” It defines it as something that already exists.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            It also doesn’t mean promote.

          • Trilemma

            Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines the word “respecting” as:

            RESPECT’ING, participle present tense Regarding; having regard to; relating to.

            So, when the First Amendment says that Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion it means Congress shall pass no law showing regard for an existing religion.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Which doesn’t negate what I said.

          • Trilemma

            The word “establishment” doesn’t mean promote but the word “respecting” does.

          • Jerome Horwitz

            The memorial is neither creating nor promoting.

            The 1st Amendment doesn’t prohibit religious speech within government. A judge, Hugo Black, decreed that.

          • Trilemma

            I agree. I think the memorial should stay. It has historical value. It’s not close to any government facilities. Cemeteries are are full of crosses but nobody thinks the cemetery owner is promoting religion. So I think the argument is weak that this cross is government endorsement of religion.

          • Eldrida Urika

            Try being less rude if you want to have a discussion. It’s not necessary to be demeaning to anyone in order to discuss something. Jerome did not say anything to give you a reason to be rude either. So try keeping a reasonable look at what is being said and reply without the need to be demeaning to be able to stand up for what you believe is right. If it is right then there is no need to put others views down. If they want to have a different view that’s their right too.
            Establishment in this case means that: to establish a religion that did not exist before that time. That is what it means to some people and not to others – many on both sides. So he has stood up for one view and you have for the other.

          • Cady555

            “Establishment in this case means that: to establish a religion that did not exist before that time. ”

            This definition makes no sense. Christianity had existed for 1600 years when the Constitution was drafted. Yet the First Amendment prevents the govt from adopting Christianity as the state religion.

            In the same way, the preamble says “establish justice.” This does not mean justice has never existed before.

            Justice should be established – the government should take action to promote justice. And religion should not be established – the government should not take action to promote religion.

          • Eldrida Urika

            So it means what that other poster said? that it was talking about the way the individual states “established” their own religions? That makes more sense actually, and it would tie in better with the constitution, wouldn’t it?

          • MCrow

            Establish is closer to codify or make official. In this case, use of taxpayer money to maintain a religious symbol establishes state endorsement of religion, which means establishment of a state religion

          • Jerome Horwitz

            Read my response below.

      • bwgirl

        OUR government has already ESTABLISHED a religion! Or I should say, Cult.

        Whether it’s called paganism, NEW AGE, or Goddess Worship (Gaia).

        And while they took away our National Day of Prayer, they instituted and dedicated a day on the calendar called, “Earth Day”, created an official office to uphold it called the EPA, .

        And created laws to PUNISH those that don’t adhere to it!

        That’s an ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION!

        And it just burns you up that we won’t quite worshiping Jesus Christ and that we won’t tear down OUR symbols of our faith. The very same symbols of the same faith that the founders of our country believed in.

        • zeddicuskotor

          Thanks for proving my point. You hate America.

    • ppp777

      Bang on .

  • Ben Welliver

    Ever notice that progressives like to tear down things?

    When they do it individually, we call them “vandals” and they can go to jail. When they do it through the court system, they pretend that they’re heroes defending the Constitution.

    • Cady555

      The courts are the proper forum for addressing constitutional violations.

    • Jerome Horwitz

      Aaaaaaand Cady’s comment proves you correct.

    • Cady555

      From World Religion News. A local resident plans to put up a display in December in a public park in Florida. Christians also put up displays in the same park.

      This is the response from a christian. “As expected, local Christians are infuriated by Smith’s plans. Pastor Mark Boykin from Church of All Nations said that this is like “a welcome mat for Satan” and called it “the essence of evil.” He goes so far as to even vowing to personally break down the display with a sledgehammer.”

      Taking a sledgehammer to someone else’s display is vandalism. Using the courts to make sure that the government treats all religious views equally is not.

