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

Today is Openly Secular Day! Show others in your community that they know a huma...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Victory! A public school in Colorado will no longer be allowed to partner with O...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

How are you celebrating Earth Day? Here is how some of our chapters are celebrat...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The latest issue of the Humanist magazine features SMART Recovery USA, a secular...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

“A freshman student was required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, despite...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Who was Leo P. Thornton?

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

National Day of Reason is two weeks away! If you think reason, not prayer, shoul...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

For more information about The Humanist Institute, please visit: http://humanist...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA is excited to present The Onion with the 2015 Humanist Media Award. This...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Only 5 more days until ReAsonCon 2015. Get your tickets today! Visit the link be...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Seculars have been quiet and invisible as a demographic for too long, but Openly...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss the upcoming annual BSIC panel discussion entitled “Imagining the Fut...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

We’re featuring new comics this week by Polyp Cartoonist! For more great comics...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

What would Molly Ringwald say about privacy? Should a student attending a privat...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Luis Granados explains why Ayaan Hirsi is wrong about Islamic reform in his revi...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA legal director David Niose, author of Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming Am...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week, AHA staff member Jessica Xiao interviewed Lynn Rothschild, senior sci...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is Ask an Atheist Day! Have a question about atheism, humanism, or non-bel...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Could we see an open Humanist in Congress in 2016? It seems Maryland Senator Jam...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on The Humanist Hour #146: A Conversation with Lisa Montoya, Seminary...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Mother's Day is right around the corner! If you are shopping for that special la...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

The world's most and least religious countries.

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Shortly after we ensure that teachers won't pass out Bibles to their students at...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Robert Ray, President of Humanists of North Puget Sound, delivered a humanist in...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss Kelly Carlin, daughter of atheist comedian George Carlin, at AHA's 74...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

What should the humanist response to terrorism be? Clay Farris Naff has some pro...

12 days ago