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road kill
08-18-2010, 06:24 PM
10th Circuit: Highway patrol memorial crosses are unconstitutional
"The Utah Highway Patrol Association (‘UHPA’), with the permission of Utah state authorities, erected a number of twelve-foot high crosses on public land to memorialize fallen Utah Highway Patrol (‘UHP’) troopers. Plaintiffs-Appellants, American Atheists, Inc., a Texas non-profit organization, and three individual members of American Atheists who reside in Utah, challenge the legality of these memorials under the Establishment Clause of the federal constitution and Article I of Utah’s constitution. We hold that these memorials have the impermissible effect of conveying to the reasonable observer the message that the State prefers or otherwise endorses a certain religion. They therefore violate the Establishment Clause of the federal constitution. In light of this conclusion, we need not reach the separate question of whether these displays also violate Utah’s constitution."

http://www.alliancealert.org/2010/08/18/10th-circuit-highway-patrol-memorial-crosses-are-unconstitutional/

Maybe if Mosques were built under the crosses it would be OK??


RK:barf:

M&K's Retrievers
08-18-2010, 07:03 PM
He who controls the courts, controls everything. We can only hope that Obama has no more opportunities to screw up our country even more. My biggest fear of a Obama administration was his judicial appointments.

YardleyLabs
08-18-2010, 07:06 PM
He who controls the courts, controls everything. We can only hope that Obama has no more opportunities to screw up our country even more. My biggest fear of a Obama administration was his judicial appointments.
Right now, conservatives pretty much control the Federal courts -- a product of eight years of conservative rule of the appointments process and four years prior to that when the Republican controlled Judiciary committee blocks almost every appointment by Clinton. However, even conservatives try to live within the law sometimes.

road kill
08-18-2010, 07:16 PM
Right now, conservatives pretty much control the Federal courts -- a product of eight years of conservative rule of the appointments process and four years prior to that when the Republican controlled Judiciary committee blocks almost every appointment by Clinton. However, even conservatives try to live within the law sometimes.
Yeah, I was certain you'd be all giddy about this.

Which "certain religion" are they endorsing??



RK

JDogger
08-18-2010, 07:58 PM
Descansos, or small tributes of rememberence, of those who died in traffic fatalities, dot the hiways and byways of the SW, and increasingly other parts of the country. They have been here in NM for as long as I can remember. They range from the garish, to the very muted, almost unnoticable. They are mostly on the right-of-way, be it Interstates, State roads, County roads and city streets, I've even seen some on Forest Service logging roads. Sometimes they are behind fence-lines on private property.
They have always been accepted, even when highway construction forced their temporary removal and subsequent replacement.
Mostly there is a cross of some sorts, but a few have a Star of David, and some no religious marker at all, just a name and a date.

I've always thought it would make a good photojournalist survey to record them.

To the point at hand. To erect a 12 foot high cross on a public right-of -way, by the STATE POLICE on a federal or state roadway, does not keep in the spirit of the original intent. Now...if a private land-owner, behind his fence line, wishes to give consent, so be it. Then let them build it.

Mosque-like regards, Eh? JD

road kill
08-18-2010, 08:11 PM
Descansos, or small tributes of rememberence, of those who died in traffic fatalities, dot the hiways and byways of the SW, and increasingly other parts of the country. They have been here in NM for as long as I can remember. They range from the garish, to the very muted, almost unnoticable. They are mostly on the right-of-way, be it Interstates, State roads, County roads and city streets, I've even seen some on Forest Service logging roads. Sometimes they are behind fence-lines on private property.
They have always been accepted, even when highway construction forced their temporary removal and subsequent replacement.
Mostly there is a cross of some sorts, but a few have a Star of David, and some no religious marker at all, just a name and a date.

I've always thought it would make a good photojournalist survey to record them.

To the point at hand. To erect a 12 foot high cross on a public right-of -way, by the STATE POLICE on a federal or state roadway, does not keep in the spirit of the original intent. Now...if a private land-owner, behind his fence line, wishes to give consent, so be it. Then let them build it.

