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WND: The arguments for the cross’s removal have been based on somebody’s hurt “feelings,” according to attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which previously filed a brief in 2012 on behalf of thousands of members of the United Retired Firefighters Association and the American Legion.
WND: The arguments for its removal have been based on somebody’s hurt “feelings,” according to attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which previously filed a brief on behalf of thousands of members of the United Retired Firefighters Association and the American Legion. The case was brought in 1989 by an atheist who claimed to have been offended by the memorial’s symbol. But the ADF brief at that time said those who claim to be offended are suffering no injury.
Jacob Gershman at the Wall Street Journal: “The sharply conflicting perspectives—a kind of constitutional Rorschach test—capture a debate that has erupted in federal courtrooms across America about whether crosses displayed in memorials on public land violate the First Amendment’s ban on the establishment of religion. The Mount Soledad statue is one of at least four war-memorial crosses under legal fire by civil-liberty groups who want them off government land. The cross is a globally recognized symbol of Christian faith. But many veterans and others who have lost loved ones to battles or tragedy value the memorial crosses as monuments of remembrance, invested with historical weight.”
Christian Post: “An estimated 500 people gathered at a public park in Sandpoint, Idaho, Thursday to demonstrate their support for keeping the Ten Commandments display at its present location.”
KTVB: “City officials in Sandpoint are looking at possibly relocating a monument at a city park that displays the Ten Commandments.”
Albuquerque Journal: “The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian nonprofit, is defending the city of Bloomfield against a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which alleges the monument violates religious protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”
Religion Clause: “[T]he Georgia State Senate yesterday gave final passage and sent to the governor for his signature HB 702 which authorizes placing within the capitol building or on the statehouse grounds a “historic granite monument” depicting the Preamble to the Georgia Constitution, a line from the Declaration of Independence, and the Ten Commandments.”
David French at National Review: “Unless, of course, you’re an offended atheist. Then, the same pop culture that mocks Christian sensibilities will treat seriously your utterly vile outrage at a mourning mother’s expression of love for her fallen son. Then, that means the same federal courts that have consistently held that outrage alone does not constitute a recognizable injury will grant ‘offended observers’ special status to challenge displays of perceived religious symbols on public land. In other words, an atheist’s subjective discomfort is sufficient grounds for a federal lawsuit.” | See the Alliance Alert’s “Monuments” for more.
Albuquerque Journal: “Jonathan Scruggs, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit Christian conservative group, is defending the city of Bloomfield and said city councilors approved the policy to allow citizens to erect historical monuments on a designated site at City Hall.”
CBS LA: “A national atheist organization may have won the battle over a Lake Elsinore roadside memorial that features a cross erected by a mother in honor of her late son.”
Religion Clause: “Now, according to yesterday’s Purdue Eponent, the University has agreed to revised language which shows the reference as a quotation from the donor.”
RNS: “On Thursday (Feb. 27), U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson of California’s Central District ruled that a granite monument depicting a soldier kneeling in prayer before a cross lacked ‘a secular purpose’ and has ‘the unconstitutional effect’ of endorsing religion over nonreligion.”
Religion Clause: “A humanist organization and three individuals yesterday filed suit challenging the constitutionality of a 40-foot tall cross erected nearly 90 years ago as a memorial to those killed in World War I. The cross is located on a median between roadways in Bladensburg, Maryland.”
Christian Post: “‘No one should single out a faith-based group for censorship. The Constitution protects and does not prohibit religious expression in the public square,’ said Bryan Beauman, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, in a statement. ‘A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays, cannot be excluded simply because it is in the shape of a cross.’”
Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Bryan Beauman will be available for media interviews Tuesday following his oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit against a court-imposed ban on crosses in an Evansville, Ind. riverfront exhibit.
Religion News Service: “Local officials in Florida this week rejected an atheist monument proposed for a courthouse lawn, another example of the hurdles religious minorities will face as they continue to press for equal access to displays on public lands.”
Daily Journal (AP): “A civil rights group sued the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Thursday for voting to restore a cross to the official seal of the county.”
Greenfield Reporter (AP): “The Freedom From Religion Foundation is asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a federal judge’s decision that allowed the U.S. Forest Service to renew a 10-year permit for a statue of Jesus that was placed on a northwestern Montana ski hill six decades ago.” | FFRF Press Release
WTRF: “Stratton, Ohio, is the latest Ohio Valley community to come under fire for having crosses in public areas. Stratton Mayor John Abdalla said that the group Freedom From Religion has threatened to sue the village if they don’t remove the crosses on the municipal building and the one at the park.”
