Supreme Court rejects atheist's appeal over cross

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  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    The issue here isn't whether people are free to observe their religious beliefs, but rather, whether public funds should be used to advance a particular set of beliefs. Those who call for more religion in public life, in schools and in civic events make one error: they presume that the religion being supported and advanced will be their own religion. Would they really approve if the religion being taught in public schools were Islam, Judaism, Hari Krishna, or Scientology? Will Baptists be happy with their children being taught Mormon doctrine, or will Mormons be comfortable having their kids learning to recite "Hail Mary"? Principles of law and precedents apply across the board, and the support given to your own beliefs may be given to very different beliefs when demographics change.

    Incidentally, just where does the belief originate that Christians should erect huge crosses in public places? I can't seem to find the scripture commanding that they do so.

  • Joggle Big Island, HI
    Jan. 27, 2013 1:31 a.m.

    Freedom from religion does not mean, as some mistakenly seem to claim, being free from seeing religion in society. No one has the right NOT to see churches, religious expression, and other examples of religious belief in our nation. What freedom from religion does mean, however, is the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people’s religious beliefs so that we can be free to follow the demands of our own conscience, whether they take a religious form or not. Thus, we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion because they are two sides of the same coin. Many people don’t realize — or don’t care (as many seem to here)...that real religious liberty must exist for everyone, not just for themselves. It’s no coincidence that people who object to the principle of “freedom from religion” are adherents of religious groups whose doctrines or standards would be the ones enforced by the state.

    I see the usual clueless comments! "The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate.” "The fight for freedom from religion will go on".

  • Oosik Sequim, WA
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:00 a.m.

    CougerBlue you presume that, " If Atheists have there way you and I could not sit on a UTA bus, as an example, and talk about Christ. Why, because we would be on a bus supported by the government and we would be violating his rights. "

    You really shouldn't assume or presume anything about anybody based on what appears to be anecdotal rhetoric. I rail against tax exemption for religious corporations whenever appropriate. Which with our current economy is appropriate on near all state's budget's issues, especially education and social services budget. I oppose any use of public lands or funding for recognition of religious holidays or traditions. Once a bible thumping holy rolling christian well versed of the bible. I'm now a Jesus living atheist.

    And if you and your friends wished to talk about me buddy Jesus whilst on public transportation I surely wouldn't oppose. As long as it was kept conversational and not testimonial for a captive audience.

    You really should consider that citizens like me, sworn by oath to protect and defend the Freedom OF Religion are doing exactly that when we strive to keep Separation intact before Establishment becomes a fact.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    Scientist: You had me, I was in agreement with your whole post, right up until you decided to state that it is a fight for "freedom FROM religion". I think the exact wording is: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    Cats wrote:

    "As for Madeleine Murray O'Hare--She was brutally murdered in a tragic end to her life. Satan does not uphold his followers in the end. What goes around comes around."

    Expressing any sentiment that a murdered person got what they deserved is not only unChristian, it is inhumane and sick.

    As for the huge, big cross, I don't want my tax money to pay for such nonsense.

    The fight for freedom from religion will go on.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 24, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    To everyone who thinks this is all OK and sees no problem using public funds for religious purposes, I'll simply say "be careful what you wish for." All the same arguments can (and likely will) be used to enact Sharia law in a large Muslim community (e.g., Detroit).

    Not to sound too hyperbolic, but I think we ignore the genius of Jefferson (i.e., the wall of separation between church and state) at our peril.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Jan. 24, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    If using the people's money to fix a cross is OK, then it must also be OK to use our money to fix a Menorah, or to fix a crescent and moon object, or a statue of Buddah. The public support of religion must include any religion (even Scientology).

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    Good for the Supreme court. Religious Tolerance is not accomplished by the abolishment of religion from the public eye. I hope there will be many and diverse expressions of religion protected by our inspired Constitution for endless generations to come.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Shimlau, good point. It had only to do with public funds being used on the restoration.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    I never noticed in this article where the desired point of this lawsuit was the removal of the cross.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 3:47 a.m.

    Re: ". . . federal law prohibits federal monies from being used to fund abortions."

    If only.

    You apparently missed the article last week about extending abortion "benefits" to female servicemembers. Or maybe the articles detailing all the federal grants to the primary provider of American abortions, including the liberal sophistry that those federal funds don't "directly" fund abortions, just the organization's operating budget, so all its other revenues can be channeled entirely to fund butchery of the innocent unborn.

    That's a truth liberals love to "conveniently choose to ignore."

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 10:55 p.m.

