Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Intolerance of the Atheists

Fourteen crosses were placed alongside state highways in Utah. They were put there to honor state troopers who died in the line of duty. Each cross bears a name, photograph, badge number, Utah Highway Patrol symbol, and a plaque with biographical information on it. The crosses were designed by former police officers, who said they chose the cross as a memorial because "only a white cross could effectively convey the simultaneous messages of death, honor, remembrance, gratitude, sacrifice and safety. A cross is widely recognized as a memorial for a person's death, especially respect for those who have given their lives to insure the safety and protection of others. Moreover, a cross near the highway conveys the unmistakable message that a Utah Highway Patrolman died near this spot while serving the people of Utah."

It's hard to believe, but the atheists just don't like the crosses, and so they sued the State of Utah, claiming the crosses were illegal. The atheists claimed the crosses violate the Constitution's First Amendment prohibition against the government establishing a religion. They got three supremacist judges on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to order the crosses to be removed.

The Court's decision said: "The cross memorials would convey to a reasonable observer that the state of Utah is endorsing Christianity. This may lead the reasonable observer to fear that Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment from the Utah Highway Patrol." This decision was then appealed to the full 10th Circuit, which affirmed the anti-cross decision by a 6-to-5 vote in December.

There is nothing "reasonable" about this ruling. The crosses are honoring the dead, not endorsing a religion. There is no evidence that state troopers would give speeding tickets based on the driver's religion. Did a cop ever ask you your religion when you were stopped for a traffic violation?

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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