The Edmonton Journal: “Parishioners at historic McDougall United Church want the city to buy their building and rent it back to them for $1 because they can’t afford repairs worth at least $8 million.”
Indiana churches seeking to erect cross display on public property get appeals court hearing date | Christian Post
Christian Post: “‘Christians have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America and the government cannot treat people with non-religious viewpoints more favorably than people with religious viewpoints,’ said Bryan Beauman, an ADF allied attorney, in an earlier interview with The Christian Post.”
Fox News: “An atheist group is fighting to remove a Bible that rests on a podium inside a Florida city council chamber, sparking a heated battle over separation of church and state.”
Religion Clause: “On Monday, the American Atheists filed a federal court lawsuit against the Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission challenging the Ten Commandments monument erected in 2012 on the Oklahoma State Capitol Grounds.”
Arkansas Matters: “A foundation advocating the separation of church and state says a cross on the grounds of the Searcy Police Department should be removed.”
As State Mulls Review, Christians and Atheists Agree: Keep Florida Capitol a Free Speech Zone | FlaglerLive.com
FlaglerLive.com: Christians and atheists may have found a little common patch of ground, the rotunda of the Florida Capitol as a space to express themselves.
CBS: The Satanic Temple unveiled designs Monday for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan it wants to put at the Oklahoma state Capitol, where a Ten Commandments monument was placed in 2012.
Pittsburgh Tribune: The marble monument of the Ten Commandments has been standing outside Valley High School in New Kensington for 50 years. It will endure there for at least another year, as a lengthy court battle continues.
LA Times: It is a clearly Christian symbol on government-owned land, and the Supreme Court should order its removal.
Religion Clause Blog: According to AP, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission voted yesterday to impose a moratorium on requests for new displays on the statehouse grounds until a pending lawsuit over a Ten Commandments monument there is resolved.
Breitbart: After 24 years of litigation, a federal court revealed in an emotional hearing that it has ordered the famous Mount Soledad Cross removed from a veterans memorial, holding it is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. | Opinion: Trunk v. San Diego | How Appealing links to more coverage | Liberty Institute press release
Fox News: In their zeal to tout their faith in the public square, conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, including satanists who are seeking to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse steps.
The World: The City of Coos Bay is waiting to make a decision on the fate of the Vietnam War Memorial in Mingus Park until its involvement in a federal case is resolved. The city announced Thursday afternoon that the Supreme Court’s decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the case involving the First Amendment’s establishment clause, must happen before the Coos Bay city council resumes discussions regarding the memorial’s status.
WKSU.org: The East Muskingum Local school board has until tonight to decide, according to the Zanesville Recorder. The board is meeting at John Glenn High School, where a picture of Jesus in a field with lambs hangs. It was reportedly donated in honor of a former Latin teacher who died in the 1970s.
Washington Times: Five weeks after vandals toppled a monument of the Ten Commandments at a site facing the east facade of the U.S. Supreme Court, the tablet was rededicated Tuesday by an ecumenical group of Capitol Hill civic, political and religious leaders at the headquarters of the Faith and Action ministry.
AP: The Australian War Memorial has reversed a contentious decision to remove “known unto God” from the Tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier after a public and political outcry.
Taunton Gazette: For experts on the United States Constitution, the addition of a 7-foot Christian cross to Middleboro’s town meeting agenda Monday night means one thing – more division. The town, deciding the fate of a cross that has stood for a half-century on a Route 28 traffic island, voted overwhelmingly to try and protect the brick structure. Voters did so by moving the land into private hands, thereby avoiding the constitutional mandate that church and state be separate.
TribLive: South Connellsville resident Robert Ward believes a lawsuit brought against the Connellsville Area School District demanding a Ten Commandments monument be moved from the grounds of the Connellsville Junior High School is just “nonsense.”
World Net Daily: The Million Vet March on the Memorials will be held Sunday, Oct. 13, at 9 a.m. Eastern at the World War II memorial on the National Mall, the location where rangers under orders from the White House tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent vets from visiting in recent days.
Hot Air: House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa has launched an investigation into why the WWII memorial and other open-air monuments have been shut down.
