August 20, 2010, - 1:05 pm

OUTRAGE: Court Says No Crosses for Fallen Troopers on Highways (3 GOP Judges)

By Debbie Schlussel

As an American who is Jewish by faith, I’ve never been offended by crosses.  It’s actually to the contrary.  This is a Christian country, and I’m glad.  As long as it remains so, I’m pretty sure I’ll be free to practice my religion.  I view attacks on crosses and Christians in America as an attack on me and my Jewish religious observances.

That’s why it offends me when I read about court rulings like the one handed down by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, this week, claiming that 14 crosses erected along Utah roads to commemorate fallen state Utah Highway Patrol troopers are “unconstitutional.” Read the full opinion here.  (For the record, the three judges who issued the opinion were all appointed by Republicans–Harris L. Hartz is a George W. Bush Judge, and David M. Ebel and Deanell Reece Tacha are Ronald Reagan appointed judges.  Tacha was on the George W. Bush short list for a Supreme Court nomination.)

The late troopers were all Christian (11 of them Mormon, and the LDS doesn’t use a cross, so this isn’t about the symbol), and the crosses were paid for with PRIVATE money.  Putting crosses on highways and at road sites where someone was killed, particularly in a vehicular accident, is a common, touching practice in America .  .  . for now.  And there is nothing wrong with it.  Yet, the court, on Wednesday, claimed that the crosses convey a “state preference” for Chrisianity.  Absurd. PUH-LEEZE.  I doubt anyone thinks that when they see the crosses (one of which is pictured above).  (And, if they do, they’re far too sensitive to live in America, and should try their luck with such a suit in Saudi Arabia . . . or even “liberal democratic” Iraq.)  Yet the court went with this moronic view in a 38-page ruling, that included this baloney:

This may lead the reasonable observer to fear that Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment from the UHP [Utah Highway Patrol].

And I wonder if the court would be all up in arms about this .  .  . if there were Islamic crescents, not crosses erected on those roads.  I think we know the answer.  As I always say, America goes overboard on the church-and-state separation, but mosque-and-state .  .  . there is no separation, and we must “show our tolerance” to the intolerant Islamic world.

American Atheists, Inc. filed the suit.  And I wonder, where is this atheist group in the Islamic world?  Where are they in Dearbornistan, where football players at public high schools have organized Islamic prayer before games and where practice is held in the middle of the night to honor Ramadan?

Now, that’s where a student would have the justified idea that Muslims using public resources get preferential treatment.  And, yet, no lawsuit . . . for now.

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22 Responses


Why are these judges so stupid? Do they really beleive these people “feel’ oppressed at the mere sight of a cross?

These Atheist are just bullying their will on the majority of the people. Most of the time folks figure out a way to buy the land (that’s what was done in Ventura, Ca to keep a landmark cross up) to avoid a costly suit.

Dave on August 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Notice how they never screw with the bomb making muzzies? Or the violent black muslims with their muslim chaplains on the state payroll at our many state prisons?

    samurai on August 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm

From the article quoted by Debbie – “This may lead the reasonable observer to fear that Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment from the UHP [Utah Highway Patrol].”

Debbie’s remark about that quote – “Yet the court went with this moronic view in a 38-page ruling, that included this baloney:”

Why don’t these judges put easily visible crosses on their cars and drive on these roads about 20 miles over the speed limit and see how much preferential treatment they get.

I_AM_ME on August 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    It tells us that on First Amendment religion and state issues, GOP judges are just as dumb – or even dumber than Democratic judges are.

    NormanF on August 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm

The US Supreme Court ruled on a similar issue earlier this year regarding the WWI memorial that bears a cross in the Mojave desert. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion:

“The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm. A cross by the side of a public highway marking, for instance, the place where a state trooper perished need not be taken as a statement of governmental support for sectarian beliefs. The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion’s role in society . . .

I guess the 10th Circuit judges were on vacation that day….

Janne on August 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    You do bring up a good point. The district court properly followed precedent, while the appellate court simply ignored it in order to reach its specious conclusions.

    worry01 on August 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    If you’re right, the Supreme Court will toss it out because it defied precedent. Unless you want to eradicate all religion from America as the atheists are wont to do you cannot avoid the government showing respect to the beliefs of the majority of Americans. I don’t mean legislating a particular religion for them to follow or coercing them to follow a set of religious beliefs. I simply mean showing respect for those who do follow the Christian faith in this country.