      • Jerome Horwitz

        The stated intent

        • Eldrida Urika

          I disagree. No matter what is going on we as Christians should not be vandalizing anything.
          He was protesting the fact that Christians and Jews are the only ones that he thought was “allowed” to put things up around Christmas and he didn’t realize that they are the only 2 religions that have a reason to celebrate at that time. He just wants to make a point, and I expect if he was able to without using Satan, he would have.
          I find that Christians often seem to forget to trust God and pray for his protection from Evil, as that is how we avoid it. Being violent and destructive just makes Christians the same as all the people who want to tear down Christian displays. Do we really want to be as low as those people?

          • Bob Johnson

            “..he didn’t realize that they are the only 2 religions that have a reason to celebrate at that time.”

            Actually most religions celebrate the Winter Solstice, Dongzhi Festival, Sanghamitta Day, Yalda, and many other festivals.

            And let’s not forget Yuletide (Nordic, reason that ham is the traditional dinner) and Saturalia (Roman winter festival). My Jewish friends celebrate Hanukkah rather than Christmas.

          • Eldrida Urika

            I guess they must celebrate them then, as I haven’t heard of them complaining like everyone else does. This man complained about Christians and Jews specifically. I merely pointed out why those two are very present during those times and that others have their holiday displays when they celebrate them. So does this mean he should demand all those others that celebrate during Christmas to put up displays?

          • MARA

            The government is not constitutionally allowed an opinion concerning religion. No laws, no judgments.
            It’s not ok to tear down our monuments, period.

          • Eldrida Urika

            It’s not ok to tear anyone’s monument. It’s vandalism no matter who’s the one who put it there. I made it very plain that I disagreed with tearing it down. Please read the post before you reply, I would appreciate it.

  • Lydia Church

    Funny then that the founding fathers used Biblical Christianity all the time in the writings! These ‘smart’ atheists should inform them of that! They are making fools out of themselves!

    • MCrow

      The founding fathers declared religious freedom for all and that the government would not establish a state religion. Had they wanted “Biblical Christianity” as the law of the land, then they could have done so

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        They encouraged Biblical Christianity. They never meant for it to be eradicated and for its followers to be harassed.

        • MCrow

          They encouraged freedom of choice regarding religion. Fixed that for you. I agree they never wanted it eradicated or harassed, but they didn’t promote it. It would have been very easy for them to write it into the constitution.

          • ppp777

            That would be unbiblical .

          • MCrow

            …what would? Proving your point?

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Except that Christians ARE being harassed and Christianity is under threat of eradication, at least that’s what atheists and other godless souls want.

            You are wrong about it not being written in the Constitution. But for the twisting that godless libs have been pushing for decades, it’s quite blatantly in the Constitution.

          • MCrow

            Christians are being challenged and forced to give up their privileged status and be one religion among many. That is not harassment. As for eradication…Christianity survived Nero. You’ll forgive me for saying that not being able to keep a cross on public land is not the same thing at all. Christianity as you understand it may be coming to an end, but among some cultures, it’s actually growing. Just not middle class whites.

            If it is, say where. I see there being no religious test for office and freedom of choice with regards to religion. I see nothing stating Christianity in any form is to be given special treatmen.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            That’s phony and you know it. Christians never had special status. They merely weren’t hunted down in the US like they are just about everywhere else.

            You clearly have no clue about my ethnicity, the ethnicity of my fellowship, nor about Christianity itself. You are right about one thing – Christianity will never be eradicated. When Jesus Christ comes back, you will see just how much Christianity has flourished and, more importantly, just how powerful its Head is.

          • MCrow

            How many openly Christian senators exist vs. any other religion? Why do Christians get to argue that their religion is the basis of all law and morality, but no one else? Christians do have special status, whether you wish to admit it or not.

            I don’t know your ethnicity, nor do I particularly care. I am, however, making a point. Christianity is leaving white America, but growing in other ethnic groups. And all I can say is people are currently praying against me, and I’ve been told I’ll burn in Hell for a lot of things. Could you guys get some new lines? It might make this more entertaining.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Christians are the most persecuted people in the world. So much for special status.

