Finally a good decision from the Supreme Court.
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
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.
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.
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....................
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.
Pull them down!
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.
I say put them up anyway. Let them try and enforce it.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I do not care about religion or not, those crosses on the highway, or anything,
create driving distraction, and may cause accidents, that is all I care.
In reply to A1994, you are absolutely wrong. The crescent of Islam would be
just as wrong and just as strongly opposed. You may not be aware, but the ACLU
recently sued and reached a settlement in a case in which a charter school in
Minnesota was promoting Islam quite unconstitutionally. Atheists and civil
libertarians seek to prevent all governmental endorsements of religion, not just
those that promote Christianity. To be fair to all religions, no religion
should be endorsed by a government-based entity.
Another victory for those who hate. What else is new.
The Atheists' attorney Mr. Bernard is a long time ACLU attorney, so he deserves
credit for much of the damage that has been done to our country and the elements
that made it great, our values and traditions now trampled by the tyranny of the
minority.I think that many of our Troopers, heroes all, would find
it satisfactory to replace the crosses with a depiction of a hand, all fingers
folded, except the middle one, symbolizing the fact the the Atheists
"won" their fight.By the way, has Mr. Bernard or any of
the Atheists ever bothered to show up at any memorial services for law
enforcement officers, or contributed a dime to the scholarship funds for the
kids of our troopers? Will they in the future?It would be nice if
the Atheists put bumper stickers on their cars so everyone could "thank
them" for their efforts. Oh, and better watch the speed limits and turn
"It could move them to private land but would have to remove the UHP
beehive logo, according to the 10th Circuit ruling."Why would
they have to remove the UHP beehive logo if it were on private land?I'm sure there are many folks with land along I-15 or elsewhere in the state
that would be happy to allow memorial crosses to be erected on their property.
What a poor decision by the Supreme Court to not review this case and the
decision of the 10th Circuit Court is dead wrong on this case. The
Establishment Clause clearly states that Congress shall make no laws
establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Crosses are a
religious symbol just like the Star of David on a Christmas tree. Christmas is
a religious holiday and Christians are allowed to exercise their religious
beliefs. American Atheists Inc. goal is to remove religion from our society
which violates the Constitution of the United States of America. Now if they
want to see an example of an established religion look no further than South
America where Catholicism is a recognized state religion.
Just cut the top off of the upright pice and it becomes a T and now no one will
"So Arlington National Cemetery has quite a few crosses. Are those next?
They ARE on public land, after all"Actually Arlington National
Cemetery uses traditional rounded-top rectangular headstones. The rows of
cross-shaped headstones that you are thinking of are in Normandy, France.
Interesting, I wonder what my good friends George Washington, Benjamin Franklin,
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and others would say about this
today? They would talk about the GOD GIVEN rights and freedoms that we have as
American Citizens. What people forget is that the rights and freedoms they
posses by being a citizen of this country (such as the seperation of church and
state) are based on a belief in God, no matter what that belief may be. It
doesn't mean that religion should not be talked about or presented publicly,
thats ridiculous and in direct opposition to the way the makers of that law led
their own lives. It simply means that there will be no government mandated
religion. Simple as that. For all our genius, the American people don't seem to
understand our laws, history, or culture very well! This is in fact a totally
ignorant view of freedom. The interests of the minority over the interests of
the majority! Its a sad day!
So can someone please explain to me why the 10th Circuit, or even the Supreme
Court is making a decision regarding Utah State land. This decision is wrong on
so many levels.If I start a religion that finds obelisks to be
offensive, would the American Atheists suggestion also be deemed
What a bad decision! Now they'll just have to eradicate the Native American
religious art off the canyon walls of public property.
@ModerateWell said! However, it is instructive to note that the
cemetery in Normandy, as well as many other national cemeteries, both in and out
of the states proper, are on land owned and under the control of the United
States Federal Government. Moreover, the classic mound tombstones often have
crosses of various types and designs on them as well, so the inconsistency
remains: How can the Federal Government allow fallen soldiers to be honored with
a cross, but a state government not be allowed to honor a fallen police officer
with a cross?
What we really need is a Governor who is willing to follow the decision of his
State's Supreme court on an issue related to State property.
You can talk to a Veteran of World War II or Vietnam or Korea and they will tell
you there are no atheists in a Fox hole. But when they come home they forgot
that they were praying for someone to save them. My questions is, just who did
you pray too? The Crosses are a Memorial to the Fallen Officer, and not a
Religous statement. Most of you are right, that the Minority can and does rule
the Majority, until the Majority stands up and says "Enough is Enough"
Why the hatred of atheists here?Nobody is being disrespectful to
these officers, who paid the ultimate price while protecting the rule of law.
