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.”
#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: 1/ https://t.co/LQ2uztspwj pic.twitter.com/zR7bbayL1x
— Luke Goodrich (@LukeWGoodrich) February 19, 2020
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?
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