‘Free-Thinking’ Atheists Score Legal Victory In Florida After Judge Orders 34-Foot Cross In Bayview Park To Be Taken Down

(Public domain image)

For 75 years, Bayview Park, in a Pensacola, Florida neighborhood, has been home to a large cross. The 1941 wooden cross, erected by a New Deal agency, was replaced by a civic group in 1969 with a 34-foot concrete “Latin cross.” No one complained until recently. On June 19, a federal judge ordered it to be taken down.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson was sympathetic to the Christians who wanted the cross to stay, but felt he had no choice but to rule against them.

“Thousands upon thousands,” he noted, made their way each year to attend Easter services and to commemorate Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. But this mattered not a whit to the militant atheists at the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Humanist Association: they filed suit claiming the cross violated the First Amendment.

The claims made by the atheists are transparently dishonest, and the ruling by Judge Vinson is proof positive that the U.S. Supreme Court has created mass confusion on this issue.

Plaintiff Amanda Kondrat’yev said she first encountered the cross while walking through Bayview Park with a friend in 2008 or 2009. Here is what the lawsuit said:

“She was immediately affronted by the government’s enormous Christian cross display and expressed feelings of shock to her friend as soon as they saw the imposing Christian symbol. She has had unwelcome contact with the Bayview Cross approximately 30 times since….The giant cross in Bayview Park significantly impedes [her] use and enjoyment of the local park. Due to the presence of the Bayview Cross, and its enormous size, [she] finds it difficult, if not impossible, to fully enjoy the park.”

This account strains credulity. How in the world did she know that the Bayview Cross wasn’t erected on government leased land and was paid for by private sources? More important, would it have made any difference if it were privately owned and on leased land? After all, the “shock” at seeing an “enormous,” “imposing” and “giant” cross would surely be enough to “significantly impede”—if not make it “impossible”—for her to enjoy the park.

It is obvious that militant atheists hate the sight of the cross. Nor can it be doubted that some vomit upon seeing it. They need help, but not the kind granted by the federal courts.

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SOURCE: Charisma News / Catholic Leagues For Religious and Civil Rights – Bill Donohue