These men deserve to be honored, and that is what a cemetery is for: to
construct memorials to each of these men at a dedicated place set aside for such
a purpose.The side of the highway is NOT the place for these
memorials, especially with religious symbols paid for with public money on
public property.You believers are under commandment from god to
"care", yet you defiantly say you "don't care" what those
"haters"/atheists think!Wow!That's all I can
say. By their fruits...Unless you are able to walk in our shoes a
few steps, you will never understand what it is like to live among religious
people who take for granted that everyone believes the same as them. The
hegemony of religion in Utah is particularly blind to the perspectives of
others.And all your comments did is just confirm the perception that
you don't care about other perspectives and are willing to twist or manipulate
("just turn them into T's") to have your way on the highway.Sad.
@ Jeff29,Even if the decision from the State Supreme court is
unconstitutional? I applaud anyone who will stand up for their freedoms. This
is America, we shouldn't have to be scared of what we are, or be afraid of
stepping on someones toes because they do not believe the same way we do. If
people were more accepting of others freedoms to worship and remember lost ones
and not so easily offended we would be a little closer to what this country
stands for. Instead we live in fear of not offending someone because they don't
believe in God. A Governor should be aware of the beliefs of all those that he
serves, but should also embody the leadership quality to stand up for what he
believes to be right. Give me a Governor that posses that quality any day over
the one that makes his decisions based on the loud whining of the minority.
To the extent that a clear majority of Americans, let alone an overwhelming
majority, wants government at all levels to officially favor religion over
nonbelief to the extent that more Americans still view atheism as a
disqualifying characteristic in a political candidate than they do any other
factor....I submit that we nonbelievers are in just as much danger of suffering
open discrimination as is the gay community. Even though there have not yet been
any notable physical attacks on atheists....just for being
atheists....discrimination does not have to be accompanied by overt violence in
order to pose a grave threat to a minority groups struggle for full equality. Is
it religious believers belief that atheists should have very few rights?
What's sad and ignorant here is the misconceptions, lies, myths, and
fallacies the anti-atheists (sound familiar?) present on this forum. If they
knew anything about atheism....they would know that the falsehoods they spread
are nothing but rants based on ignorance. Speaking of persecuted
minorities: Christianity used to be one. Did you fight your way to freedom of
faith just so you could treat non-believers the same way people used to treat
What if we Placed a Plaque directly under the Highway Patrol Emblem and cut off
the cross with the name, and placed a 4 ft copper rod out the top. that takes
the cross out of the game.
@giantfan - Why is the absence of crosses forcing non-belief but the erection of
those same crosses not forcing belief on others? You can't have it both ways.The real disgrace here is Shurtleff's waste of tax dollars pushing the
issue this far. Of course, he does have a political career to foster...nice he
could do that with our tax dollars.@Eliot - You've missed the point
and meaning entirely. Expressing one's beliefs - however absurd or offensive -
is not at risk. However, using symbols endorsing religion (which clearly a cross
does) is not allowed on public lands. You'd know more want to see a monument to
Atheist or Muslims as I would of Christianity.While I personally
don't care, I think the decision is appropriate.
TR 4 President says "the classic mound tombstones often have crosses of
various types and designs on them as well, so the inconsistency
remains".The "various designs" include a Star of
David and Islamic Crescent. I don't know, but presume that the family of a
fallen soldier has some input as to the gravestone wording and the inclusion a
religious symbol or not.For me, the incosistency does not remain.
National cemeteries contain gravestones which are a personal marker of the
individual resting below. Utah is using a cross-shaped memorial. I see a
gravestone and a memorial marker as two different things.
To all the haters- its freedom OF religion..... Not freedom FROM religion.
@NorthernCan we count you among the "haters"?AGAIN....Too often....many people seem to have a flawed understanding of what
freedom from religion really entails and fail to realize that freedom from
religion is crucial to religious liberty in general. It is evident that a person
misunderstands the concept of freedom from religion when they say that promotion
of the idea is part of an effort to eliminate religion from the public square,
to secularize America, or to deny religious believers a voice in politics. None
of this follows from a belief that people have a right to be free from religion.
Freedom from religion isn't a demand that religious beliefs never be expressed,
but rather that they not be endorsed by the government; it's not a demand that
religious believers never voice an opinion, but rather that they not have a
privileged status in public debates; it's not a demand that religious values
never have any public impact, but rather that no laws be based on religious
doctrines without the existence of a secular purpose and basis. Educate yourself, please!