    You 'allow' me to be an atheist?

    1) Is that an atheist cross?

    2) The fact that you ignore that a person is so arrogant that they 'allow' another person to do anything, supports why Americans are turning away from religion.

    It does not 'allow' others to do anything.

    Your beliefs should not IMPACT anyone, but yourself.

    And at the very least, my tax dollars don't have to support it.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:36 p.m.

    RE: xscribe,... the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1cor 1:18)

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    What I find so humorous in some of these comments is people thinking that Christians "won" this case or "atheists" lost it. What no one seems to have noticed is that 1) the Supreme Court declined to take the case, which 2) upheld the lower courts rulings, that 3) the individual suing had a "lack of standing." Which means, ladies and gentlemen, according to the courts, that he was not in a legal to position to even file the lawsuit.

    CougarBlue, hyperbole and hypotheticals do not an argument win. Show me an actual case where your scenarios have played out.

    Mountainman, as I'm sure you're already aware, but so conveniently choose to ignore, federal law prohibits federal monies from being used to fund abortions.

    And before you start whining about my beliefs- I'm a Christian, neither Republican nor Democrat, and find myself a political moderate.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    @Bill: Kind of like when this "Christian" nation took away the Native American's freedom to practice their religion, right? Not to mention all their land. Bet you're not so upset about that, though!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 23, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    There was a Catholic and Mormon family in Santa Fe, Texas who sued to stop prayer before school football games. Google Santa Fe school prayer.

    Do they also need to repent?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    I'm so glad this guy wasted all his time and money on this petty stupidity.

    As for Madeleine Murray O'Hare--She was brutally murdered in a tragic end to her life. Satan does not uphold his followers in the end. What goes around comes around. I hope she has had a chance to repent in her new life on the other side of the veil. I would hate to see any child of God have to spend eternity with the consequences of her actions on earth. Fortunately, God loves all his children and gives us lots of second chances.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    I'm not an atheist, but have to point out that some of these posts seem very far from Christian. Does Bill (wherever he is) really know Obama's religious convictions? Doubtful. And is he really suffering from atheist bigotry? Does Cougar really know what atheists are planning, assuming they are, in fact, organized in some way? Is atheism really enforceable? Can one know everything about believers or nonbelievers by the example of a single person now gone for decades? Come on, folks. We're talking about who pays for removing a giant cross here, nothing more.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    "Our religious rights are becoming extinct because of the left."

    A bit ironic, given that this article is about taxpayer funds used on a cross.

    No, the religious right does not get everything they want. Extinct? Hardly. There is little to complain about.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 23, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    Pagan: Whether you want to admit it or not this is still a Christian Nation regardless what your Savior Obama states. He is even more a hypocrite than anyone else in the country. Just because he went to a prayer service makes him no more a Christian than you going to a Catholic Church a Christian.

    It is time that those who are Christian in this country to take a stand against the bigotry that exists in the society in which we live in against anyone of faith. The example given is a truthful example that if we fail will happen in this country. Our religious rights are becoming extinct because of the left.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 23, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    Poor atheists, all dressed up for their own inevitable funerals with no place to go. How about taxpayer money used to fund abortions? Is that a violation of religious rights?

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    Pagan, those that believe in Christ allow you to not believe.
    Please allow them to believe.

    The problem with Athiests is they allow no measure or mention of God and refuse to live and let live.

    As for Athiests being any kind of a better people, I turn to Madeline Murry O'hare and what she taught her children and how her life ended.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    The religious issue is very interesting but perhaps a larger question ought to be why governments disburse public funds for private purposes. If the trustee of the cross had simply paid for the project with funds raised privately rather than public funds there would not be any need for a legal challenge.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    You cannot use hypotheticals to vilify Atheist...

    while defending an example of your own faith.

    That, would make you a hypocrite.

    If you have to make up a scenario to vilify those people you disagree with, lets be honest about what you are doing.

    You are lying about them.

    And the cross, still an example that church and our state are NOT separate, is still there. Proving the Atheists' right.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    Apparently this guy has never entered the Supreme Court building and seen the 10 commandments. If Atheists have there way you and I could not sit on a UTA bus, as an example, and talk about Christ. Why, because we would be on a bus supported by the government and we would be violating his rights. Or they would even push that you and I could not stand on a city side walk and talk about Christ because it is a sidewalk built with public funds and we would be violating his rights if he walked by. Do not let the Aetheists fool you in thinking they will not push for this. That is their ultimate goal to take Christ out of any public venue or place entirely. Mark my word.