    And this is lack of respect for it is in striking contrast I might add, to the Left’s incessant urgings for us to show “respect” for the intolerant Islam. Something here about living a glass house should apply to the former. But then again they don’t really mean respect for all religion, just the one they happen to endorse at the moment and we don’t need to be told which one is it is they prefer and want the rest of us to get along with.

    NormanF on August 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I hope they take it to the SCOTUS and the ruling is overturned. The Atheist org spokesman even said it wasn’t a case worth taking to the SCOTUS,then if it was so worthless why did they file it in the first place?? I think based on this ruling on the Mohave cross the SCOTUS will over turn the appeals court. Saying privately funded crosses are violating the separation of church and state is like also saying honoring our fallen at Arlington Cemetary is a violation of the first amendment. Ridiculous…

    Here is something related that came out today…Troops Punished After Refusing to Attend Evangelical Christian Concert

    freedom4usa on August 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

As if Christ was the only one ever killed on a cross. Spartacus’ hundreds of followers come to mind. How many of those former slaves who were crucified along the road (How many miles of road with crosses along both sides?) were there? Several hundred. Crucifiction was a “time-honored” method of execution in Rome, as well as other civilizations, because it’s so darned painful.

Very few people who are crucified actually survive the ordeal. Hence, it is a valid symbol of death.

I suppose they could take down the crossbar, and put a metal scythe-blade on top. . .

Yeah, and Mormons don’t use the cross as a religious symbol. The beehive logo is more of a religious symbol to Mormons than the cross is, but that’s the official logo, so whaddyagonnado?

Michelle on August 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Debbie,I have not read the entire opinion, but made it through 4-5 pages and have it bookmarked to look at later. I appreciate your opinion, however I disagree.First, let me say I am Jewish,not an atheist& I disagree with using the courts to further an atheist agenda.They seem to be professional litigants.
I am old enough to remember prayer in public schools(of course I was very young!). It was read aloud to the class. They were Christian prayers. This memory still brings up feelings of shame,embarrassment,confusion,and also a sense of being forced to endure something I did not want.These memories make me a strong supporter of the separation of church and state as I am very afraid of a “slippery slope”. I know understanding this issue today is more daunting than ever due to the accomodations being made to Islam.I am not in favor of middle of the night football practice ,etc. That is ridiculous. Frankly I don’t really support my faith erecting Menorahs on public areas.I am pretty religious, but think all such things should be displayed on private property.
You are the second Jew I have met on Twitter who has said that we should be glad this is a Christian country and that I should not be offended by Christian symbols in public places. Perhaps , I should not be offended by them,but I am. Thank you, Pam

pam siegel zarte on August 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I agree with Pam. I’m a firm believer that gov’t should NOT be involved with religion.

    I also disagree with Debbie and other Jews who make the same “thank God we live in a Christian country” comment. Remember, it was CHRISTIAN Europe (Germany,Poland,Baltic,etc)who threw the Jews into the gas chambers.

    And for the argument that “Christian America” saved the remaining Jews from the Holocaust,that argument doesn’t wash either. The Jews only got saved because Hitler lost the war,NOT because the US went to Europe “to save the Jews”.

    Scott on August 20, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Wonder why these jerks never go after muslim stuff, or even repulsive westboro baptist church organizing. I think I know. PC. (American sharia). They’d never go near an acid throwing islamic or a violent rev wrong type. Too much work, and dangerous to boot. Like rosy odonell, pick and choose their battles for sure.

samurai on August 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Since these idiots want to ban crosses, how about we get rid of all Muslim symbols? We should start with banning minarets, the full body ninja garb that they make their women wear, the squealing and screaming for their call to prayer and any form of sharia law. Then we should add things they should do, like bathe more than twice a year.

Jarhead on August 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Two things:
Your comment about there not being a mosque and state separation would make an EXCELLENT rallying cry:
“We want separation of mosque and state … NOW!” I’m serious. People might actually get the point then.
Also, that’s a great comment by Janne on the Supreme Court ruling that mentions crosses by the road for Highway Patrolmen that have been killed. Sounds like a no-brainer for the appeal.
Thanks for sharing these things.
I want separation of mosque and state …. NOW!!

Gee S on August 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm

The Left hates Christianity and Judaism and adores Islam precisely because they’re on the same side of the culture wars… for now. They have every reason to undermine the Judeo-Christian foundations of America – and everything that would remind people what they are.

The lawsuit against crosses for fallen troopers on the highways, as accepted by federal judges, is in keeping with that spirit.

And for the above named reason, I don’t expect the Left to take up separation of mosque and state issues any time soon.

