Subscribe to RSS - religious symbols on public land

Texas Tall Tale: Americans United Is Anti-Christian – Not!

Is Americans United anti-Christian? Of course not.

We exist to defend the constitutional separation of church and state, a principle that protects alike Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, non-believers and persons with all sorts of opinions about religion. But you’d never know that by listening to some of our opponents.

In Hays County, Texas, the Commissioners Court had a habit of opening most of its sessions with Christian prayers. A local resident called AU to object to this sectarian practice, so our legal department sent along a letter on the subject. Read more

Cross Fire: The Latest Effort To Save Christian ‘War Memorial’ Should Fail

Let’s say you had a relative who fought and died in World War II and who was an atheist (or a Jew or a Hindu). Let’s say the government told you it was going to honor your relative’s sacrifice to our nation with a 43-foot cross atop a mountain in San Diego.

Is this acceptable to you – a cross honoring your deceased, non-Christian veteran?

It’s not to a lot of people. Yet that’s exactly what’s going on at Mt. Soledad in California. Read more

Flag Furor: North Carolina Town Battles Over Christian Banner

Americans United has always strived to educate the public about what the Constitution says about religious freedom.

Some days, we feel we have done a good job and that most Americans really do understand that keeping the government separate from religion is the only way to secure religious liberty for all. Other days, however, we are reminded of how much more work we have ahead of us to make that message clear.

Today is one of those disappointing days. Read more

Cross Loss: High Court Narrowly Rules In Favor Of Park Religious Symbol

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a religious symbol dispute that is almost certain to leave a Latin cross standing in a public park in California.

The court was split 5-4, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing the plurality opinion. Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Antonin Scalia backed the decision, while Justices John Paul Stevens, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented. Read more

Jesus Meets Einstein In Little Rock: You Don't Have To Be A Genius To Understand The Bill Of Rights

Ah, Christmas! The time of year when our thoughts turn to decorated holiday trees, presents, eggnog and Albert Einstein.

Wait a minute – Albert Einstein?

Yep, the theoretical physicist and all-around super-genius has become an official part of the holiday season, at least in Arkansas. Einstein will appear in a Solstice display at the state capitol in Little Rock, thanks to a recent ruling by a federal court. Read more

Silly Question, Easy Answer: Is The Cross A Symbol Of Christianity?

It's been a little while since we've had an update on the Mt. Soledad cross controversy, but today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is finally hearing oral arguments to decide if this cross is a religious symbol or a generic and secular emblem of death.

It seems like it would be such an obvious answer – the cross represents Christianity!

And that's just what Alex Luchenitser, AU's senior litigation counsel, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Read more