            You are obsessed with skin colour. Only fools are obsessed with the amount of melanin someone has. That’s the crux of racism. Own it.

          • MCrow

            The most persecuted people in the world are the Rohingyas. They deal with being forced into ghettos, pogroms, and torture camps. If you have proof of your claims, let’s see it.

            I use ‘white’ to refer to people of Anglo-Saxon descent. I’ll stop talking about skin colour when it stops being a primary cause of division in the world, which I hope is soon. However, it does not change the fact that Christianity is growing among minorities while slacking in the racial majority. This isn’t a good or bad thing, simply a shift, and some people don’t like change.

            Also, accusing people of being racist for bringing up racial inequality…seriously, you need new material.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            a.) Stats prove Christians are the most persecuted people in the world.

            b.) Skin colour has not been proven to be the biggest cause of division in the world. Why focus so much on something so trite?

            c.) You haven’t been addressing racial inequality. You’ve been falsely accusing people of being racist.

          • MCrow

            A) What statistics?

            B) Ethnicity remains a primary cause of division. I didn’t say it was the primary, merely a primary, and I stand by that.

            C) Thr only person in this thread who’s accused others of racism is you. Projecting much?

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            1.) Recent ones discussed in a recent article here.

            2.) Where is your proof?

            3.) You need to read your own posts. 🙂

          • MCrow

            Ok. All I see is a bunch of people griping that they aren’t allowed to use government facilities as a vehicle for their religion. That’s not persecution.

            Most hate crimes are racially motivated (at around 47%). Minorities are 3 times as likely to be ‘randomly searched’ by police. Jail times are 19% longer for minorities for similar crimes. And that’s just in the US. The Rohingyas are a racial minority in their country and have it far, far worse off for no other reason than the circumstances of their birth.

            3) I have. I only mention the term ‘racist’ in response to you saying, quote, “You are obsessed with skin colour. Only fools are obsessed with the amount of melanin someone has. That’s the crux of racism.” In short, you accused me of being racist, I responded, and now you are saying I accused you of racism. You are projecting hard enough to show a feature length movie.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You see what you want to see. You pretend that Christians losing their lives, businesses, and reputations are nothing yet if someone can’t get a cupcake you cry crocodile tears.

            There is no evidence that skin colour has anything at all to do with division.

            You are the first person to bring up skin colour and you did it because you made false assumptions. Shame on you.

          • MCrow

            That war on straw get tiring?

            So which is it: does racism not exist or am I a racist? Racism without racial discrimination is…well, impossible.

            Again, your talk of crying is projection.

            I bring up race because it is still a socioeconomic factor, as much as you’d like to deny that.

            Arguing without facts is almost admirable, in a Quixotic way, so congrats on that

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You said that race was the biggest reason for division, and you are wrong. Now you are trying to throw in the racist and stereotypical assumption that certain ethnicities are poor. Shame on you! All ethnicities have the right and ability to earn a good living. Stop with your racist attitudes.

          • MCrow

            I acknowledge that there are problems that exist within our society that need to be fixed caused by racial discrimination.

            You seem content with allowing them to continue because you, yourself, are not racially prejudiced.

            I feel no shame for acknowledging that these are problems which exist and need to be addressed. I feel no shame saying racism is a real and driving force in society. And I certainly feel no shame from someone like you, who would blind themselves to these issues. “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?”

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Actually, you misrepresented the facts and claimed that ethnicity was the biggest reason for division. That is false. I never endorsed racism nor am I lax about it – another false claim of yours. Shame on you.

          • MCrow

            You don’t believe racism exists, as you’ve stated. I refuse to feel shame by your religion, thus it has 0 power, as that’s all it is capable of doing.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You are misrepresenting my comments again. I never said racism did not exist. I said that it is not the biggest reason for division in the world.

          • MCrow

            “There is no evidence that skin colour has anything at all to do with division.”

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Yep, not the kind of division you’re talking about. Think about it – you’re flipping out over the amount of melanin in individuals. Do you also flip out over eye colour? Hair colour?