NormanF on August 20, 2010 at 5:03 pm

What’s next, no crosses at Arlington?

After all it’s public property.

ew-3 on August 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Hold on to your hats with this one. I will try to show how this unconstitutional decision concerting memorial crosses traces back to the 17th Amendment.

To begin with, the real Thomas Jefferson, not the atheist Jefferson created by special-interest justices, had actually acknowledged that the Founding States had made the 1st and 10th Amendments in part to reserve government power to cultivate religious expression to the states, regardless that the States had made the 1st A. to prohibit such power altogether to Congress. Here’s an example.

“3. Resolved that it is true as a general principle and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the constitution that ‘the powers not delegated to the US. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people’: and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the US. by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, & were reserved, to the states or the people…” –Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.

But then justices later argued that the 14th A. applied the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on religious powers of the federal government to the states.

“The First Amendment declares that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Fourteenth Amendment has rendered the legislatures of the states as incompetent as Congress to enact such laws. The constitutional inhibition of legislation on the subject of religion has a double aspect.” –Mr. Justice Roberts, Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 1940.

But what justices wrongly ignored when they decided Cantwell is this, IMO. John Bingham, the main author of Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment, had officially explained to Congress that the 14th A. took away no state powers.

“The adoption of the proposed amendment will take from the States no rights that belong to the States.” –John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 1866, page 1090.

And to complete the circle between the judges who decided against the Utah crosses and the 17th Amendment, please note the following. The Cantwell justices who helped to establish the bogus church & state separation precedent that judges are now indoctrinated to comply with were nominated under the following circumstances. They were nominated by Constitution-ignoring socialist FDR and approved by likewise constitutionally-impaired, post-17th A. ratification senators. The problem is that these senators wrongly ignored the 10th Amendment protected rights of the states, a consequence of the 17th Amendment IMO, when they approved of FDR’s pro-big federal government nominees to the USSC.

The bottom line is this. Voters can clean up the corrupt federal government in a big way, not only getting the USSC’s big nose out of state religious power issues, but also putting a permanent stop to illegal federal taxes, taxes which the corrupt Senate helps to authorize, if the people demand from their state lawmakers the repeal of the insane 17th Amendment.

Remember in November.

B. Johnson on August 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm

The judges, by and large, are considerably more informed and discerning than some here recognize or acknowledge. The law on this subject also is considerably more complex than some here recognize or acknowledge.

Wake Forest University recently published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you.

Doug Indeap on August 23, 2010 at 12:33 am

In general, I am not a fan of the practice of putting up crosses along the road, especially in my area where they keep adorning them with fake flowers, stuffed animals, etc. Get a grave, for heaven’s sake. That’s what they’re for.

But in reference to the subject at hand, my husband and I recently traveled out West, and I noticed in some states the American Legion (or some such organization) actually makes a practice of erecting a cross anyplace where someone was killed in a traffic accident. Considering that the speed limits are so generous out there, I had to admit it made me pause when I saw certain stretches of road where there appeared to be a LOT of crosses. Kind of makes you want to slow down a little.

The idea that a court would even hear a case against the practice is so idiotic. I hope the atheists are happy when, after removing all of the Christian/Jewish symbols from the public square, they are replaced with Muslim symbols. Because I guarantee, the Muslims will NOT let their religion fade into the background the way we seem to be.

DG in GA on August 24, 2010 at 9:33 am

Where I live, because of the influx of Hispanics, people are now putting crosses at memorials where people have died in traffic fatalities.
I don’t see why families of police can’t have that same right.

David on October 20, 2010 at 6:58 pm

This is one of the most discriminating, ugly sites and discussion I’ve come across in a long time.

Thank God this country isn’t run by nuts like you folks. You are an extremely offensive lot.

The court followed the law – I know, an odd thought for uber conservatives. it’s always your way or the highway.

Probably the most ironic part of all of this is that the judges in this case are Mormon and believe the cross is an evil sign as it represents Christianity and, more, the Catholic Church which the Mormons (as much as they may deny it publicly – I know speaking as an ex-Mormon) hate. So it was religion that knocked out religions.

Religions are the disease of society.

KD on January 2, 2011 at 10:12 pm

This used to be a great country until the muslim made an appearance.Now the system is being attacked daily ,moulded to suit allah ,stealth jihad anyone .Do we want to remain a democratic society ? We must unite for freedom or we will lose that freedom !
Football practice at what time? ,its time to take this matter seriously

Anger on January 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm

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