This is not separation of church and state it is separation from common decency
and respect of the fallen who have sacrificed there all for the common good.When courage, honor , duty are sacrificed in vain and are replaced with
self denial and our puny humanistic self worship we become dust and fodder for
@Moderate You are correct about the shape of the headstones at
Arlington. However, you will notice that they have crosses etched into them on
many headstones. Also, there are several great, big crosses in the cemetery as
well. In fact, the Kennedy's have crosses on their tombstones.The
point is that first amendment was is being abused by atheists. It says congress
shall make no law establishing religion or the free exercise thereof. There is
actually nothing in the Constitution that says the words, "separation of
church and state." And I would doubt that Thomas Jefferson would have
objected to the individual states deciding to honor their fallen dead with a
universal religious symbol like the cross.What a fantastic legacy
the American Atheists will have.
It's good to see all the legal scholars who think they know more knowledgeable
than the Federal Court of Appeals as well as the US Supreme Court. I'm sure you
had the same views of these courts when they said the Corporations are the same
as people, right?
Has anyone suggested they use UHP shields not crosses. 12 Post with the UHP
shield number of the fallen officer. That would solve everything. The UHP badge
has no religious connection, and it would still honor the fallen officers.Maybe somebody could suggest this to somebody, make the changes and get
on with life.Mark Towner
It is just so sad that people are quibbling endlessly about something
well-intentioned to honor fallen Highway Patrol officers. I seriously doubt
that those who chose this symbol did so just to irritate athesists - get over
yourself. The only people who could legitimately complain about this would be
the families of officers. The silence is deafening.
We are a nation becoming ripe with iniquity.Each little atheist and
radical religious step is making a difference in our world isn't it?
Atheist activists have nothing better to do? The Holiday season must drive them
After reading the above letters, the crosses must not symbolize christianity but
a call to arms for conservatives for civil war. I doubt Jesus would want the in
your face fighting words associated with religious symbols or Caesar enforcing
them as an in your face display of government power.
Where in the consitution does it say "Freedome FROM religion?"
I want a question from all you "people" who are against the crosses.
Just exactly how does a well known grave symbol, found in many public and
military cemetaries violate your constitutional rights? Please answer for me
because most of your posts are just grinding an axe because you don't like
something. Quantify just how it violates your rights.
I think people are not very nice anymore...What does it hurt? Does the cross
really hurt anyone or does everyone hate life so bad that they want to hurt
everyone else? I think it is a sad day in Utah and America.
This ruling brings to mind a quote from President Andrew Jackson;"The
Supreme Court has made its ruling now let them enforce it!"
I am not Catholic or mainstream Protestant. A cross is not a religious symbol
for me. I am not in the least bothered or threatened by a religious symbol for
another religion or culture.It is a big wide world out there and
there is a lot of diversity out there and we are going to do better looking for
the common ground rather than trying to focus on what divides us.In
Saudi Arabia and in India there are groups that are similar to the ACLU and to
the American Atheists. They are very sensitive to anything remotvely hinting at
Christianity. They don't even like stores to sell flowers on Valentine's Day
because of the "Saint" in Saint Valentine's Day.I think
that they should just relax. A little diversity never hurt anyone.
@ Big Hapa in Kaysville--- You are so right in your comments. I couldn't agree
more....I support the UHP Association and what they have done to
remember those that have fallen in the line of duty. I have valued seeing the
crosses as I've driven around our state. It not only serves as a reminder of the
valiant troopers but to me is a reminder of all that have served and still serve
us to maintain our safety and freedoms.Thanks to all that wear that
Good _hing _his newspaper is no_ a governmen_ publica_ion. O_herwise, we'd
perhaps be obliged _o aver_ our eyes from all uses of _he le_ _er "_,"
owing _o i_s hidden symbolism. Known as _aw or _av in Hebrew, i_ is _he las_ le_
_er of _ha_ alphabe_. "From Aleph _o _aw" means "from beginning
_o end"; i_ is _he Hebrew equivalen_ of wha_ we say in English, "from
A _o Z". In Greek, _he symbol "_" represen_ed _heos (God). _he
_au i_self was _he mos_ likely form of cross on which Chris_ was crucified.
Heaven forbid we would say one of _he _wo words of _he phrase "Alpha and
Omega." A_ some poin_ will we consider our very language _o be a vehicle of
offense such _ha_ use of _he le_ _er "_" in our wri_ _en
communica_ions will, _oo, be an offense? Should we je_ _ison _he le_ _er
Put it up on private land and be still about it. Someones death is not a
political statement. And PLEASE, don't waist any more tax payer dollars on this
sort of thing. We don't have it to pay.
