Atheists were dealt a major blow after this court just handed down a victory for religious freedom and free speech

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For decades, atheists and other anti-Christian, anti-American activists have made it a goal to remove every symbol of our Christian heritage from all aspects of public life.

From the removal of Ten Commandments from court rooms, to the banning of the teaching of the Bible in public schools, atheists have had victory after victory in their battle to ban God.

But now, atheists were dealt a major setback in a victory for religious freedom and free speech.

Atheists were on a winning streak for decades in America, forcing Christianity out of the public realm.

They even went so far as to rename Christmas plays and celebrations as “Winter celebrations.” And in cities and towns across the country the traditional Christmas nativity scenes have been removed from any public place.

But, in recent years, more conservative (and frankly more logical) jurists have started rejecting the false “separation of church and state” arguments brought before the courts.

And now, in a sweeping victory that could have repercussions nationwide, Pensacola, Florida has beat back a years-long challenge by atheists to remove a World War II era cross.

The historic marker will remain standing after a major legal victory in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The court ruled last week that the 78-year-old Bayview Cross, built as a community gathering place during the traumatic time leading up to World War II, is not unconstitutional and will be allowed to stand.

According to a media release from Becket, a non-profit pro-religious liberty organization that defended the cross’ continued presence, this case began in 2016.

That year, four “concerned” individuals represented by the American Humanist Association sued the city of Pensacola and demanded the cross be torn down.

The nonprofit group correctly pointed out that “three of the individuals did not even live in Pensacola and the fourth had actually held his own ceremonies at the cross.”

Both the original trial court and the 11th Circuit originally ruled that the cross was unconstitutional under the so-called “Lemon test.”

This test was long used by courts to decide whether a particular law or local ordinance violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits Congress from establishing or favoring one religion over another.

But to everyone’s surprise, the 11th Circuit was ordered to reconsider its first ruling after the Supreme Court’s landmark 2019 decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association.

This resounding 7-2 decision by the court scrapped the Lemon Test in all cases involving longstanding symbols.

“The Supreme Court has now made clear that religious symbols are an important part of our nation’s history and culture,” Luke Goodrich, Vice President and senior counsel at Becket, said in response to the new ruling.

And in a Tweet Goodrich wrote, “#BREAKING: The 11th Circuit just ruled that the #BayviewCross, which has stood in a @CityofPensacola park for almost 80 years, is allowed to STAY! This is a major victory for #ReligiousFreedom and an important new precedent.”

According to Fox News, Pensacola’s Mayor Grover Robinson said “the citizens of Pensacola will celebrate our long-awaited victory and the preservation of the Bayview Cross.”

The cross in question was built in Bayview Park in 1941 as a place for the community to unite as the U.S. entered WWII.

Pensacola is a largely military town and home to the Navy’s Pensacola Naval Air Station as well as other bases. Today, people gather for community events like Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, weddings and Easter sunrise services.

“Pensacola is a historic city with a rich and diverse history. The Bayview Cross is an important part of that history as a symbol of our community’s coming together during a national crisis,” Robinson said.

Of course the American Humanist Association disagreed, with its legal director and senior counsel Monica Miller calling the ruling a “devastating blow.”

What do you think about the court’s ruling?

Share your thoughts with Culture Watch News in the comments below.

45 COMMENTS

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  2. All Christian Apologists agree the number one reason why people don’t embrace Christ or Christianity is because of moral issues. This is as old as the story of Adam and Eve…man wanting to claim his independence from The Creator. It is interesting how God’s Word says they are without excuse for not believing God because of the things God has made. And, who do the non-believers think is maintaining the universe right now…Mr. and Mrs. random chance? You have to have a lot more faith to believe that lie.

  3. Very sick evil people on the left. They derive pleasure from causing pain and suffering onto other people.
    Separation of church and state isn’t even in the constitution, and they know religious symbols on public land is not a violation of the establishment clause. The government isn’t establishing any religion by allowing a cross to be there. And they are lying when they say religious symbols offends them. Nobody can be offended by a cross. That’s pure nonsense. Nobody has a constitutional right to not be offended anything. Just like nobody has a constitutional right to not be called bad names.

  4. I, for one person, am sick and tired of the stupidity of the politically correct crowd and those who blindly follow them. They better wake up because the time is coming when humanity will find out Who has the final say because man is not God. People will disagree with and hammer this, but it doesn’t change the facts – God is God, man is not, even though he thinks he is. If he is, there’s no hope because humanity has shown how dumb and illogical it is.