Mosque-like regards, Eh? JD
Yeah, "Eh," how long before we remove the crosses and Stars of David from the headstones at the VA cemetarys across the USA??

Eh????

RK

BonMallari
08-18-2010, 08:21 PM
Yeah, "Eh," how long before we remove the crosses and Stars of David from the headstones at the VA cemetarys across the USA??

Eh????

RK

over my dead body...my dad is interred at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery and a Christian cross proudly adorns his headstone

road kill
08-18-2010, 08:24 PM
over my dead body...my dad is interred at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery and a Christian cross proudly adorns his headstone
But Bon, that cemetary is a public place owned by the Government.

Yardley, DNF and JDogger will tell you, they (the crosses & stars) HAVE to go.

Or do even they draw the line somewhere???



RK

dnf777
08-18-2010, 08:26 PM
Yeah, "Eh," how long before we remove the crosses and Stars of David from the headstones at the VA cemetarys across the USA??

Eh????

RK

The old reductio ad absurdum trick.

Nobody want to remove grave markers, for cryin' out loud.

That is rather inflammatory though, and I suspect that was the true intent of the comment.

The only thing happening with grave markers right now, is they are attempting to fix the screw-ups that were allowed to happen with markers and sites, that never should have happened. There's something REAL you can get upset about, instead of made up inflammatory scenarios.

Gerry Clinchy
08-18-2010, 08:34 PM
We hold that these memorials have the impermissible effect of conveying to the reasonable observer the message that the State prefers or otherwise endorses a certain religion.

I admit that I'm no expert on Con Law, but I thought that freedom of religion meant just what it said that the govt can't establish or give preference to a religion ... the fact that it "gives the impression" that it endorses a religion seems a stretch.

Maybe we're taking the wrong approach ... Muslims repect the beliefs of Christians and Jews (per the Koran) and are only supposed to be nasty to unbelievers. Cool ... should get some Muslim group to counter-sue the atheists for interfering with freedom of religion. They seem to have the political clout to get the job done. :-))

JDogger
08-18-2010, 08:45 PM
Yeah, "Eh," how long before we remove the crosses and Stars of David from the headstones at the VA cemetarys across the USA?? What are you talking about? When did I say, or imply that? Please...explain? What I said, and I'll try to say it slowly and loudly, 12 foot crosses on public land are inappropriate!!!

Eh????

RK

BTW, you avoided explaining why you dissed the US Navy, and the Merchant Marine too.

JD

PS have a Jack, a cigar, and please, please ....try.

JD

road kill
08-18-2010, 08:47 PM
The old reductio ad absurdum trick.

Nobody want to remove grave markers, for cryin' out loud.

That is rather inflammatory though, and I suspect that was the true intent of the comment.

The only thing happening with grave markers right now, is they are attempting to fix the screw-ups that were allowed to happen with markers and sites, that never should have happened. There's something REAL you can get upset about, instead of made up inflammatory scenarios.
So you are going to try to have it both ways.

Is a VA cemetary a public place?
Do the markers have crosses and Stars of David on them?And, as usual, you have meandered off topic to deflect.

Game, Set & Match,


RK

road kill
08-18-2010, 08:48 PM
BTW, you avoided explaining why you dissed the US Navy, and the Merchant Marine too.

JD

PS have a Jack, a cigar, and please, please ....try.

JD
You are really grasping for straws now, Eh??

As clever as you fancy yourself, you should do better.



RK

JDogger
08-18-2010, 08:58 PM
You are really grasping for straws now, Eh??

As clever as you fancy yourself, you should do better.



RK


Simmer down rk, we're friends. OK?

JD

dnf777
08-18-2010, 09:00 PM
So you are going to try to have it both ways.

Is a VA cemetary a public place?
Do the markers have crosses and Stars of David on them?And, as usual, you have meandered off topic to deflect.

Game, Set & Match,


RK

More like game, set, and WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??!!

You accuse JD of reaching for straws?

I guarantee you, if anyone starts removing or defiling vet's graves, You, me, and most everyone else on this forum would be side by side whoopin' some ass! Well, maybe Yardley and Gibson would be photographing the whoopin to post for us.... ;)

And you of all people don't need to worry about "dissing" the service. I know you better. But I would recommend taking JD's other advice.....I know I am.

road kill
08-18-2010, 09:02 PM
Simmer down rk, we're friends. OK?

