Supreme Court avoids dispute over highway crosses

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  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    Suppose my wife and I first "fell in love" in a car parked on the side of a Utah highway. To commemorate our love, and the beautiful children that love has produced, we want to dig a deep enough hole into public land to be able to insert one huge, 14-foot "memorial" for each of our children, that is a silhouette of two persons in the embrace of love.

    Should we be allowed to do it?

    Now suppose we are members of a religion that considers lovemaking the ultimate spiritual experience, and this silhouette is the widely-known symbol of the religious cult of which we are members.

    Now should we be allowed to do it?

    Do you object to our using public lands for memorializing life and love instead of death and sorrow?

    Do you object to our using public lands for memorializing a "cult" religion?

    Do you object to our using public lands for memorializing an act that does not "help" society as much as issuing speeding tickets does?

    Or are you willing to allow any kind of memorial on public lands because you deny anyone the right to object on any basis at all?

  • Bethanymom Murray, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    @Ranchhand you said "What good is a cross in the middle of nowhere just to mark where someone died?" When I drive past the crosses (and I do drive past several on a regular basis) they are a very visceral reminder of the dangerous job that these brave officers do.

    How often do I go to the capitol building? So far . . . once in my life. When I drive past the crosses I am reminded in a way that looking at a wall of names just doesn't equal. It helps to make that officer and his/her sacrifice much more real to me!

    The use of a cross (particularly a white cross) as a symbol of a burial/death location for hundreds/thousands of years is in my mind is what MAKES it appropriate. The fact that many major religions have co-opted this symbol does not make it any less of a INSTANTLY recognizable symbol of death.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 1:23 p.m.

    Crosses aren't necessary to memorialize these officers. A secular memorial should appease everybody including atheists. People can justify crosses all they want but ultimately they still are a religious representation. American Atheists posted on their website that the reason theyre fighting the display of these memorials is because theyre an affront to the Utah Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. They argue as do many atheists that the crosses are a Christian symbol and that there are better ways to honor fallen police officers that dont promote a particular religion. I wonder if the Christian/Mormon defenders of the Utah crosses would mind an Om symbol being placed at their memorial in New Delhi or the Koran being used to reference their sacrifice at their memorial in Tehran or the (stylized atom) used to mark military graves of atheists being placed along public highways. The courts have found the crosses unconstitutional and the State of Utah needs to find a more honorable and non-divisive way to honor their fallen troopers. Religion doesn't need to be offended because atheists want equality under the law and demand their voices be heard.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    Personally, I think that a monument at the State Capitol with a plaque for each of these Officers would be appropriate. It would be a memorial easily viewed by others.

    What good is a cross in the middle of nowhere just to mark where someone died? Their remains are (hopefully) buried in a cemetery near the family where they can visit and pay their respects.

    A memorial at the Capitol would be visible to all visitors and we'd be able to pay our respects to all of them there.

    Just my own opinion.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    'And I do find the point from Fish8 an interesting one. What would happen if the tops were cut off with say only an inch left above the T.' - m.g. scott | 11:03 a.m. Nov. 1, 2011

    If this was a 'T' it wouldn't need ANY thing above the top bar.

    And trying to claim the cross is suddenly 'not' a religious symbol is the same childish rhetoric when it is in every catholic and Christian church in the country.

    The irony of a Mormon dominated state suddenly 'forgetting' the cross is a religious symbol?

    I thought Mormons were Christian?

    No. This is one faith, ESTABLISHING itself over any others, regardless what a person's might be.

    As, why not allow OTHER religious symbols as well?

    The false claim of religious 'tolerance' (one way) continues to amaze.

    As, the people who put UP the religious symbol, are now trying to claim they are the 'victims.'

    When it was themselves who initiated the cause for the debate.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    It's interesting that the cross issue is happening in Utah, a state dominated by a Christian church that does not use the cross symbol as so many other churches do. In spite of what the atheists say, any symbol of religion, particularly Christian offends them. The best answer is for people to buy small pieces of land where they can near major roadways and put these crosses up for all to see. And I do find the point from Fish8 an interesting one. What would happen if the tops were cut off with say only an inch left above the T. I can just see the atheists out there on ladders with tape measures trying to get proof that it was still a religious symbol. It show how these people need to get a life with some real purpose.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    Oh! Wait! That's right!

    America favors only ONE religion...

    *Federal judge dismisses Summum suit against Pleasant Grove By Dennis Romboy DSNews 06/04/10

    A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the city that claim it violated the establishment clause of the US consitution by allowing a Ten Commandments monument by rejecting one showing the the Salt Lake-based religious sects beliefs. The clause in the First Amendment prohibits government from adopting a national religion.'

    And then claims it is 'tolerant.'

  • Radically Moderate SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Isn't it strange that they aren't objecting to the Beehive symbol as well? It's a profoundly Mormon religious symbol after all, and it is not only on these crosses but on the side of all the UHP vehicles and uniforms.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    On his KSL talk show, Doug "Right" is decrying how our society (i.e., atheists) have become so "overly sensitive".

    But the truth is this problem has arisen because of a LACK of sensitivity to the perspectives of others. Doug says HE does not consider the cross to be a religious symbol, but then praises the "somberness" that he feels when viewing a cross on the side of the road.

    Doug's blindness to his own biases is paridigmatic. LDS dominate this State, and everybody knows it. They take it for granted that everybody is LDS and should go along with whatever religiously-oriented practices they desire. It never occurs to them that there is a growing number of non-LDS and non-religious people who are good, honest, hard-working citizens of this State, and your religious practices and traditions do NOT represent or inspire us!

    Indeed, it is well-known how LDS leaders and politicians strongly influence legislation, but also that being LDS in Utah is virtually a "religious test" for public office in this state.

    Only when you seriously try to understand the perspective of others will you stop offending without knowing.

  • fish8 Vernal, UT
    Oct. 31, 2011 2:46 p.m.

    Just cut the top off of the upright pice and it becomes a T. Problem solved.

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 31, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    It appears that the Deseret News reporting is slanted or bias in that of the 17 page opinion of the 8-1 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Deseret News decided to only report on the single minority opinion rejecting accepting this case for consideration by the Court.