Politico: “If Harry Reid and the President want to keep the parks closed — I mean did you read the story today? Some idiot in government sent goons out there to set up barricades, so they couldn’t see the monument. People had to spend hours setting up barricades where there are never barricades to prevent people from seeing the World War II monument because they’re trying to play a charade,” Rand (R-Ky.) said Tuesday on Fox News’s “Hannity.”
CNSNews: President Barack Obama warned late Monday afternoon that if the House of Representatives did not agree to a continuing resolution to fund the government after midnight that did not curtail the implementation of Obamacare–and that he would therefore agree to sign–the Statue of Liberty would be “immediately closed.”
Stars and Stripes: Wheelchair-bound elderly veterans pushed aside barricades to tour the World War II Memorial Tuesday morning, in defiance of the government shutdown which closed all of the memorials in the nation’s capital.
Breitbart: The 3-foot-by-3-foot granite monument weighs 850 pounds and sits out front of the headquarters of Faith and Action, a Christian outreach ministry
Tulsa World: The plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds are not proper parties to bring suit, the state claims in a brief filed Friday in Oklahoma County District Court.
Oregon Live: Coos Bay has been abuzz for some time over complaints about a Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. But that buzz grew to a bang last week after someone detonated a bomb at the site. The troubles started last February after the Freedom From Religion foundation notified the city that the memorial is unconstitutional in that it violates the First Amendment Establishment Clause.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Bryan Beauman tells OneNewsNow the case will now be appealed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. “Government officials should not be allowed to unconstitutionally single out faith-based groups for censorship,” Beauman contends. “A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays, cannot be singled out for censorship simply because it is in the shape of a cross,” he adds.
ACLJ: This time the target is a planned 9-11 memorial in Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton Deputy Fire Chief Roy James got the idea a couple of years ago and was able to acquire from the Port Authority part of an iron beam from the ruins of the World Trade Center.
TribLive.com: The Thou Shall Not Move group plans to erect four new Ten Commandments monuments at upcoming dedication ceremonies while the Connellsville School District and the Freedom From Religion Foundation continue to wage a legal battle over a monument that has been located on school property for more than a half century.
Ban on Display of Crosses at Indiana City’s Riverfront Property Contested By Church | Christian Post
Christian Post: “Government officials should not be allowed to unconstitutionally single out faith-based groups for censorship,” said Bryan Beauman of Alliance Defending Freedom. “A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays, cannot be singled out for censorship simply because it is in the shape of a cross.”
Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorneys representing an Evansville area church filed an appeal Wednesday in an ACLU lawsuit over the display of up to 31 temporary crosses at the Evansville riverfront.
One News Now: Hiram Sasser, an attorney with Liberty Institute, believes someone who opposes the memorial detonated the IED. “And they did so right next to a children’s play area in a public park,” he tells OneNewsNow.
TwinCities.com (AP): A Wisconsin-based atheist and agnostic organization is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that a 6-foot-tall statue of Jesus can remain on Forest Service land on a northwestern Montana ski hill.
Tulsa World: The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on Monday filed suit seeking to have a monument displaying the Ten Commandments removed from the Capitol grounds. | ACLU press release: ACLU of Oklahoma Challenges State Capitol Ten Commandments Monument | Complaint: Prescott v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission
Christian Post: Bryan Beauman, an ADF allied attorney involved in the case, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that the churches have a right to have such a display on public property.”Christians have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America and the government cannot treat people with non-religious viewpoints more favorably than people with religious viewpoints,” said Beauman. “A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays, cannot be singled out for censorship simply because it is in the shape of a cross.”
Religion Clause Blog: In Cabral v. City of Evansville, Indiana, (SD IN, July 31, 2013), an Indiana federal district court permanently enjoined the city of Evansville from permitting a group of local religious organizations, headed by the Westside Christian Church, from erecting a planned religious display on the city’s Riverfront . . .
Matt Sharp at Alliance Defending Freedom: It appears that the attorneys at the ACLU have arisen from their sleepy summer slumber to stalk the quiet streets of Evansville, Indiana. The ACLU attorneys, with their doctors of jurisprudence degrees in hand (let’s call them “DR.ACLU” for short), are always on the prowl for their next victim.
USA Today: A portion of the Lincoln Memorial, temporarily closed after green paint was found splattered around the statue early Friday, reopened about 12 hours later.
