Federal Court Strikes Blow to Atheist Activists Attacking Religious Monuments

By Russell, Nicole | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, February 24, 2020 | Go to article overview

Federal Court Strikes Blow to Atheist Activists Attacking Religious Monuments


Russell, Nicole, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


A federal court ruled on Feb. 19 that a religious monument in a Florida city park does not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. In an important victory for religious liberty, the 11th Circuit decided that the Bayview Cross, a 34-foot Latin cross erected in 1941, can remain standing. The monument represents the city of Pensacola’s history and serves as a symbol of hope. It was originally built to commemorate Easter sunrise services, a traditional Christian holiday.

In 2016, an atheist group sued to have the cross removed from the park and argued that it violated the establishment clause. Surprisingly, a district court judge ruled in the group’s favor and said the monument must come down because “the City’s maintenance of the cross violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.”

Becket, a religious liberty organization, took on the case in defense of Pensacola and the Bayview Cross, arguing that while the establishment clause is certainly vital, a monument with religious undertones showcases historical value and authenticity and is not an attempt by the city to establish a formal religion.

At first, on appeal, the 11th Circuit Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling because even though it seemed like the judges wanted to keep the monument up, they were bound by Supreme Court precedent. Then, the city of Pensacola asked the Supreme Court to review the case, and while that was pending, the Supreme Court ruled on American Legion v. American Humanist Association, a similar case regarding an old, historic cross monument. In that case, the Supreme Court held that a 32-foot Latin cross sitting on a piece of public land in Bladensburg, Maryland, did not violate the establishment clause despite another nonreligious group’s arguments.

Now, this federal court has essentially tossed out its own previous ruling and made a new decision based on the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision. The new federal court decision also noted that an atheist group suing the city over a monument that's almost 80 years old, causing significant expense and commotion, just because the group is “offended” is “just plain wrong. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Federal Court Strikes Blow to Atheist Activists Attacking Religious Monuments
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.