We are tired of being bullied by people such as Randy Forbes of Virginia.Rep Randy Forbes of Virginia is a hyper-conservative-religious fanatic
who has, among other things, sponsored legislation to: -
officially designate the United States as a Judeo-Christian nation (making
non-Jews and non-Christians second-class citizens) - officially
declare that "the Holy Bible is Gods Word" (forget all the
self-contradictory nonsense, genocide, racism, sexism, etc. in the book. And
forget the Qu'ran, the Book of Mormon, and all other "words of
god").- officially declare religion a prerequisite for freedom
and reject "the notion that the laws and Constitution of the United States
require the exclusion of God from matters of government" (You can't be
"free" unless you believe?) - prevent the IRS from
assisting the federal government in an "invasion into the health care lives
of American citizens" (So fanatic religious parents can use prayer and
superstition on their kids instead of getting proper medical care?)-
officially declare that religion forms "the inseparable foundation for
Americas representative processes, legal systems, and societal structures"
(A religious test.)Religious fanatics are spitting in the faces of a
quarter or more of US citizens!
Mark Towner "UHP badge has no religious connection, and it would still
honor the fallen officers."Until somebody realizes that the
Beehive is an old Mormon religious symbol...
If you religious fanatics want a cultural war, we will definitely give you one.
We will fight to preserve the original "Separation of Church and
State" intended by our Founding Fathers when they wrote and commented on
the 1st Amendment. We will fight to cease and reverse the encroachment of
religion into government and public life. We are also citizens of this nation,
and we have the right NOT to have our taxes applied to supporting YOUR religious
zealotry and insidious domination of political and legal processes.The fact that you persist in disregarding the perspectives of your fellow
citizens, and insist on shoving your beliefs beyond the bounds of your Churches,
dedicated cemetaries, and designated, appropriate places for the expressions of
religious belief, demonstrates that you do not respect beliefs other than your
own.Such intolerance is deplorable coming from people who claim to
follow Jesus, who first articulated the separation of Church and State when he
said, "Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceasar's, and unto God that which
It is interesting to note that, at our founding and at the time the constitution
was adopted, various states had their own established state churches. It
appears that the intention of the first amendment was that CONGRESS shall make
no law respecting the establishment of religion, NOR PROHIBITING THE FREE
EXERCISE THEROF. The states were another matter and it appears clear to me that
the intent was to leave such decisions up to the states.
"Brian Barnard, the Salt Lake attorney for American Atheists, called it the
correct decision. The special permission granted to put up the crosses and use
of the UHP logo improperly gave the appearance that Utah was endorsing
Christianity, he said."Really ... anyone with half a brain
knows what religion the State of Utah endorses. These crosses really don't make
a difference in Utah. The allocation of resources by the Utah State Attorney
General's office never ceases to amaze me.
Candide: You would think differently if one of those officers was a member of
your family. How sad that they wont let families and friends honor the fallen
The crosses do not symbolize religion. It is a symbol of death and a way to
honor those officers.
Snowman, I will have to disagree with you. And yes, I have personal experience
with this. I do not want to remember the location where my father was taken. I
doubt that many close family members want a memorial in place along a road side
as a symbol of honoring their loved one who was murdered. That simply is not a
memory that immediate family members usually want -- it is a memory that the
community seems to want.
Why don't they just put a marker of the symbol of whatever the religious belief
of the deceased officer was? Seems that would solve the problem, since now it's
not something determined by the state. I can understand that a Jewish family
might not want a big ol' white cross in memorial of their loved one. Although
I'm not sure what you'd use for an atheist...
I simply do not understand why Mormons in Utah are the ones fighting this
battle, when we don't even use the cross as a religious symbol. Further evidence
that here in Utah, conservatives consider themselves politically partisan
soldiers in the culture wars first and Mormons second. (See also:
immigration.I don't see how keeping these crosses off of our shared
state lands infringes on anyone's religious freedom. My religious identity is
defined by the covenants I have made, my behavior towards my family and my
neighbors, my worship in the chapel or temple with my co-congregants, and my
privately-expressed religious devotions. My religious identity is NOT dependent
on public religious displays, especially displays that make other people
uncomfortable.If the removal of a cross from public land makes you
feel less spiritual, you practice a form of spirituality that I simply don't
Some people on these boards claim that this court ruling (which was not
politically partisan among the Supreme Court justices, by the way) is a sign of
society's corruption.I beg to differ. The scriptures are
consistently critical of external, public displays of religiosity that are
presented for the audience of man. The Book of Mormon in particular gives very
clear examples of what signals a corrupt society: a breakdown of civility,
mistreatment of the poor, a widening gap between the rich and the poor, and
mistreatment of unbelievers by members of the Church.When Christ
comes, I am quite confident that what will disappoint him will be our greed,
dishonesty, lack of self-discipline, and unkindness toward each other. I think
he will be shocked and ashamed of how little progress we've made in helping the
poor and the downtrodden. I think he'll wonder why we couldn't figure out how to
get along with each other.I seriously doubt that His main complaint
will be that there aren't enough crosses along I-15.