ACLJ to OH Governor: “Extremist Position” by Atheists Not Supported by Law – Offer to Assist in Defending Holocaust Memorial
ACLJ: We’re delighted to see the state of Ohio move forward with plans to construct a Holocaust memorial that includes a Star of David in its design – despite complaints from angry atheists – specifically, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). As we already have reported, the FFRF sent aletter to the state claiming that the inclusion of the Star of David as a part of the Holocaust memorial is “exclusionary” and a “dishonor.”
AP: Princeton officials are consulting lawyers as they wrestle with a 9/11 memorial featuring a World Trade Center beam that includes a hole cut in the shape of a cross.
TribLive.com: The Freedom from Religion organization is representing an atheist and student who want a half-century monument removed from the school grounds of Connellsville Junior High, explained the Rev. Ewing Marietta, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church of Uniontown and a Connellsville resident who is an organizer with Thou Shall Not Move.
Judge to Decide If Indiana City Can Allow Churches to Display Crosses on Public Land | Anugrah Kumar at Christian Post
Anugrah Kumar at Christian Post: Last week, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion for 10 churches located in the Evansville area and which are part of the plan to erect crosses. “Christians have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America and the government cannot treat people with non-religious viewpoints more favorably than people with religious viewpoints,” Bryan Beauman, an ADF allied attorney involved in the case, earlier told The Christian Post.
One News Now: ADF Attorney Bryan Beauman describes more about the display planned by churches. “In this situation, there’s a group of local churches that wanted to have a display of crosses that are about six feet high,” he tells OneNewsNow. “And the crosses are going to be decorated by about 30 different churches and many of these churches are going to have children that are in Vacation Bible Schools or doing other Bible clubs.”
Religion Clause Blog: AP reports that in Ohio, the state’s Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board yesterday approved a privately-funded $1.8 million Holocaust memorial to be placed on the statehouse grounds.
Religion Clause Blog: In American Humanist Association v. City of Lake Elsinore, (CD CA, July 16, 2013), a California federal district court held that the design of a monument to military veterans that was to be installed at the city of Lake Elsinore-owned Diamond Stadium likely violates the Establishment Clause.
ACLU Attempts to Prevent Churches’ Public Display of Crosses Despite City Approval | ChristianNews.net
ChristianNews.net: If [ACLU representatives] succeed in this lawsuit,” the ADF’s intervention states, “the churches will be deprived of the time, effort, money and property expended in creating, permitting, erecting and maintaining the crosses, including their interest in expressing their viewpoint in the public forum known as the Riverfront for a brief two-week period in August of 2013.” ADF attorney Bryan Beauman said in a press release that the churches’ basic freedoms are being threatened by the ACLU. “A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays cannot be singled out for censorship simply because it is in the shape of a cross,” Beauman wrote. “The ACLU’s misinterpretation of the First Amendment should not be allowed to uproot this fundamental freedom.”
Citizen Link: “A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays cannot be singled out for censorship simply because it is in the shape of a cross,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Attorney Bryan Beauman. “The ACLU’s misinterpretation of the First Amendment should not be allowed to uproot this fundamental freedom.”
Christian Post: Bryan Beauman, an ADF allied attorney involved in the case, told The Christian Post that with the paperwork filed a hearing for the ACLU lawsuit has been scheduled for Thursday. “Christians have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America and the government cannot treat people with non-religious viewpoints more favorably than people with religious viewpoints,” said Beauman.
Columbus Dispatch: The Freedom from Religion Foundation wants the proposed Statehouse Holocaust memorial changed by removing what it sees as the Jewish religious symbolism of the Star of David.
Engage Family Minute: As reported on the WVGazette.com website today, Wyoming County’s prosecuting attorney has told the County Commissioners that they should leave alone a monument recently erected by a group of church leaders, according to the president of the County Commission, Jason Mullins.
MyFox9.com (includes video): With legal help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, Pham ultimately settled with the city without going to court. In fact, Pham was so excited he even had the settlement agreement bronzed to confirm the statue will stay for years to come. “My reaction was, ‘Thank God,’” he said. “Here in the free country — no matter how big you are, how small I am, how rich you are, how poor I am — we have equal treatment.”
Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorneys representing 10 Evansville area churches have filed a motion to intervene in an ACLU lawsuit over the display of up to 31 temporary six-foot-tall crosses at the Evansville riverfront being decorated by area churches to raise money for charity.