The Secularists never stop, and it’s a battle they will wage until all public view of God is removed from society.
The question remains, will Christians just let them without a fight?
Well, not in Utah, thank the Lord.
If a national atheist organization has its way, a series of 12-foot-tall memorial crosses that adorn Utah’s highways will be taken down.
But not if the families of the people those crosses honor — state Highway Patrol troopers killed in the line of duty — have anything to say about it.
American Atheists Inc. has filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that the 13 white, steel crosses represent the death of Jesus Christ and therefore violate the First Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits government establishment of religion.
But the families of the fallen heroes say otherwise. They say the crosses, which bear the names and badge numbers of the troopers, were built strictly as memorials.
…”I think it’s ridiculous that a small group of offended atheists would seek to stop the family of slain troopers from honoring their loved ones as they see fit,” said Byron Babione, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents the Utah Highway Patrol Association.
The New Jersey-based American Atheists filed suit in 2005, arguing that the crosses symbolize Christianity and break state and federal laws against roadside memorials.
Isn’t it amazing how an Atheist Org out of New Jersey thinks it needs to meddle in the affairs of those citizens in Utah??
I’m sure that scouring the land there in Utah – they were able to find ONE SHMOE who was willing to complain so the full weight of Northeastern Scularists can be brought to bear on memorials in Utah.
“They know very well that the cross is a Christian symbol,” said Dave Silverman, spokesman for the group. “They are breaking the law by putting up memorials for fallen heroes.”
The Utah Highway Patrol Association, a private organization, designed and constructed the memorials with private funding in 1998. Private citizens can memorialize troopers who died in the line of duty, under Utah state law, Babione said.
“There’s nothing unconstitutional here because the memorials cost taxpayers nothing,” he said.
But Brian Barnard, a lawyer representing American Atheists, said the memorial is a Roman cross, which symbolizes Christianity.
“The use of those crosses constitutes and endorses Christianity,” Barnard said. “Although it’s an acknowledgement of the death of these troopers, it is also an endorsement of Christianity.”
Barnard said the highway association downplays the significance of the cross, claiming it is a secular symbol.
I think it does not help to give the Secularists ammo and make statements like that which will turn the argument into whether a cross is a Christian symbol or not. Everyone is aware that the cross symbolizes both faith and death as a marker. I think it would serve their interests better to simply say that it is indeed a cross – that is universally recognized as a memorial symbol that has both religious and cultural significance. Argue the point over whether having a memorial to fallen officers is an establishment of a state-run church rather than arguing over whether the cross is religious or not.
“There’s no question at all that these highway patrol troopers should be honored,” Barnard said. “We should all pause and thank them. But that can be done in a way that does not emphasize religion.”
The group is seeking the removal of the crosses and one dollar in monetary damages.
U.S. District Judge David Sam recently heard arguments in the case and will rule soon on the legality of the crosses.
If the secularists succeed in getting the Courts to ban these memorials, it will be a giant step in the high prize of getting rid of all the white cross memorials in our National Cemeteries.