• Hurray! Another Big Court Victory Reaffirms Constitution Doesn’t Require Public Hostility to Christianity

    Surge Summary: A breaking court decision gives the constitutional thumbs up to Lehigh County Pennsylvania’s seal which contains the image of a cross — among many others. No censorship required. 

    More reason to rejoice among those who endorse what America’s Founding Charter – the Constitution — originally meant, versus what today’s secular Leftists have been twisting it to mean:

    A federal appellate court on Thursday rejected an attempt by the Wisconsin-based atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) to censor the image of a cross from Lehigh County’s historic seal. [News Staff/CBN News ]

    The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia ruled 3-0 that after the Supreme Court upheld the Bladensburg Cross war memorial as an historic monument, Lehigh County can maintain its seal as a symbol that “has become part of the community.”

    Nice to know that, in the United States, we don’t have to hide and shrink from anything that publicly hints at Christianity or Judeo-Christian influence, isn’t it?

    Lehigh County’s seal has been in use for over 70 years – two generations! — and features a cross representing the region’s early German settlers fleeing persecution in their homeland and seeking religious freedom in America. In that time, it has apparently generated zero meaningful complaints The seal also features multiple other images:  grain silos, textiles, the Liberty Bell, and a red heart, to name a few — which reflect other important aspects of the Lehigh county’s varied history and culture.

    Becket, a non-profit religious rights law firm, represented Lehigh County, arguing that the Constitution allows communities to maintain religious symbols in the public square in recognition of the significant role of religion in our history and culture.

    “It is common sense that religion played a role in the lives of our nation’s early settlers. Recognizing that is just as constitutional as honoring symbols like the Liberty Bell,'” Diana Verm, senior counsel at Becket said in a press release. “It is only right that Lehigh County can continue honoring its history and culture.”

    This is not a particularly controversial observation. Images of historic significance abound on the seals and flags of states, counties, and towns across the nation. But in 2016, FFRF sued to try to censor the cross from Lehigh County’s seal. In September 2017, a federal judge ruled in FFRF’s favor, following a Supreme Court case, Lemon v. Kurtzman, which requires courts to guess whether the government is trying to “endorse” religion whenever it mentions God or religion.

    Becket argues that judges must apply the actual text and historical meaning of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has since moved away from the so-called Lemon test, ruling that religious symbols in government and in the public square that was acceptable at our nation’s founding are still acceptable today. The court on Thursday followed that precedent.

    “Precedent” is terrifically important in Supreme Court rulings. One high-court finding – even one decades-old or older – can powerfully shape Justice’s response to contemporary cases; again, witness the lately decided Bladensburg case. This pattern is one reason wrong-headed court precedents need to be aggressively overturned and sensible, constitutionally consistent ones reaffirmed.

    Becket has also defended a World War II religious memorial in a Montana ski resort, a 9/11 Ground Zero cross artifact, and an historic Pensacola park cross monument, among others.

    “This decision is another nail in the coffin of the Lemon test, making room for our nation’s founding principle that religion is not a blight to be scrubbed from the public square, especially when it represents our history,” said Verm.

    So, it’s official: public hostility to Christianity not required in America. Whew.

    Image: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9156051

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