  5. I have totally agree, our Christian and religious monuments, and other monuments that depict our heritage shall remain as tall as every, it is our history, wether some like it or not. Confederate or Union, we are all one, Amen

  6. There will be a day when all of us Christians and Jews alike will say we’ve had enough of being treated as if we have no rights to practice our faith. We must stand together and stand tall. Let the atheists celebrate their one holiday dedicated to them – APRIL 1st.

  7. Now, it’s time for a COUNTER ATTACK and SUE the American HUMANIST ASSOCIATION into POVERTY including the members of it as a HARD EARNED lesson not to mess with 1st Amendment rights in the U.S. Constitution. We WILL come after YOU. WE are a CHRISTIAN Nation, LIKE it or NOT, and we will STAY that way. We WON’T allow our rights to be TRAMPLED upon. That is how GOD intended it, this is how our God Fearing Founding Fathers ESTABLISHED it Under God, and that is how it must STAY! Team Trump and his allies 2020.

  8. Ask all the atheists that have been in war. Guess who they ask to help them make it out alive? It ain’t no political correct ass. God bless us all.

  9. Another reason that people (especially Millennials) don’t embrace MORALITY and the faith is because (until now) WE really haven’t embraced it ourselves LATELY. We’ve allowed this to slip BY US, right through our fingers because we’ve been to BUSY with OUR life, and we forgot HIS life, the Lord Jesus Christ, the giver of ALL good BLESSINGS and life. We must RISE UP! The American RENAISSANCE has begun as WELL as the REVIVAL of all GOOD things God. Team Trump and his allies 2020.

  10. What part of separation of Church and State do people have to put up with before we get it right ….God did NOT write the Constitution, our founding fathers were trying to keep religion out of government, and why is Christianity the true way, over Islam, Buddha, Judaism, Hindu teaching ….I thought ALL are acceptable in this country …

  11. I don’t understand why all these different groups keep trying to delete our countries history. That cross was put up long before most if not all of them were even born. If these people can’t except our country that was built by far better people than they are, maybe they should find a country they agree with and go there . The majority of real AMERICANS LOVE OUR COUNTRY JUST THE WAY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS INTENDED IT TO BE.

  12. Harvey J. Stone – You are correct. All religions are allowed in this country. The rights of the people to worship how and where they please should not be abridged. That does not mean that we should tear down monuments simply because someone might not like someone else’s way of worship. I see no reason to tear down the Washington Monument because somebody might think it idolatrous. The same goes for the Lincoln Memorial and all the other monuments in the country. They are a part of who we are as a people. Be accepting that the cross might mean something different to others.

  13. Maybe if Monica Miller is nailed to the Cross, her cult minions will learn to respect the right of others to practice their faith.The SIGHT of THE CROSS is what’s driving the atheists insane. But the sight of crossdressers, trans, and all denominations of snowflakes makes me nauseous, but I am not trying to prevent them from looking the idiots they are.

  14. GOD IS ALIVE AND WELL IN AMERICA! … OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED! … THIS COUNTRY IS MAKING A SHARP “RIGHT” TURN TOWARDS GOD!

  15. I thought that government is not to set up a religion like the English did…like in 1776. No where did it say people cannot worship God. Why English are still worshipping under religion used to kill wives. I’ll never understant

  16. If atheist don’t believe in God or that God exist, then why do they even bother to make such an issue about it? Why give it any thought if, in the atheist’s mind, God doesn’t exist.

  17. What if it weren’t a Cross, but a Star of David, or a Muslim mosque or a Hindu temple? Crosses and Nativity Scenes are fine on *private* property, but when placed on public property, then it’s state-sponsored, the government favoring one religion or one set of beliefs over all others. It sends the wrong message to religious minorities, telling them they are not welcome here, or their faith is not as important as the majority faith.

    “We will not let anyone push God from the public square,” Trump said at a press conference.

    Nor push the Goddess from the public square, either?

    Students already have the right to pray on their own time. The First Amendment merely prevents state-sponsored prayer in the public schools. The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof. When Bible readings and prayers are state-sponsored, like theistic slogans like “In God We Trust” appearing on coins and currency, then it’s the government respecting an establishment of religion, and it violates the First Amendment.

    Respecting an establishment of religion in a broader sense really *does* mean not favoring one set of beliefs over another. Thomas Jefferson was laissez-faire (“hands-off”) towards all belief *and* disbelief, not caring whether his neighbor believed in twenty gods or no god. Religious leaders warned that if Jefferson were elected president, Bibles would be confiscated, churches would be closed down. Clearly, that didn’t happen. Secularists are NOT atheists!

