Ruling Affirms the Constitutionality of Religious Symbols on Public Land
Today was another big step in the right direction for affirming the Constitutionality of religious symbols on public land, and protecting religious freedom. Lea Carawen of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation provided the following announcement.
In light of last week’s win in the Bladensburg cross case, the United States Supreme Court sent the Bayview Park cross case (City of Pensacola v. Kondrat’yev) back to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, essentially encouraging them to reconsider their 2017 ruling that the cross be torn down.
A major factor in the Pensacola Cross case is the Lemon Test, which is the main test used by lower courts to determine whether or not a law has the effect of establishing religion. Becket Law explains that, in 2018, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals noted that although “wrong,” they are “bound” by earlier precedent to rule against the cross because of this Test.
The United States Supreme Court’s decisions to not use the Lemon Test and allow the Bladensburg Memorial Cross to stand are very positive developments as the Lemon Test has been used as a sledgehammer against the Freedom of Religion and America’s rich, religious heritage.
The concerns with the Lemon Test are becoming increasingly obvious, and experts agree a new test needs to replace it. These cases should be used to advance that process, and continue to affirm that religious symbols on public land are constitutional.
Steve Fitschen, Senior Legal Advisor for the CPCF and President of the National Legal Foundation says, “We believe there should be no wiggle room in light of the Bladensburg opinion—the Lemon test should not be applied to this cross, as the 11th Circuit did the first time. The Bayview Park cross is just as constitutional as the Bladensburg cross.”
These cases are important considering the concerted effort to erase America’s rich, Judeo-Christian heritage. Secularizing the public square would fundamentally change America’s core values that promote freedom for all and reduce “Freedom of Religion” to simply mean “free to have a private faith.”