AHA News |  

Mojave Cross Doesn't Represent All Americans, Humanists Say

Washington, D.C., April 28, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that a cross in the Mojave Desert National Preserve can stay in the federal park sets a bad precedent for similar church-state separation cases, the American Humanist Association argued today. The 5-4 ruling in Salazar v. Buono issued today held that the District Court failed to properly consider Congress's transfer of the public land upon which the cross sits and that the cross may remain at least until the District Court makes a proper determination otherwise.

"Predictably, five conservative justices on the Supreme Court today saw no evil in letting a Christian cross represent all Americans, notwithstanding the fact that the cross is the preeminent symbol of but one religion--Christianity," said Bob Ritter, the legal coordinator of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, legal arm of the AHA. "If this is not ‘an establishment of religion' I don't know what is."

In July, 2009, Ritter submitted a friend of the court brief on behalf of the American Humanist Association and five other nonprofits, calling upon the court to affirm the decision of the 9th Circuit ordering the removal of the cross from public land.

After a district court ordered the removal of the cross on federal property in the California desert, Congress authorized the exchange of land the cross sits on to the Veterans of Foreign Wars for other land privately held in the Preserve. They also designated the cross as a national war memorial. This transaction was disputed by the 9th Circuit Court, which observed the result to be "a little donut hole of land with a cross in the midst of a vast federal preserve."

"It's clear the government was willing to do anything it took in order to keep the cross in the middle of federal land," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. "And now we'll almost certainly see such shady tactics put to use again."

The American Humanist Association ( www.americanhumanist.org ) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in a god.

###

American Humanist Association

What would you say if your child wanted to believe in God but you don't? Ethical...

12 hours ago

American Humanist Association

The 2014 year is coming to an end and theHumanist.com has compiled a list of the...

14 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Tis the season to be a heathen! Check out great freethought merchandise at Evolv...

16 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Five stars for Fighting Back the Right, the new book from AHA's David Niose, fro...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Many humanists celebrate Human Light or the Winter Solstice around this time of...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

A South Carolina school district has agreed to stop sponsoring religious fundrai...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, James Croft discusses the complex issues...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Freethought Fort Wayne, to the American Hu...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

"It’s not just about the freedom to enjoy marijuana anymore...This is about the...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

There's only a few holiday shopping days left: Buy your favorite freethinker a g...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Bill Nye, our favorite science guy, explains evolution by using emoji..."emojica...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Out today! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Congratulations to the Las Vegas Coalition of Reason on the occasion of their of...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanist Service Corps has volunteer positions open beginning in summer 2015...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

In a response to a letter sent by the AHA, today we are pleased to report that t...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Most Americans say they accept Christian displays on public property, regardless...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

UBER car service has been getting in to some trouble lately, but will that stop...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

A date for history, as today marks the anniversary of the ratification of the U....

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

One more day! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Rea...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

It's almost here! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy some comics!

7 days ago