Comments about ‘U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Utah highway crosses case’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 31 2011 11:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Finally a good decision from the Supreme Court.

Somewhere in Time, UT

This is, unfortunately, a disturbing trend that is continuing in this country. No one is hurt in any way by these crosses, but there are those who are so unhappy in their own lives, that they have to attack others. I'm not personally hurt if these crosses don't appear on the highways, but there are those who will be. This is another sign of how our society is continuing to degenerate. It's really sad.


Well done! It seems more and more that organized atheists are trying to remove religion from our culture, not just from our government.

As for the "inclusivity" argument, dosen't it seem strage to allow crosses in Government cemeteries, but not allow them in this case? Also, it seems strage to me to protest the use of the cross as a symbol when it isn't even used by the majority religion here in Utah as a religious symbol.

Park City, Ut

Sounds good to me, religious symbols don't belong on public land! Lets memorialize these fallen heroes with a proper monument in one centralized location and without the divisive religious symbols.

Williams, AZ

I beleive that then all crosses should be remove from public land and not just fallen Troopers who have given their life for the State. I further believe that this waste of money for the court battle needs to be limited. Next this group will want the cross remove from the rest place of fallen soliders, what next for these who hate the cross....................

Centerville, UT

The irony is that if the religious symbols were the Crescent of Islam, nobody, including the American Atheists would say anything. They wouldn't have the guts and it wouldn't be politically correct anyway.

So Arlington National Cemetery has quite a few crosses. Are those next? They ARE on public land, after all.

Salt Lake City, UT

Pull them down!

Mrs. Joe

This is a terrible decision. I am so sick of people confusing freedom of religion with freedom from any sort of exposure to religion. The crosses in no way were state supported religion - they were a reflection of the religion of the killed trooper. In fact, in Utah, if it was a state sponsored monument to a particular religion, many public officials would never display a cross, due to being part of the religious majority here. Passing by a cross at the death site of a public employee in no way requires you to convert to mainstream Christianity and how it can be taken as such is beyond me.

Danish American
Payson, UT

I say put them up anyway. Let them try and enforce it.

The Atheist
Provo, UT

You see to what lengths we nonbelievers must go in order to keep religion from sneaking into government and public arenas?

Atheists are typically not joiners - we are typically radical individualists. But in order to protect our freedoms from the encroachment of religion, some atheists have found it necessary to incorporate (Atheists, Inc).

I fully support this SCOTUS decision, but I also see Clarence Thomas' point. A thorough review of "Establishment" jurisprudence would be a good idea, considering the role religion is playing in the GOP primaries, and the divisive role religion is playing around the world. As local religious communities try to flex their muscles (in the name of "religious freedom"), they take on a mob-mentality that runs roughshod over the rights of nonreligious minorities.

"Nonreligious minorities". Did I just type that?

Actually, considered as a group, nonbelievers in the US would comprise the 3rd largest "religious affiliation" group! As a group, we are well over 5 times larger than Mormons or Jews. Yet we are discriminated against, demonized, vilified, and persecuted in a variety of ways.

Don't believe me? Polls show more Americans would refuse to vote for an atheist than for a Mormon!


"Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and the Utah Highway Patrol Association had requested a discretionary review of a 2010 decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that held the crosses on state property violated the separation of church and state."

Uggg. To me this seems like a spirt of the law v's letter of the law issue. WHat if they weren't crosses? in this case do crosses really represent religion or is it representing someone has fallen?

Utah you can do better. These men and women should be honored.

South Jordan, Utah

Here we have the minority telling the majority what they should and should not do. If you were to build a simple memorial in rural Utah what is easier than a cross it takes 2 pieces of lumber and one hole in the ground to secure it. If you are an atheist and don't like the crosses then don't look at them.

Be Practical
Sandy, UT

The irony about this is that a cross is not a religious symbol of the predominate religion of this state. There are no crosses in LDS churches or temples. A cross has become a universally accepted symbol of mourning and death, even in non-christian countries. What other symbol is there to denote such a sentiment? I think the courts got this one wrong.

Santaquin, UT

Religious symbols abound on public land. They are part of our heritage. The Supreme Court buidling itself is replete with religious (Judeo-Christian) imagery. As for a poll, count me amongst those who would not vote for someone who did not profess a belief in God. They would not represent me. Call that discrimination, or persecution, or vilification or whatever else your victimhood requires to be validated, it doesn't matter to me. Furthermore, the notion that religion should be excluded from the public arena is so preposterous that it hardly warrants a response. People are free to express whatever ideas they have in the public arena, whether they be religious or anti-religious it doesn't matter. We should be very leary of people who express the desire to suppress the thoughts and actions of others. So yes, we can see the lengths that people will go to keep religion out of the public arena and it doesn't sit well at all.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Just goes to show that the Supreme Court doesn't have the guts to deal with some issues. The next civil war won't be the North against the South - it will be moral against immoral.

Salt Lake City, UT

How about the symbol the deceased would have chosen, religious or not? After all, we are honoring the fallen officer? Right? Athiests? Right?


Maybe instead of using crosses, we could just put a large post with their name written on another post hanging off of it near the top. (Yes it will look exactly like a cross, but it's not a cross for you atheists) It is just a large post with their name nailed laterally near the top.

Farmington, UT

More proof that atheists cannot just be, they must tear down any religion at any cost. Why can't they just sit there and not believe? There's no one stopping them from not believing. They have that right and there is no legality in invading their homes, littering it with religious symbols and forcing them to church. They are perfectly allowed to be non-believers as long as they want. Why then do they feel the need to become ACTIVE and bring down all the believers? In effect forcing their religion of non-belief on the rest of us? They won't rest and won't be content until all religions are wiped from the earth. Sad really.

Dan Ellis

These crosses ARE NOT erected at the site where the officer lost their life.

In filing this lawsuit, American Atheists worked to uphold the US Constitution and protect the rights and freedoms of ALL Americans. You are free to choose whatever religion you like, and to practice it on your own time, with your own money, and on your own property as a private citizen - not have the government use public funds or property to promote a single religion and exclude all others.

The officers should absolutely have a memorial erected in their honor. Because they were all working within and protecting the law, I'm sure they would agree that using a religious symbol on public land in clear violation of the law does them a disservice and turns their sacrifice into an unnecessarily divisive issue.

It's disappointing that the Utah Attorney General chose to fight a losing battle in an effort to tear down the wall of separation between church and state. It is an indefensible position that has wasted a ton of taxpayer resources. Mark Shurtleff chose to waste those increasingly limited resources to promote his own religious ideology over the best interests of Utah's citizens.

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

Just cut the tops off the crosses. It will make a large capital "T" for trooper. Saves money and can remain on public property.

Think Mr Shurtliff. This is an easy solution.

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