Court Bans Christian Cross in the Middle of Public LandsSeptember 9, 2007 at 2:21 am | Posted in Atheism, Beliefs, god, government, Religion | 7 Comments
An eight foot tall cross that has stood atop a hill in the Mojave National Preserve in California is finally coming down.
In 2002 or 2004 (depending on where you read) a U.S. District Court found the presence of the cross to be in violation of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state clause and ordered the cross removed. In response the good ol’ boys of congress pulled a fast one to preserve the cross by enacting a one acre land exchange, transferring the property around the cross to private ownership.
Luckily this case went before a judge who had the good sense to rule that the government could not evade the law by way of the above land exchange.
“A grave constitutional injury already exists,” Judge Margaret McKeown wrote for a three-judge panel that upheld a lower court ruling. “The permitting display of the Sunrise Rock cross in the Preserve is an impermissible governmental endorsement of religion.
“The government’s long-standing efforts to preserve and maintain the cross atop Sunrise Rock lead us to the undeniable conclusion that the government’s purpose in this case is to evade the injunction and keep the cross in place,” the judge said. “Carving out a tiny parcel of property in the midst of this vast Preserve – like a donut hole with the cross atop it – will do nothing to minimize the impermissible governmental endorsement.”
For more on this: (new windows)
Court bans Christian cross on private land in public park
Government Loses Latest Battle Over the ‘Mojave Cross’