This is so stupid. One person commented that they (athiest) are "Yet we are
discriminated against, demonized, vilified, and persecuted in a variety of
ways." Are you kidding me? That comment is ignorant, you are not!!!! You
are an athiest, I consider myself a believer and a christian. What is so hard
about you doing your thing and me doing mine? What has a believer taken away
from you...Um nothing! Yet you seek to destroy something as simple as a monument
to honor a fallen trooper. If the troopers are athiest, sure honor them in
another way, if they are a believer does it really bother you that much that a
cross is erected in their behalf. Seperating church and state is a scapegoat and
you know it. This is your way of running "roughshod" over everyone
else and forcing your opinions. You live your life, I will live mine, I stay out
of your business, you stay our of mine. Don't cry church and state, it doesn't
happen. I do not see any belief other than your own trying to dictate anything.
And if you don't like it, pass on it. I will do the same.
I think there's a very simple way to beat this absurd lawsuit - simply give a
choice to the families of the fallen troopers what kind of memorial they want,
according to the same reasonable standards used at national cemeteries. If they
want a cross, it's a cross; if they want a Star of David, it's a star; if they
want a crescent or a simple obelisk, OK...within the bounds of reasonable
expense and good taste.The Atheists' lawsuit was contesting the
State's claim that the crosses were not being used as religious symbols, but as
universally recognized symbols of death. That's obvious to any reasonable
observer, which is what makes their lawsuit all the more outrageous. Fine - call them "religious monuments" as the Atheists want, but
apply the already-established rules used in cemeteries. If they don't like it,
then they can sue again from their apparently bottomless well of legal funds.I just find it terribly ironic that atheists can force an entire nation
to abandon roadside crosses and student-led prayers at football games because a
single atheist was mildly offended, but if the rest of us are offended by their
actions...it doesn't matter.
In your most recent comment, why do you reference biblical era and time when you
do not believe it yourself. That would be like me trying to use Darwins theory
in an argument to you. I don't beleive it, so it is not relevant for me to use
to you.Second, you cry 1st Amendment. You talk about fore fathers,
who were christians and believers by the way. The first amendment allows people
the freedom to exercise our freedom of religion. This is both for and or
against it. "Our freedom of religion" not freedom from religion. Is
it not great that we live in a country where we are free to choose our religion.
You an athiest, me a believer in the Mormon faith. Why not just go
live your life as a successful whatever you are....Doctor, Lawyer, Car Salesman,
whatever. You do what makes you happy, and I will do what makes me happy. We
can still be friends, I will still disagree with things you do and you the same
for me. But what kind of person would I be if all I did was try to tear you
down. Like you are doing.
Why do some people want to destroy the notion of equal justice before the law
and make American into a religious nation? Why should a fallen highway patrol
officer who dies while doing his job, be treated differently than a fallen
construction worker killed while doing his job?The reason is simple,
a private organization sees an opportunity to advertise its product. If we
allow religion to be advertised in the public square, should we not also allow
Walmart, McDonalds, and other commercial groups to memorialize their passed on
people?It is my opinion, that the dead should be recognized for
their good, buried, periodically remembered by friends and family and then
forgotten. I especially oppose the spending of huge amounts of
taxpayer money to memorials to remember the bad and awful things that happen in
life. Like 9-11, Oklahoma, war, etc. etc. etc.
The thing I find so rediculous and illogical here is the idea that a cross or
the lack thereof in any way "forces" anyone to believe or not to
believe. Whether by the government or the private citizen, the viewing of a
cross does not coerce the adherence to or defiance of anyone's devotion.Perhaps when non believers, whatever that means, erect a symbol of their
non belief, I will be able to be offended that I have been coerced to drop my
beliefs in favor of theirs.It would be ludicrous to think that
putting up a cross to memoralized a fallen hero is a violation of the
establishment clause, if it were just an observation, but this agenda of the
American Atheists is no passive observation. Though they will never admit it,
theirs is a concerted agenda to remove religious belief from all American life.
