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Utah

Disclaimers now on roadside crosses, but atheist group says it's not enough

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  • Arynen Midvale, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    Brian Barnard needs to find something more useful to do with his life. This is utterly ridiculous! I don't drive down the freeway, see a cross and say . . . "hey, I feel like Utah is forcing me to be christian. I'm offended."

    Barnard needs to go back to his own state.

  • Brotherly Kindness SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    "But Barnard said that also had been tried in other states, and purchasing 'postage stamp sized pieces of land' also would not work. 'A private plot of land in the middle of government land still gives the impression of government support,' he said."

    Mr. Bernard, you are too worried about impressions to care about the will of the people and the rule of law. If the law says they have to be on private land, then who are you to tell the people of the state of Utah how that land is to be allotted? Please stop wasting the tax payers' money on frivolous litigation.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    How sad that a small minority of people feel that they have the right to destroy something that has great personal importance to some people. The law may be on their 'side,' but just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. I hope they can find some way to preserve the crosses. If the group who is against this really wants my respect, they should offer to pay to replace the memorials with something that would not 'offend' their beliefs to show respect for these great people who died so tragically.

  • Al Thepal Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    So let me get this straight... apparently atheists can push their beliefs (or lack thereof) off on to others, but Christian families cannot choose to have their loved ones who died heroically and tragically honored in the manner that is meaningful to them. No one is trying to push Christian beliefs off on to these atheists. They are welcome to not believe in God if they are so inclined. But this is just absurd and wrong what this group of atheists are doing.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    The story notes that Utah has paid $300,000 in legal fees already. Mostly to Mr. Barnard, the "community organizer" for the perpetually offended. This is a very lucrative racket for those folks, and although they may win cases, they are still just flat wrong in their campaign to deny a small token of respect and appreciation for fallen law enforcement officers.

    I hope that this prolonged, tort torture process will cause the Legislature to change our laws so that "loser pays" will dampen the enthusiasm for filing frivolous lawsuits like this.

    By the way, the sight of an atheist's lawyer deeply offends me as a symbol of state supported anti-religion. Can I sue and win a jackpot like they do?

  • tom2 Jerome, ID
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:19 p.m.

    So, what of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial honoring the American soldiers who died in Europe in WWII? It is an American cemetery, operated by the American government, with Congressional financial support, where the American flag flies, since it is soil granted to the United States of America by France.

    Have you seen the moving tribute there? Nine thousand, three hundred eighty-seven crosses and stars of David in neat rows honoring our soldiers who died making the world a better place. Is that Barnard's next target? Go ahead and try it. There are some things that are worth fighting for and I for one believe that this is one of them.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:26 p.m.

    Don't get this wrong. I fully support the crosses. But instead of wasting time and money pushing this, why not alter the cross by sawing off the horizontal pieces and replace it with a replica of a trooper's badge?

    Oh, I know that would be surrendering. But is this all really worth it?

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:31 p.m.

    Constructing any type of memmorial to a dead person beside the roadways is a bad idea. If it is a privilage for one group, it should be the same privilage for all groups or individuals and soon the roadways will look like cemetaries. There should be more action removing adverdisement from the roadways; not adding to the distraction. There are proper places to honor and place monuments to the dead, but it is not beside the public roadways.

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:13 p.m.

    What religion does a cross represent? When I see a cross to me it represents death. Then any monuments along city, county, state and federal street or highways from any religion would be illegal. The cross has been place where people have passed away. Therefore the cross doesn't denote any religion. How many of Utah Peace Officers that have passed away in the line of duty are LDS? The Church hasn't any kind of symbol. If a poll were place at where a death has occurred with the person name on it. What religion would that be? The cross has been use since before Christ. I guess these people who bring this before the courts don't ever pass away. Here again is a minority of people who think they can act as authority and violate the majority.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:48 p.m.

    Comply with the court ruling. Trying to find a sneaky way around it will only result in more wasteful spending. Most insulting are the people who say "Yes, its a cross, but not a religious cross." or "Just pretend its not a cross!"
    It's a religious symbol. Everyone knows it is. The courts know it is.
    Replace them with a non-denominational memorial.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:00 p.m.

    If you give a mouse a cookie, he's gunna want some milk....

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:26 p.m.

    Theocracy.

  • morganh Orem, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:37 p.m.

    Groups like American Atheists and the ACLU are ridiculous. When they win a ruling they go to court to have the organization they sued pay their legal fees, or when an organization tries to get around their suit they threaten with more litigation and we the taxpayers pay their legal fees. It is time for the state legislature to get involved and pass laws that will stand up to challenges from the minority and also not let them trample on the religious rights I have guaranteed to me in the Constitution. I am tired of having we the taxpayers paying for frivolous lawsuits which violate my constitutional rights.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    This whole thing is so stupid! Enough!

    Don't we have better things to worry about than memorials on the side of the road?

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:48 p.m.

    Brian Barnard is fighting for your rights! Do some research on this group who has been pushing the crosses in Utah and other states, you'll see their goal is simple to "secularize" the cross, not to honor our fallen heroes. They just found an agency in Utah willing to allow them to our public lands for their cause. You start allowing religion and government to mix, which is the ultimate goal of this group, and most of you may find your churches and religious liberties outlawed. Think about it! These people want undeserved political power, we fought this in the 1700's remember! We didn't want a theocracy, we wanted democracy! Tell these guys to put the crosses on private property, not our property! If we want to honer our fallen heroes, I can think of a myriad of ways to do it w/o putting religious symbols on public lands! Do I get to come put a crescent moon and star/or star of David symbol in the park strip in front of your house? NO! Why allow this dubious Christian group to put up crosses up and down our highways!?