JD


I don't think so.


RK

road kill
08-18-2010, 09:03 PM
More like game, set, and WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??!!

You accuse JD of reaching for straws?

I guarantee you, if anyone starts removing or defiling vet's graves, You, me, and most everyone else on this forum would be side by side whoopin' some ass! Well, maybe Yardley and Gibson would be photographing the whoopin to post for us.... ;)

And you of all people don't need to worry about "dissing" the service. I know you better. But I would recommend taking JD's other advice.....I know I am.

Again, I don't think so.

But at least you have drawn a line.

RK

JDogger
08-18-2010, 09:10 PM
I don't think so.


RK

OK... no landowners elk tag for you ;P

Marvin S
08-18-2010, 09:54 PM
Maybe if Mosques were built under the crosses it would be OK?? RK:barf:

Neither the mosques nor these crosses are appropriate. LE is already being treated like some kind of royalty, the crosses are only to emphasize the fact that they believe they are giving more than others. It works great in negotiations.

Remember that is their chosen profession, for whatever reason. But I can name a few that are not so commendable.

JMO

Doug Kennedy
08-18-2010, 10:20 PM
Well Marvin, after 30 yrs in MY CHOSEN profession I can guarantee you could have slept better at night because I CHOSE that profession

YardleyLabs
08-19-2010, 04:54 AM
So you are going to try to have it both ways.

Is a VA cemetary a public place?
Do the markers have crosses and Stars of David on them?And, as usual, you have meandered off topic to deflect.

Game, Set & Match,


RK
Not even close. If you want the equivalent of what the troopers are doing, allow individual headstones at Arlington to include or exclude any religious symbol preferred by the soldiers family. However, replace all those dull rectangles with crosses.

The cross is not a universal religious symbol; it is the symbol of Christianity. Courts have routinely permitted religious symbols to be displayed on public grounds when symbols of other religions (or non-religions) are permitted/given equally prominent display. Large crosses placed on land owned by a Federal highway constitutes endorsement of Christianity and is prohibited. The State Troopers would have been free to place a non-religious commemorative for fallen officers. Why didn't they choose to. Are they implying that only Christians are good enough to be law enforcement officers worthy of remembrance?

ducknwork
08-19-2010, 06:12 AM
Not even close. If you want the equivalent of what the troopers are doing, allow individual headstones at Arlington to include or exclude any religious symbol preferred by the soldiers family. However, replace all those dull rectangles with crosses.

The cross is not a universal religious symbol; it is the symbol of Christianity. Courts have routinely permitted religious symbols to be displayed on public grounds when symbols of other religions (or non-religions) are permitted/given equally prominent display. So let some illegal drug runner kill a Jewish cop and put up a Star next to the crosses. Problem solved.Large crosses placed on land owned by a Federal highway constitutes endorsement of Christianity and is prohibited. The State Troopers would have been free to place a non-religious commemorative for fallen officers. Why didn't they choose to. Because they should have the freedom to express their religion.Are they implying that only Christians are good enough to be law enforcement officers worthy of remembrance?Not by any means, but are you certain that there were Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc in the group of fallen troopers that are being memorialized? If they are all Christians, what's the beef? Why don't you do a little searching and see what denomination/faith each fallen trooper claimed?

___________________________

YardleyLabs
08-19-2010, 09:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by YardleyLabs http://www.retrievertraining.net/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.retrievertraining.net/forums/showthread.php?p=663126#post663126)
Not even close. If you want the equivalent of what the troopers are doing, allow individual headstones at Arlington to include or exclude any religious symbol preferred by the soldiers family. However, replace all those dull rectangles with crosses.