They will never admit that their effort to shout down the believer is as
"unconstitutional" as thier perceived offense at any mention of
religion. Their "non-religion" is every bit as much an expression of
religion as any other, and they voraciously expect their "religion" to
be "established" by the government.
The American Atheists are offended by the cross (which I think is childish).
Why does Mark Shurtliff think the only way to honor a fallen officer is to put
his name on a cross? It's not that hard of a problem to solve. Solution: get
rid of Mark Shurtliff and replace him with someone who can see beyond the cross.
How about putting the officers name on cemetery headstone. Maybe a large
sandstone monolith. Maybe even the car he was driving. Retire it, make it a
museum piece, and attach the officers name to it. Just don't put the officers
name on a cross.
@UtahBruin - you are trying to have it both ways. If Atheists try to enforce the
law (you called it "scapegoating")then they are trying to run
"roughshod" over everyone else. But when you put up crosses on public
lands then you are only minding your own business. What you do in your home,
your church and in your private life is not the same as what is done on public
lands. Asserting that Atheists are tying to "force their
opinions" and that religion never does that is untrue. Religion is imposed
on people all the time - from religions trying to dictate public policy, blue
laws that have been imposed for centuries, systematically "adjusting"
history and science text books and on and on. I don't want to speak
for Atheists but the suit was fairly clear and the arguments were equally clear.
It is unlawful for government to endorse a religion and erecting Christian
symbols on public lands crosses that line. While that may seem minor it is
important to set precedent. I would never allow government to stifle your
speech...no matter how much I disagreed with what you were saying. The principle
is what is important.
Ultra Bob,If Walmart, McDonalds, a contruction worker and any other
commercial group want to find a way to memorialize their fallen. If this is
something THEY WANT to do, then by all means go ahead and do it. As for your
comment of "Why do some people want to destroy the notion of equal justice
before the law and make American into a religious nation?" Who is trying
to turn America in a religious nation? Nobody, we are just living our lives
freely and independantly. Who is it that is trying to destroy the notion of
equal justice? The Athiest here trying to overpower what someone
"WANTS". In this case shouldn't it be the families decision if a
memorial is erected. And from what I can tell, it sure appears that is the way
it is done. Please don't come on here and act like you are getting attacked.
Your not. The equal justice is being thrown out by the atheist majority here.
Just like in my previous notes. Can we not just live our own lives and quit
worrying so much about what someone else does. It's crazy.
@speed66 - I am not trying to have it both ways. I am saying both sides just
need to shut up about it. This would, could and probably does include me also.
By erecting a cross, yes I would agree it is a believers symbol. But who does
it offend? Obviously not atheist because they don't believe it in the first
place. It doesn't offend a believer, because they simply look at it as a
monument only, not a way of preaching or forcing gospel. It is simply what was
chosen by Shurtliff or anyone else. Does it matter? Really? Would it matter if
it was a wood box? Disagree with it if you will...This is atheist forcing thier
opinions? Nobody has changed anything except for trying to get rid of religion.
I am sorry but this is what our country was built on. It all started way back
when. Scientist past, present and future will still try to say things were
different. Science is theory in this matter, niether side can proove anything,
so if it is both ways. Again, you go your way, I will go mine. Why is your
principal more important than mine?
Ask one of the businesses nearby if they will house the honor sign. I also like
the "T" bit above by Lane Myer. How about a little "t" for
little trooper. Fits for me. I wish I lived closer, they could put it in my
Remind me to risk my life the next time someone is hurt on the highway, and wait
till it happens.
The crosses could be replaced with other monuments or moved to private land so
why are so many of you making such a big deal out of it when it can be done a
different way. Those troopers can be honored, but let's just do it in way that
doesn't violate the Constitution. Erecting divisive religious icons that violate
the very constitution the fallen troopers had sworn to uphold is not the way to
honor those troopers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of their
state. Religion has a history of tearing down the beliefs of each other as well
as non-believers. Why should atheists just shut up and mind their own business
when religion rarely does. The attitude that the cross is not a Christian symbol
is wrong because it's so obvious that it is. When religion gets enshrined into
government policy -- like teaching religious beliefs in public school science
classes, or funding religious organizations with tax money, or opening
government meetings with prayers, or displaying the Ten Commandments on
government property, or promoting one religion over another in a public
school....it is a theocracy. Atheists and others have a right to prevent a
UtahBruin | 11:19 a.m.We would all like to live our lives lives
freely and independently. But in order to have everybody free and independent,
there has to be some forgoing of freedom and independence. One of those
concessions we grant to our fellow citizens is to not commercialize the
government. It is the law.According to our society and our
government, there is a proper place for dead people. Its called a cemetery.