          • MCrow

            I’m not flipping out. I’m saying that race is a factor where sociology is concerned, which you seem to want to deny.

            And when there are noteworthy studies on how blondes are more likely to wind up in jail or people with green eyes are more likely to be denied a job with the same credentials, then you’ll have an actual point

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You keep watering down your remarks yet you still present no proof.

          • MCrow

            I’ve said from the start: race is a socioeconomic factor that needs to be considered. I provided statistics supporting my point. You, meanwhile, have not actually stated a point other than calling me a racist. So, unless you do, kindly shoo.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You have proven something, but it isn’t what you think it is. You have race on the brain. Pity you can’t think beyond skin colour.

          • MCrow

            Pity you need to imply people are racist rather than actually debating them

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Dude, your hypersensitivity to the subject is quite telling.

          • MCrow

            Also, people like you are part of why racism continues to be a problem: you refuse to believe that it is real, and thus allow it to continue. I acknowledge that there is a problem so that I can work to fix it. Meanwhile, you sit on the sides and call me a racist for pointing the problem out. You’re not a racist: you’re just an enabler

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            What are you talking about, “people like me”? What sort of narrow minded judgment are you making? I have never said that racism does not exist. I’ve experienced it firsthand, including on these forums. I am specifically saying that skin colour is not the root of all conflict, nor is it the root of most conflict.

            Racists focus on race. Non-racists focus on more important things, like principles, character, and talent.

          • MCrow

            I’d like to point out that my original comment which got you to call me a racist had race as part of the factor, not the whole. You’re the one who decided to make it entirely about race. Why not focus on the part saying “middle class?” Because you want to change the topic to something where you can disparage. That’s what I mean by “people like you.” You think that you have those principles, characters, and talents and anyone who lacks them, well, it’s not their circumstances, it’s the fact that they aren’t as hard working/spiritual/enlightened as you.. It’s about making yourself feel righteous while appearing humble. It’s twisted

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I’m sorry that the truth offends you, but it helps no one to not face facts. It’s a big world with all kinds of different people, perspectives, and diversity. Embrace it.

          • MCrow

            Ok, let me break this down so you understand.

            1) I find various cultures to be fascinating. I am living in another country than the one of my birth, and I am working in a diverse community. However, I acknowledge that the experience of people is different from my own. We all bleed red, but to say that ‘we’re all identical’ is arrogant.

            2) In the US, a person born into a minority culture faces stigma. I don’t care what *you* think. The fact is that if one is born into a minority, they are going to have a more difficult time. This applies to race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic status.

            3) As a result, these people are discriminated against, and this causes division within culture. Race is part of that. People of color face challenges that the white majority does not. Again, it doesn’t matter what *you* think. This is a societal problem. And, like most problems, to fix it, you have to acknowledge that it exists.

            4) I find it ironic that you call for diversity when you are so clearly trying to homogenize religion. You want everyone to fall in line with your view.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            1.) Focusing on other people’s skin colour is unnecessary and completely irrelevant. What’s next? Hyper focusing on eye colour? Hair colour?

            2.) You’re not a minority. How would you know?

            3.) While bigotry and racism obviously exist worldwide over (and exists in every race and culture), that doesn’t make it the primary cause of all major worldwide divisions , as you claim.

            4.) My family looks like the United Nations. I wouldn’t have it any other way. You are also wrong about me wanting everyone to fall in line with my view, and with me trying to homogenize religion. Christianity is only Christianity if it is born from free will and from a real relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth.

          • MCrow

            1) Again, when eye or hair color results in systemic prejudice, then yes, I’ll focus on it and bring it up as a sociological factor. And again, just because you aren’t racist doesn’t mean race is not a factor in people’s lives.