The cross is not a universal religious symbol; it is the symbol of Christianity. Courts have routinely permitted religious symbols to be displayed on public grounds when symbols of other religions (or non-religions) are permitted/given equally prominent display. So let some illegal drug runner kill a Jewish cop and put up a Star next to the crosses. Problem solved. So now we're saying only a drug runner would want to honor a non-Christian :rolleyes:;-) ? Large crosses placed on land owned by a Federal highway constitutes endorsement of Christianity and is prohibited. The State Troopers would have been free to place a non-religious commemorative for fallen officers. Why didn't they choose to. Because they should have the freedom to express their religion. They do. But they don't have the right to do it on public property any more than I, based on my right to free speech, have the right to post political billboards on public property along I-95. Are they implying that only Christians are good enough to be law enforcement officers worthy of remembrance?Not by any means, but are you certain that there were Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc in the group of fallen troopers that are being memorialized? If they are all Christians, what's the beef? Why don't you do a little searching and see what denomination/faith each fallen trooper claimed? In its arguments, the trooper association argued that the cross was a universally recognized sign for a memorial."only a white cross could effectively convey the simultaneous messages of death, honor, remembrance, gratitude, sacrifice, and safety. I determined this because a cross is widely recognized as a memorial for a person’s death and especially respect to those who have given their lives to insure the safety and protection of others." Effectively the Court has recognized that this "universal" emblem is actually a Christian religious symbol. "Here, we conclude that the cross memorials would convey to a reasonable observer that the state of Utah is endorsing Christianity. The memorials use the preeminent symbol of Christianity, and they do so standing alone (as opposed to it being part of some sort of display involving other symbols)." (Source: http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/08/08-4061.pdf)


My comments in blue.

Marvin S
08-19-2010, 10:55 AM
Well Marvin, after 30 yrs in MY CHOSEN profession I can guarantee you could have slept better at night because I CHOSE that profession

I slept well because of my ever vigilant watchdog & the quickly available deterrents by the night stand. But Thank You for believing you made some sort of difference in the LE world. :)

ducknwork
08-19-2010, 10:56 AM
Originally Posted by ducknwork
Quote:
Originally Posted by YardleyLabs
Not even close. If you want the equivalent of what the troopers are doing, allow individual headstones at Arlington to include or exclude any religious symbol preferred by the soldiers family. However, replace all those dull rectangles with crosses.

The cross is not a universal religious symbol; it is the symbol of Christianity. Courts have routinely permitted religious symbols to be displayed on public grounds when symbols of other religions (or non-religions) are permitted/given equally prominent display. So let some illegal drug runner kill a Jewish cop and put up a Star next to the crosses. Problem solved. So now we're saying only a drug runner would want to honor a non-Christian ? Large crosses placed on land owned by a Federal highway constitutes endorsement of Christianity and is prohibited. The State Troopers would have been free to place a non-religious commemorative for fallen officers. Why didn't they choose to. Because they should have the freedom to express their religion. They do. But they don't have the right to do it on public property any more than I, based on my right to free speech, have the right to post political billboards on public property along I-95. So you can't express your religious or political views on public property? That's a news flash to me!Are they implying that only Christians are good enough to be law enforcement officers worthy of remembrance?Not by any means, but are you certain that there were Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc in the group of fallen troopers that are being memorialized? If they are all Christians, what's the beef? Why don't you do a little searching and see what denomination/faith each fallen trooper claimed? In its arguments, the trooper association argued that the cross was a universally recognized sign for a memorial."only a white cross could effectively convey the simultaneous messages of death, honor, remembrance, gratitude, sacrifice, and safety. I determined this because a cross is widely recognized as a memorial for a person’s death and especially respect to those who have given their lives to insure the safety and protection of others." Effectively the Court has recognized that this "universal" emblem is actually a Christian religious symbol. "Here, we conclude that the cross memorials would convey to a reasonable observer that the state of Utah is endorsing Christianity. The memorials use the preeminent symbol of Christianity, and they do so standing alone (as opposed to it being part of some sort of display involving other symbols)." (Source: http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/08/08-4061.pdf)

.


I picked orange this time.

Roger Perry
08-19-2010, 11:05 AM
Yeah, I was certain you'd be all giddy about this.

Which "certain religion" are they endorsing??



RK

I will tell you which one it is not endorsing, the Jewish religion for one.