To my knowledge I have never been harmed by a cross or any other
religious practice. However I often feel harmed by the overbearing volume of
advertising in just about every other part of my life. If you open the door to
religious advertising on public property, you have no excuse for the exclusion
of commercial advertising.
Whether or not a cross offends an atheist is a moot point. The real point of the
lawsuit is the "establishment of religion". American Atheists defends
civil rights for Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the
total separation of church-mosque-temple and state; and addresses issues of
First Amendment public policy. Ask yourselves this: Should atheists and other
non-Christians suffer a religious tradition not their own being imposed upon
them through the power of the state? Is it wrong for atheists and non-Christians
to ask for fair and equal treatment under the law? No one religious sect should
be given a government mandated monopoly to use their idols, icons and graven
images as representative of the memory of loss or to infer that only their
symbol represents our human family.Only a religion in the majority
would think that no one of a different religion would be offended by being
represented by the majority religions symbols. I wonder if the Christian
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.
Please Mr. Shurtleff: Do NOT waste taxpayer money fighting the decision to ban
crosses on highways. The Atheists have won.
Joggle | 5:57 p.m. Oct. 31, 2011 Clearfield, UT @NorthernCan we count you among the "haters"?No you may not, as I
would not mind if you put up a memorial to honor someone who served our country.
Be it buddha,Gahandi or a woodchuck. This country was founded on a
belief in morality and a healthy respect for God, and his commandments."Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"It is and the founding
fathers intended it to be freedom OF religion, never has been, never will be
freedom From Religion. There is no statment or intent of being protected from
religion.You do not have a Right to be protected from being offended. This is your education.
The Atheist | 9:10 a.m. Nov. 1, 2011 Provo, UT If you religious
fanatics want a cultural war, we will definitely give you one. We will fight to
preserve the original "Separation of Church and State" intended by our
Founding Fathers when they wrote and commented on the 1st Amendment.Actually no where does it say seperation of church and state. That mythical
argument has been debunked.This is your education.
Northern,By whom has separation of Church and State been
"debunked"? Surely not by you.Some, like you, say that
because that specific phrase is not in the Constitution it is not valid.Did you know that the prohibition of Slavery is not in the
Constitution?And the right of women to vote is not in the
Constitution?The "separation of church and state" is the
distance that should exist in the relationship between organized religion and
the nation state.The term is derived from Thomas Jefferson's phrase,
"wall of separation between church and state," as written in his
letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802.Jefferson wrote:
"...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American
people [the 1st Amendment] thus building a wall of separation between Church and
State."Madison also spoke of the 1st Amendment as a "total
separation of the church from the state," and "the separation between
Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States."Madison publically declared: "the practical distinction between Religion
and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by
the Constitution of the United States."I debunk your debunking.
als Atheist | 2:49 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011 Provo, UT To Joggle its a
good thing that you have two accounts since there is a 4 comment limit. Many people write many things to many organizations and a letter to the
Danbury Baptist Association is inconsequential. Last time I checked the
Danbury baptists were not part of the legislative branch of government, and have
no power whatsoever. "Madison publically declared: "the
practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the
purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United
States.""Exactly so the government having a misguided
opinion on crosses on the highway would be a violation of that statement and
more importantly the constitution.Nice Try Tho.Once
again freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.This is your
@NorthernYour unsupported arguments fails to address and ignores
many key points. Support your assertions with facts! A whole new
trend was established and secular humanism became the religion of America which
includes people of ALL beliefs both religious and non-religious because afterall
we are all citizens. In 1992 the Supreme Court stated the unthinkable to most
religious people. "At the heart of liberty is the right to define ones own
concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human
life. Also..."It is of great importance in a republic not only
to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers but to guard one part
of the society against the injustice of the other part. If a majority be united
by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure." - James
Madison. Federalist Paper 51Further evidence of the Founder's
position on the state and religion can be found in Jefferson's letter to the
Danbury Baptists in which he supported them in the position that a wall of
separation should exist between church and state.The framers had
discussed inclusion of religion within the Constitution, but it was voted_down.