            2) Asians aren’t minorities anymore? Cool. I’ll tell that to my grandparents who were interred during the war. I still remember being called a “chink” when I was 9 playing soccer and being told I was a “failure like all Chinese” when I was 10 at school. Never mind they got my ethnicity wrong…

            3) Ok, reading comprehension check: “a” factor. A major one. I’d even argue one of the main prejudices in the world. I’m not saying such division is just, but you’d like to sweep it under the rug.

            4) Again, I don’t care if *you* are racist or not: the world sadly is, and it’s enabled by people who pretend that the only racists are the KKK.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            1.) You seem confused about what your own claims are. Go back and re-read your posts. Statistics prove you wrong.

            2.) Again, you seem confused, angry, bitter, and hyper-focused on ethnicity.

            3.) I’ve never swept racism under the rug. In fact, I have often been a victim of it, including on this board. Again, you seem hyper-focused on ethnicity.

            4.) While there is racism in the world, it is not the only source of division, nor is it the main one, which is your original contention, and which facts disprove.

          • MCrow

            1-4) You just want to ad hom, don’t you? Ok, have at it. I’m done actually trying to talk to you. You seem determined not to listen.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Do you even know what ad hominem attacks are? And if so, why do you use them and then accuse others of doing so?

          • MCrow

            Calling me a racist, angry, bitter, confused, etc. Yes, yes I do. Ta

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I actually didn’t call you those things. Funny how you have called others names, then recoil when you’ve been pinned down about those false claims.

          • MCrow

            “I’ll stop talking about skin colour when it stops being *a* primary cause of division in the world, which I hope is soon.” <- My original quote for context, emphasis on the *a* because you're refusing to acknowledge it

            "You are obsessed with skin colour. Only fools are obsessed with the amount of melanin someone has. That's the crux of racism. Own it."
            "you seem confused, angry, bitter, and hyper-focused on ethnicity."
            ^^^Your Quotes for context^^^

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Yes, those are my quotes, and they allude to behavior, not name calling. Reading comprehension much?

          • MCrow

            You’re attacking me, not my argument, ergo, ad hom.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I’ve not attacked you. I’ve shown you via stats that your claims about ethnicity being the major divide is not valid.

          • MCrow

            Where have you quoted a single statistic?

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Read my posts. I referenced stats.

          • MCrow

            You said you have statistics, but never provided any

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I referenced them. Read my posts again.

          • MCrow

            Ok, re-read. You don’t have a single number or proof in any of your posts. You just say “statistics prove,” which is not an example.

    • Cady555

      Some of the founding fathers used christian concepts in their personal affairs. None wanted to see Christianity or any other religion adopted as an official government position.

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Sure they did. George Washington set the bar by praying publically, often.

        • ppp777

          Why don’t you admit for once in your lives you just hate Christ at least that would be the truth .

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I think you posted to the wrong person.

    • ZappaSaid88

      They didn’t use it in the writing of the Constitution.

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        You’ve never read the ratification clause, have you?

  • Eric L

    If the cross was JUST a Christian symbol, the religion-haters might have a valid point. But obviously it isn’t just that, it also symbolizes respect for the dead, especially veterans. You see it all the time on those roadside markers that people put up when one of their loved ones dies in an accident on that spot. A crucifix, which shows the figure of Jesus on the cross, is definitely a Christian symbol, but a plain cross has a secular meaning, which everyone understands.

    • Cady555

      The cross is a christian symbol often used to mark christian deaths. “Everyone understands” the cross means something to christians. Period. Non christians do not use the cross as a grave marker and they consider marking a non christian’s grave with a cross to be extremely disrespectful.

      A cross, plain or adorned, has no secular meaning.

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        You need to look up the etymology of symbols.

  • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    So when the Founding Fathers had their graves marked with crosses, they were violating their own Constitution? Pull the other finger.

  • ppp777

    You atheists are one pathetic lot , so petty and dumb .

  • MARA

    They utterly fail to understand what “you get no say in the matter,” means.
    The federal government cannot make laws or judgements
    concerning religion, one way or the other.
    They should not be taking these kinds off cases.
    It is unconstitutional for them to have an opinion at all.