    Do we really want the government deciding which religion is true and which is false? It’s like the government dictating that Baptists are true Christians and born agains aren’t, or the government deciding that Catholic Christianity is true Christianity and Protestant Christianity is false. Considering all the religious wars which went on in Europe, the founding fathers of the United States wisely chose to separate church and state.

    Again, students already have the right to pray on their own time. The First Amendment merely prevents state-sponsored prayer in the public schools. The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof. When Bible readings and prayers are state-sponsored, like theistic slogans like “In God We Trust” appearing on coins and currency, then it’s the government respecting an establishment of religion, and it violates the First Amendment.

    The real issue here is not “atheists” trying to silence prayer, it’s Christians pushing their religion on others where it doesn’t belong.

  18. Why are people so enamored of a symbol of execution? Some even wear it around their necks! It’s like wearing a tiny electric chair on a chain as jewelry. Or a little noose. Why don’t we erect huge electric chairs on public property? People would complain that that’s stupid. Well now you know how I feel.

  19. Some comments start speaking of “Separation of Church & State”. However, this is not in the constitution. The Bill of Rights states “The Government shall no establish a religion nor prohibit the free exercise there of”. What part of that don’t you understand. Because a majority of the people raise a cross, does not mean they are establishing a religion. They may be acknowledging a God, via the cross, but this is not establishing a religion. The same is true of our money which states “In God We Trust”, and this applies to any religion. The founding fathers even went so far as to state “We have unalienable rights endowed by our Creator”. This is not establishing of religion. This is just acknowledging there is a higher power known as God. The people who keep referring to “Separation of Church & State” should research this statement and they will find it is only in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, and he did not want this as part of the Constitution.

  20. Carolina van winkle That is why we have the 1st Amendment so we do not have a Church of the United States. It does seem to get in the way of Human sacrifices as they will not lets us throw people in to the Volcano to appease the Gods. I can remember when we had morning prayer in school and could never see how they could offend anyone they were so generic. But yet some one was offended ok we did away with that , Then Christmas carols gone, wishing someone a Merry Christmas just about gone! Churches have been sued for displaying crosses! One Atheist said he was disturb by all of them when driving down the street and wanted them removed! Another group wanted a lighted cross removed from the hillside Under some sign code but these people were told to pound sand by the courts. But the Bill of Rights is under attack by the democrats. Sometimes those attacks are violent and they Police are under orders not to do anything. I have to agree that it must be the godless people out there. This seems like it is what the Democrats want every time I read the news about the attacks on other groups and the police will do nothing I think that the Democrats want it to get so bad that we will call for the military to come and take over and they will want to control the military just like under a dictatorship!

  21. Go away Vasu. You are uneducated and ill equipped to make any comment let alone an intelligent one. Then you ramble on and on speaking about things you could not possibly have any understanding of. You would do well to understand a short passage in the Bible, “God will not be mocked.” We are still, “One nation under God.”

  22. I live 45 minutes east of Pensacola Fla. I have stood by that cross MANY times! 4, 4 (I am repeating myself because of the idiocy of it all) people had a problem with the cross. The minority and when are we “concerned Americans” going to get WOKE”?!?!?
    Vasu, when are you going to realize that Christian Americans still hold the majority of the vote?!?!?!?
    We (Americans) had better WAKE UP or all that we love will be changed real soon and then will we complain? Really?
    All these “atheists” that claim no religion make sure that they not only DO NOT buy Christmas presents, that they don’t even have birthday presents. Not even a Christmas tree and that they definitely DO NOT take off Christmas Day. THESE things mentioned have EVERYTHING to do with Christianity (for those that do not understand, “the birth of Christ”) so make sure that they work on that important holiday and give Christians the day off and…. also Thanksgiving Day. You shouldn’t take it off because it’s a Christian Holiday. I’m just saying…
    so hallelujah , the Cross in Pensacola stays!

  23. The constitution states “we the people” and “of the people by the people and for the people” That means that the government (state or Federal) can not endorse a religion. But the people do have that right for their locality, that is not the government. What the constitution protects is that we will not force them to accept our religion, but we do not have to accept their religion that is our right and theirs also.

  24. Truthteller (supposedly), We are not enamored of an execution symbol. We are enamored of the Person who died on it. The cross stands for that Person. Today’s electric chairs and nooses are for criminals. Surely, even someone like you can separate the two?

  25. I will say this but once you completely delusional and in a total state of denial babble thumpers, no religion should be taught in public, if you want your children learning about your phony god that is what catechism is for, is it not enough of a crime that in some schools they are forcing islamic beliefs onto children.

    Keep your religion in your place of worship it has no place in public schools.

