A 78-year-old cross on public property in Florida targeted by atheist groups will remain standing after a victory in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled Wednesday that the Bayview Cross in Pensacola, which was built ahead of World War II as a place for the community to gather, does not violate the Constitution. “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 a statement. The federal appeals court ruled the cross is constitutional, noting it has become “embedded in the fabric of the Pensacola community” and that removing it could “strike many as aggressively hostile to religion.” Four individuals, represented by the American Humanist Association and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, sued the city in 2016, demanding the cross be torn down. Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson celebrated the ruling. “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. “Today the citizens of Pensacola will celebrate our long-awaited victory and the preservation of the Bayview Cross.” The decision came after the June 2019 Supreme Court’s landmark religious liberty case, American Legion v. American Humanist Association, in which First Liberty Institute successfully defended the World War I memorial cross in Bladensburg, Md. “The Supreme Court made clear in The American Legion decision that the days of governments roaming the land to scrub all public symbols of faith are over,” Mike Berry, general counsel to First Liberty Institute, said. “We’re thrilled to see our victory in that case already making an impact and protecting religious freedom across the country.” Monica Miller, American Humanist Association legal director and senior counsel, said the group is exploring all their options, calling it a “devastating blow” to the Establishment Clause.
Oh WHAAAA Monica! This is an OUTSTANDING decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and one we should ALL be celebrating. It is a clear and decisive victory for our religious freedoms. Despite what these whining atheists would have you believe, the 1st Amendment only says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..” Our founders who wrote that had fled religious persecution in Great Britain where there was an official national religion. So, they wanted to make sure that there was no official religion of the United States. BUT, our founders didn’t want religion (especially Christianity) banned from the public, or from our public schools…which is where that second part comes in. In other words, we have freedom OF religion, but not freedom FROM religion. Thank God.
A pair of Christian artists can’t be forced by the city government of Phoenix to make invitations for same-sex marriages, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, the owners of Brush & Nib Studio, were accused of violating a local anti-discrimination ordinance. Monday’s 4-3 decision reversed a lower-court ruling that favored the city. “An individual has autonomy over his or her speech and thus may not be forced to speak a message he or she does not wish to say,” the court’s majority decision read. Duka, a calligrapher, and Koski, a painter, were threatened with six months jail time and $2,500 in fines for every day they were in violation of the ordinance. They are now celebrating their judicial victory as “a huge win for religious freedom and freedom of speech.” Duka and Koski told “Fox News @ Night” last year they “serve all people” and decided to challenge the law to defend “the right of artists to create freely.” “Joanna and Breanna work with all people; they just don’t promote all messages,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Jonathan Scruggs, who argued on the pair’s behalf, said in a statement. “They, like all creative professionals, should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment.” Writing for the majority, Justice Andrew Gould concluded that the city of Phoenix “cannot apply its Human Relations Ordinance” to force Brush & Nib to “create custom wedding invitations celebrating same-sex wedding ceremonies in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs.” “Duka and Koski’s beliefs about same-sex marriage may seem old-fashioned, or even offensive to some,” Gould wrote. “But the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion are not only for those who are deemed sufficiently enlightened, advanced, or progressive. They are for everyone.”
Exactly!! And well said, your Honor. We applaud this outstanding decision by the AZ Supreme Court. Like the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of a Colorado baker for a similar situation, this is a BIG victory for freedom of speech and freedom of religion…some of our most basic values. Excellent!! 🙂
Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska blasted left-wing groups for attacking Second Lady Karen Pence’s decision to resume her teaching career at a Christian school in Washington. Mrs. Pence was recently hired to teach art at a school that some critics said is homophobic because a document from the school asks students “not to participat[e] in, support or condone sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bisexual activity.” The Human Rights Campaign was one group to speak out, tweeting that the Pences “never miss an opportunity to show their public service only extends to some.” Sasse called the outrage “absurd” and said that Pence’s religious beliefs were under attack. “She doesn’t need a job, she’s doing this to love thy neighbor, through art,” Sasse said, calling the criticism a “fundamentally unamerican way to think.” Sasse added that a judge from his home state was subjected to similar scrutiny from Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California, who questioned — among other things — his membership in the Knights of Columbus. Judge Brian Buescher, who President Trump nominated to a federal judgeship in the Cornhusker State, is a devout Roman Catholic and member of the religion’s historic fraternal organization for men. Sasse said the Senate passed a resolution late Wednesday that rebuked Hirono and Harris: “The sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States,” the resolution read, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
To see that article, scroll down 1 article immediately below. Kudos to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb) for standing up to the pc police and speech nazis who hate Catholics and Christians of all stripes. More politicians on BOTH sides of the political aisle should follow his fine example.