Must Pensacola cross come down? Appeal arguments to be heard this week

By Lawrence Specker

It has been nearly a year since a judge ruled that a Christian cross long displayed in a Pensacola public park must come down. This week a higher court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the city’s appeal.

The case goes back to 2016 and has provoked official interest in Alabama, which is one of more than a dozen states to express support for Pensacola’s right to keep the 34-foot cross in Bayview Park. Its judicial handling also prompted criticism from Roy Moore during his run to become governor of Alabama.

The cross was erected in 1969 by the Pensacola Jaycees, replacing an earlier wooden version built by the National Youth Administration. In 2016 a quartet of plaintiffs — Amanda and Andreiy Kondrat’Yev, Andre Ryland and David Suhor — sued for its removal, charging that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The city argued that the cross did not represent a violation and should be left alone.

In June 2017, Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled in favor of plaintiffs. Vinson made it abundantly clear that the ruling was distasteful to him but that precedent in such cases was clearly established. “It is still the law of the land and I am not free to ignore it … the law is the law,” he wrote. 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly in a public park, the money wasted on this promotion of Christianity over other religions or views, – along with the money wasted on legal costs, would have been much better spent on improving the facilities in the park – such as children’s play areas, seating, or decorative plantings!

  2. Apparently those besotted by crosses, have found a new use for them in the theistic “education of students”! (and policemen!!!!)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44155572

    Nigerian students ‘tied to cross and whipped’ for being late

    Three people have been arrested in Nigeria for allegedly tying late students to crosses and flogging them with horsewhips on a Nigerian roadside.

    The three – including the headteacher – were taken into custody after a police officer stumbled across the incident in south-western Ogun State.

    Pictures show at least two young people – one boy and one girl – tied to a makeshift crucifix with green string.

    A police spokesman described the punishment as “a barbaric act”.

    Local reports say they were being punished for being late.

    The officer – named only as Livinus – tried to intervene, asking the school’s owner to free the teenagers. When the owner of the school in Ayetoro, 145km (90 miles) north-west of Lagos, refused, the officer decided to take action – only to be forced back.

    “When I tried to untie the pupils, the proprietor and his teachers beat me up,” he told Nigerian newspaper Punch.
    “Before I returned from picking handcuffs from my car, they had grabbed a friend who was with me… and beaten him up with a horsewhip.”

    The suspects were eventually arrested after back-up arrived.

    Ogun State police spokesman Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed to the BBC the principal, owner and another teacher were arrested and are likely to be charged.

    He added: “The act is no longer a corrective measure, it is a barbaric act, it is not acceptable and it will not be tolerated.”

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