@NorthernIf we are to live in a truly free and just republic we must
remove the sanctity of religion as being outside the realm of the First
Amendment and the Establishment Clause. The separation of Church and State are
inherently necessary in order to best represent peoples of all different creeds,
races, and ethnicities. Anything less is disingenuous to the tenants this
country was founded on and is harmful to the progression of our country as a
Great Nation. The next time someone advocates against removing religious symbols
on public lands, they need to be reminded in order to represent everyone to the
best of the Constitution, we must have a neutral government in the matters of
religiosity. We cannot hold up one group over another whether it be Christians,
Muslims, atheists, Wiccans, theists, or scientologists if we are to live in a
free society. Regardless of religiosity or lack thereof, by supporting religion
in a government capacity is the antithesis of what a free republic is founded on
because it raises up one group of Americans over another by legitimizing their
claims on morality and way of life.
Northern,You are completely out of your league on this point. Better
to stop digging any deeper while you still have the chance.
@ The Atheist... The separation of church and state has nothing to do with
keeping religion out of government. It was meant to keep the nation from having
a declared national religion.Quite frankly I find your attitude a
bit over the edge with the little knowledge you have about our country. I'm
probably one of the most liberal people posting here and trust me, I know the
history and the intent of the signers of the Constitution through study and
examination of facts.You as an Atheist have no more rights than I do
as a Jew or as a Christian. In fact our country is based on majority rule. I'm
personally non-religious but to me those crosses represent an honor to the
officers that have fallen. They in NO WAY in my thinking represent a religion or
religious belief.Don't threaten a cultural war. You'd lose. As a
Liberal Democrat, I would be one that would be defending OUR rights. Mine and
yours. One of the problems we have in this nation is one party control.. Don't
make it worse by misinterpretation of facts.
I wonder if these so called atheists are offended by the rows of white crosses,
stars of David and other symbols that adorn our military cemeteries.
Virgil: Just so you know the beehive is a symbol of industry not mormonism.
owlmaster2 wrote:"The separation of church and state has
nothing to do with keeping religion out of government. It was meant to keep the
nation from having a declared national religion."Not so. The
Bill of Rights (including the 1st Amendment) originally applied only to the
Federal Government, but the 14th Amendment extended the BOR to all the States in
the Union. Moreover, as the quotes I have already provided demonstrate, both
Jefferson and Madison openly and repeatedly explained the 1st Amendment as
creating a "separation of Church and State" - a prohibition against
religious influence in Federal and State Governments AND government influence in
religions."In fact our country is based on majority
rule."No it is not. That is NOT found anywhere in the
Constitution. Rather, this country is based on the rule of law, representation
in the making of law, and the protection of inalienable rights (the BOR) in the
interpretation of law.Apparently my "little knowledge...about
our country" far exceeds your own."Don't threaten a
cultural war. You'd lose."Not likely. I've cleaned your clock
in this argument, and nonbelievers have the Constitution and BOR on our side in
any culture war.Bring it.
Should the state dictate religion, either by establishing a state-sponsored
religion or by dictating doctrine to any churches? Of course not.Should churches be able to dictate to government what laws to create or how to
adjudicate? Of course not.However, I don't believe that either of
those principles, nor the positions and letters of the Framers, advocate the
removal of any mention of religion from the public square. Everyone has some
belief system, whether it be in a particular faith, a general non-denominational
personal belief system, or an adamant belief that there is no deity. No matter
how much we may want to, we can't remove the influence those beliefs have on our
own actions and judgments.Can't we find a way to civilly and
equitably let people express themselves in the public square without resorting
to lawsuits and venom?Banning all religious (or near-religious)
symbols from the public square essentially establishes the belief in no
religion, what many of us consider Atheism. Why is that not considered just as
unconstitutional as putting up a nativity in front of city hall?
Paul in MD wrote:"I don't believe that either of those
principles, nor the positions and letters of the Framers, advocate the removal
of any mention of religion from the public square."We are not
talking about a transitory "mentioning" of religion. We are talking
about an apparently permanent association of the official symbols of a State
agency and a religion (Christianity) on public property."Everyone has some belief system,"We are not talking
about generic belief systems. Nobody can make an argument that the Founders were
trying to build a wall of separation between Government and "any sort of
belief system". They pinpointed religious belief systems for a reason."Banning all religious (or near-religious) symbols from the public
square essentially establishes the belief in no religion, what many of us
consider Atheism. Why is that not considered just as unconstitutional as putting
up a nativity in front of city hall?"Again, absence of belief
in god cannot be twisted into a belief. That someone is an atheist simply means
she has no belief in a god. You can infer nothing more about that person or
their other beliefs.Please, just respect PUBLIC property. We are