YardleyLabs
08-19-2010, 11:16 AM
So you can't express your religious or political views on public property? That's a news flash to me!.....I picked orange this time.
Public property carries the same rights as private property, including the right to restrict use. There is no inherent right for anyone to place signage on public highways rights of way. In fact, that access is closely protected (You might remember Lady Bird Johnson's beautification that resulted in restrictions on all billboards and signage along roadways. That is why the troopers required permission from the State to begin with. Had the crosses been placed on private land, there would not have been the same issues. It was the fact that the State authorized crosses, standing on their own on state owned lands and bearing an official state insignia that created the "endorsement of an establishment of religion."

ducknwork
08-19-2010, 11:18 AM
What if they had left off the state insignia you referenced?

YardleyLabs
08-19-2010, 11:23 AM
What if they had left off the state insignia you referenced?
They cannot have a cross standing by itself on public land. To meet the tests defined by the courts, it would have to be displayed in a context with other items that made it clear that the display as a whole was not endorsing religion over non-religion or any particular flavor of religion (e.g., Christianity) over another (e.g., anything except Christianity). Failure of either test would make the display illegal on public lands. The court's decision is actually pretty interesting and lays out the reasoning and the legal issues very clearly.

ducknwork
08-19-2010, 11:25 AM
They cannot have a cross standing by itself on public land. To meet the tests defined by the courts, it would have to be displayed in a context with other items that made it clear that the display as a whole was not endorsing religion over non-religion or any particular flavor of religion (e.g., Christianity) over another (e.g., anything except Christianity). Failure of either test would make the display illegal on public lands. The court's decision is actually pretty interesting and lays out the reasoning and the legal issues very clearly.

And if someone other than the govt had erected it?

YardleyLabs
08-19-2010, 11:35 AM
And if someone other than the govt had erected it?
The government didn't erect it and didn't own it. The trooper's association did both. The entire government involvement was to approve placing the signs on public lands. The approval given, in an effort to get around the legal difficulties (which were well understood by those involved, made it explicit that they were approving the placement of memorials for the troopers and not the appearance of the display, which would be decided by the trooper's association. The court decision, under the precedents established by the SCOTUS, makes it clear that any act by the government approving or permitting the display of crosses in the manner done by the trooper's was a violation. It was not a procedural decision, it is simply a statement. No, that cannot be done. The troopers are free to put up a memorial, but it may not be in the form of a recognizable religious symbol being displayed ion its own.

Gerry Clinchy
08-19-2010, 11:41 AM
They cannot have a cross standing by itself on public land. To meet the tests defined by the courts, it would have to be displayed in a context with other items that made it clear that the display as a whole was not endorsing religion over non-religion or any particular flavor of religion (e.g., Christianity) over another (e.g., anything except Christianity). Failure of either test would make the display illegal on public lands. The court's decision is actually pretty interesting and lays out the reasoning and the legal issues very clearly.

It might stand to reason then, that if the fallen officers had represented varied relgious faiths, there should have been no objection, as no single religion would have been "endorsed"?

What about those little signs one sees on roadways mentioning the presence of this or that church nearby?

YardleyLabs
08-19-2010, 12:19 PM
It might stand to reason then, that if the fallen officers had represented varied relgious faiths, there should have been no objection, as no single religion would have been "endorsed"?

What about those little signs one sees on roadways mentioning the presence of this or that church nearby?
If rats were elephants, they would have trunks...... (and what sign for those with no specified religion?)

Those little signs are offered without restriction to almost any organization with a non-commercial place of public gathering on payment of a nominal fee. The signs, at least where my church is located, have a non-descriptive shape and no religious symbols, only the name of the group and the distance. In my area, you may also see signs that are actually located on private property. They are also regulated but may be religious or political in nature.

The issue remains a simple one. The government may not take actions that give the appearance of endorsing religion over non-religion,or any particular religious belief or beliefs over other beliefs or beliefs (e.g. Christian over non-Christian, Baptist over Methodist, believer over atheist). It is an easy restriction to follow. One can also spend an infinite amount of time trying to get around it. Unless you really want to live in a theocracy (possibly led by a religion you hate), my question would be "why bother?"