Sunday, November 18, 2007
The Founding Fathers of the United States would be appalled. It certainly was not their intent to remove all traces of religion from the public square. A small group f atheists wish to have these memorials to fallen officers removed, against the wishes of the families of the officers slain. Then they say they want to honour these officers, but just in the way the atheists like. This whole thing is a waste of money and a perversion of the US Constitution.
Families of Fallen Utah Highway Patrol Troopers Fight Atheist Group Over Roadside Cross Memorials
Friday, November 16, 2007
By Melissa Underwood
If a national atheist organization has its way, a series of 12-foot-tall memorial crosses that adorn Utah's highways will be taken down.
But not if the families of the people those crosses honor — state Highway Patrol troopers killed in the line of duty — have anything to say about it.
American Atheists Inc. has filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that the 13 white, steel crosses represent the death of Jesus Christ and therefore violate the First Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits government establishment of religion.
But the families of the fallen heroes say otherwise. They say the crosses, which bear the names and badge numbers of the troopers, were built strictly as memorials.
"We're being attacked personally for something we did to help us heal," said Clint Pierson, whose father, Trooper Ray Lynn Pierson, was shot and killed during a traffic stop in 1978.
"We put the crosses up as a memorial to the fallen officers."
The Utah Highway Patrol Association defends the crosses, which have the Highway Patrol logo on them and have been erected on government land. It says they are secular symbols that both honor the troopers and remind speeding drivers to slow down.