Federal Judge Rules Cross Violates Law and Must be Removed

The judge pointed out that park has hosted tens of thousands of people for roughly 75 years without causing anyone offense — until now.

By Todd Starnes Published on June 19, 2017

Atheists across the fruited plain are rejoicing after a federal judge declared that a cross erected in a Florida park violated the law and must come down.

“I am aware that there is a lot of support in Pensacola to keep the cross as is, and I understand and I understand and respect that point of view,” U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson wrote in his ruling. “But, the law is the law.”

The lawsuit was filed in 2016 by the notorious Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Humanist Association on behalf of four Pensacola citizens. Click here to view photos of the cross.

The judge pointed out that park has hosted tens of thousands of people for roughly 75 years without causing anyone offense — until now.

“When a city park serving all citizens — nonreligious, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian — contains a towering Latin cross, this sends a message of exclusion to non-Christians, and a corresponding message to Christians that they are favored citizens,” said Annie Gaylor, the organization’s perpetually offended co-founder.

The original cross was erected in 1941 in Bayview Park. It was replaced with a 34-foot, white “Latin Cross” in 1969 by the Pensacola Jaycees.

Judge Vinson noted in his ruling the “Bayview Cross” is “part of the rich history of Pensacola and Bayview Park in particular.”

He said the cross had been the focal point for Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day services — not to mention Easter Sunrise services.

“However, after about 75 years, the Bayview Cross can no longer stand as a permanent fixture on city-owned property,” the Reagan-appointed judge ruled.

He directed the city of Pensacola to remove the cross within 30 days. He also ordered the city to pay the aggrieved plaintiffs one dollar in damages. That comes out to a quarter apiece.

The American Humanist Association celebrated the judge’s ruling.

 “We are pleased that the Court struck down this cross as violative of the First Amendment,” attorney Monica Miller said in a statement. “The cross was totally unavoidable to park patrons, and to have citizens foot the bill for such a religion symbol is both unfair and unconstitutional.”

Judge Vinson based his ruling on a court case involving a similar cross that suffered the same fate in Rabun County, Georgia.

“If the cross under review in Rabun County violated the First Amendment and had to be removed, the cross here must suffer the same fate,” the judge wrote.

Oddly, Judge Vinson seemed rather reluctant to rule against the cross.

“The historical record indicates that the Founding Fathers did not intend for the Establishment Clause to ban crosses and religious symbols from public property,” he wrote. “Indeed, ‘the enlightened patriots who framed our constitution’…would have most likely found this lawsuit absurd. And if I were deciding this case on a blank slate, I would agree and grant the plaintiffs no relief. But, alas, that is not what we have here.”

As I wrote in my book, The Deplorables Guide to Making America Great Again, people of faith are facing unrelenting attacks from a ruthless bunch of godless atheists — hell-bent on eradicating Christianity from the public.

Should Christian citizens be relegated to some sort of second-class citizenship? Should they be directed to keep their beliefs hidden inside the church house?

Will they demand that city leaders rename Los Angeles and San Francisco? Should The Ten Commandments be chiseled off the doors of the Supreme Court? Should references to God be sandblasted from our national monuments?

Just how far do the atheists intend to go in this cultural jihad on our Judeo-Christian values?



Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again. Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

Originally published on ToddStarnes.com. Reprinted with permission.

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  • V Pruitt

    I hope they appeal it! I’m praying! God is on the move!

  • ncsugrant

    It is time to push back on this nonsense. A public square void of any mention of God is a public square reflective of atheism. How is it that we get to “foot the bill” for the religious expression of the handful of lost souls that reside in every jurisdiction in the country?

  • Sonny’s Mom

    And why is the cross a “message of exclusion”?

  • You can take down every cross you can take down every monument to God you can destroy every church that’s in this land but you will not destroy God’s word the Bible you will not destroy it

  • This, thanks to Amendment 1’s establishment of religion. Yes, you read that correctly:

    the First Amendment does not allow for establishing one religion over
    another, by eliminating Christianity as the federal government’s
    religion of choice (achieved by Article 6’s interdiction against
    Christian test oaths), Amendment 1 authorized equality for all
    non-Christian and even antichristian religions. When the Constitution
    failed to recognize Christian monotheism, it allowed Amendment 1 to fill
    the void by authorizing pagan polytheism.

    “Amendment 1 did exactly what the framers proclaimed it could
    not do: it prohibited the exercise of monotheistic Christianity (except
    within the confines of its church buildings) and established polytheism
    in its place. This explains the
    government’s double standard
    regarding Christian and non-Christian religions. For example, court
    participants entering the United States District Court of Appeals for
    the Middle District of Alabama must walk by a statue of Themis, the
    Greek goddess of justice. And yet, on November 18, 2002, this very court
    ruled that Judge Roy Moore’s Ten Commandments Monument violated the
    First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Despite many Christians’
    protests against this hypocrisy, it was in keeping with the inevitable
    repercussions of the First Amendment.

    “…Christians hang their religious hat on Amendment 1, as if some
    great moral principle is carved therein. They have gotten so caught up
    in the battle over the misuse of the Establishment Clause – the freedom
    from religion – that they have overlooked the ungodliness intrinsic in
    the Free Exercise Clause – the freedom of religion….”

    For more, see online Chapter 11 “Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism” of “Bible Law vs. the United States
    The Christian Perspective.” Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Online Books page, click on the top entry, and scroll down to Chapter 11.

    Then find out how much you really know about the Constitution
    as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in
    the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that
    examines the Constitution by the Bible.

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