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    Roman history teaches us the use of the cross came long before the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. That was the preferred way of death in the Roman Empire. The United States Constitution grants the right of religious freedom. That doesn't mean others can tramp under foot those freedoms. Groups like American Atheists and the ACLU are anti everything seeking to destroy the rights of the people. Which is also a form of religion.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    One old man has a valid solution. Here's another: Just saw off the top of the post above the horizontal piece, making them into a T. I know of no religion the uses the letter T as a symbol.

    Although I support the honoring of fallen troopers I detest all the other roadside-makeshift memorials such as small crosses, balloons, flowers, and Christmas trees placed where supposedly somebody of the general populace has had a family member die. Those things need to be taken down the same hour they are put up. Where's Mr. Barnard and his employer when those things go up?

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    ParkCityAggie crescent moon and star/or star of David symbol. You can find both of these symbols on head stones at city, county, states and national cemeteries. That is all government properties own by the citizen of this country. But I don't see the lawsuits in court over all the cemeteries owned by and managed by the governments but I do see the Ten Commandants remove from Courthouses around the USA. ACLU is involve with taking down those. So why doesn't the ACLU and the Supreme Court remove all religious symbols from every building in Washington D.C.?

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    The law is the law, and we atheists have the law on our side. deal with it.

  • IndeMak South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    The Aetheists are such a small percentage of the minority. My father is one of the names on the memorials. It's ridiculous to most so leave it alone.

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    The laws are here only because you have the freedom of speech earn by the faith of the United States Military and it's Veterans. The laws support all sides. The Ten Commandments are the base of all law. Deal with that a while.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:14 p.m.

    The State should sell a reasonable square footage of land where the crosses are for the going rate of real estate to a group who will then own the land and maintain the memorial privately.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:44 p.m.

    We won this battle. Just take the crosses down. The side of the roads is NOT a graveyard. Build your memorials in the graveyards. Knock yourselves out putting up religious symbols in those graveyards. Leave the public highways alone. The Supreme Court has spoken. Honor and obey the law, for crying out loud.

    It is finished. Move on. Stop wasting everyone's time and money dragging this out. Your religious fanaticism is backfiring. People are leaving religion in larger numbers than ever before because you go too far. Stop already. Enough. You lost. Get over it.

  • CorbyTrouserPress Sydney, NSW
    Nov. 17, 2011 2:58 a.m.

    @Clarissa "How sad that a small minority of people feel that they have the right to destroy something that has great personal importance to some people."

    I agree it is a shame. However, it is, unfortunately, necessary.

    Religious people demonstrate time and time again that they are not satisfied just following their own chosen religion, but invariably they attempt to force others to live by their religious doctrines as well.

    I put before you for your consideration religious lobby groups who seek to influence the law of the land according to various religious doctrines on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, exemptions to anti-discrimination laws, proselytizing in elementary schools, the army, etc. I could go on indefinitely.

    If religious people just followed their own rules without insisting that everyone else follow them as well, we wouldn't have to resort to such ridiculously draconian measures as disclaimers on crosses, and a remorselessly secular government.

    In other words, give you and inch and you'll take a mile. So we can't give you an inch, sorry.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Nov. 17, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    Many readers insist that a roadside cross should be viewed as a symbol of death, not as a symbol of Christianity.

    This means that when we go to a cemetery and see a cross, the message of the cross is that the fellow in the grave is dead. Otherwise, we might be unsure and perhaps even suspect that he is carrying on a secret life underground. (Some people will do anything to avoid taxes.) When we come to a Star of David at a gravesite, we recognize that the person was Jewish, but we really don't know if he is dead because there is no cross to indicate death.

    The fact that most gravesites have no cross suggests one thing: There may be large numbers of undead in our cemeteries.

    Let's excavate. If we discover a subterranean population of undead, we could tax them and pay off the deficit.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Nov. 17, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    I disagree with some of the comments posted. I have lost several fellow officer and they have cross to show honor and the love we have for the fellow officers who gave their life for the people they sever. i am tried of the Aetheists calling a cross has any other meaning than to honor a fallen officer. Maybe these aetheists need to call on themselves the next time they have a crime, or an accident and leave other Aethiests handle it. Maybe move to another country were there is no cross or christian.

  • Let's be real Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 10:05 a.m.

    Atheist attorney(s): You got what you wanted which was money making publicity. Now, get your head out of the sand and realize that others have rights in the US also. Its time to let this go. Take off to the gym or something to relieve the tension.

  • Blackmarch LOGAN, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    I wonder when he's gona go after the organizations responsible for installing power lines....

    Seriously tho, the act of respecting the dead in any manner by placing any marker to remember the individual has been handed down from almost every religion.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    National Cemetary truth:

    Since 1996, Wiccans and others had approached the VA asking that the Wiccan pentacle be added to their "list of allowable religious symbols". They stonewalled for over a decade. Finally, the VA was faced with a lawsuit to force them to comply with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which requires that no government law or regulation infringe on the separation of church and state. Rather than fight a lawsuit that everyone knew they would lose, the VA caved in and authorized use of the symbol in 2007.

    Crosses in National Cemetaries exist along side other religious and non-religious markers including atheism so the argument about crosses in national cemetary or nation owned cemetaries needing removed because of this lawsuit is unsupported by reality. Most religious and non-religious beliefs are represented with a marker that represents that particuliar deceased belief or religion if possible. Shoot down that argument!

    It would have made a lot more sense to design a "Utah State Trooper" memorial that could be used for ALL troopers both past, present, and future because it would represent the troopers and not a specific belief like these crosses clearly represent.