  26. True that the law only pertained to the government being prejudiced in favor of particular religions but this is one time I approve of the federal court system banishing all teaching of religion from the public school system.

  27. Hey Harvey, the Islamic cult was not in the beginning because of the savagery that is still practiced today and rightfully should NOT be. As for those whining about Christianity, there are plenty of places they might go in the world and in this country where their wittle feelwings won’t get hurt.

  28. If atheists believe God is a fairy tale and doesn’t exist then why do they get so upset about nativity scenes and crosses? Why can’t they just shrug it off and go about their business? Think about that for a moment.

  29. For those who have not rewritten US history, this country was founded on Judeo/Christian principles. Just because we have had open borders and have not made other people with other religions assimilate into our culture does not mean we should ignore our history.

  30. Craig Michael Vandertie: This story is about a cross erected leading up to WW2.Before ANYONE took issue of someone expressing their belief in GOD and showing it. When prayer was indeed part of the school day. A more RESPECTFUL time back then. But this story is not about prayer in schools as your rant stated. You sound like a very bitter, disgruntle ex Catholic. Not a Christian per se. But a Catholic by your reference to catechism. This sounds like a “personal” crisis for you. But I must warn you, by you denying HIM , by calling HIM a phony GOD, so too will HE deny you, when you no longer walk on this earth. Having said this, it is your choice. You have chosen poorly though.
    Since you are cheering the federal government for banning prayer in schools, perhaps you can explain to me then why the Muslims are allowed to pray in our school system, but no one else??? THIS is what should have you up in arms …

  31. There is no separation of church and state in the US Constitution. Everyone is free to worship or not worship their GOD. It amazes me that atheists who doesn’t believe in GOD (their choice) get so upset about a nativity scene or cross. If they don’t believe in GOD why should a religious symbol like a nativity scene or display or a cross bother them? Go about your business.

  32. Sharon,
    It bothers the atheist because they do not believe in absolute truth. All truth to them is relative. If is quite convenient for them to deny the existence of a moral and ethical creator of the universe. If there are no moral and ethical absolutes there is no creator to sin against. If someone would say to the atheist to shut their mouth and that we were not interested in what they had to say, the atheist would think that is a wrong or bad thing to say which indicates they do believe in some acceptable means of behavior. It is situational to the atheist because they do not want to recognize any moral or ethical boundaries.

  33. When 2 people are disagreeing about the temperature of a room because one is too warm & the other too cool, normally the cold one will say “you can only take off so much, but you can always put on more”, insinuating that it’s easier to put it to a cooler temperature & the warmer one can easily compensate by wearing more clothing, something the cooler one can only do to a point. As far as religion & state are concerned this can be applied by the aethiests can merely look away from the “disgusting religious item” whereas if the Aetheists had their way & it were removed forever, Christians could NEVER AGAIN see it. That is like the cold possibly ending up nude, it is INCORRECT, IMMORAL. Something our Forefathers would have NEVER fathomed happening. They would have NEVER thought someone to be SO LOW as to not be going to church or to NOT believe in GOD. That is the only reason it is not written in the Constitution. They did not imagine that ANY ONE of the people of the United State would ever come to that low a state. However, if they wish to be, they can AT LEAST put up with OTHER PEOPLES’ beleifs as WE ARE PUTTING UP WITH THEM HAVING NONE!

  34. The lack of faith and belief in God is the reason we have all these shootings going around. Guns are not the culprit, it’s the ones that lack religion and hold them. How many times have you ever heard of a gun going out and killing someone? Why 40 years ago did we not have all these active shootings going on? Because 40 years ago most everyone went to the church of their desire, and they insured that their children attended also.

  35. Carolina, this country was founded by Christians who left us a nation based on their Christian values. Killing wives???? Jesus forbids all murder. Try reading the New Testament and find who He is and His great love for you

  36. Craig Michael, your ignorance is profound. God is very real. You will know that the moment you die that He is far from phony. You have the same choice as everyone else to follow Jesus to Heaven or satan to Hell. If you bother to check, there is historical evidence that Jesus was here. But just keep denying the truth and remain a fool. And our founding fathers gave us the first amendment giving us the RIGHT to worship God when and where we want. If you don’t like that, you are free to MOVE. Our founding fathers required Bibles in schools.

  37. I must admit: I do not know the “Culture” that is supposed to be watched here.
    Real Culture does not know censorship – nor “political correctness”.
    But, whoever censors here, does not belong here.

  38. The ruling for this World War II memorial cross, follows the 2018 ruling for the World War I memorial cross, the Brandenburg war memorial. Let’s applaud these traditional values victories, and to hell with the atheists, which is exactly where they will wind up.

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