first off, i would like to say that i am an atheist. i am all for separation of church and state, but i think that this is nothing more than mean spirited. i have never been offended byr the crosses, because (in this case, and in similar cases) as a symbol of sacrifice. i think that the only thing that atheist inc is doing is upsetting the families of the slain troopers. also, if they are making such an issue out of trooper memorials in utah, then what about arlington? IT IS SWIMMING IN CROSSES AND HAS BEEN FOR A VERY LONG TIME. dickheads.
*in the case that this has been pitted before (like my last pit posting) i searched numerous times to make sure that this has not been pitted.
Maybe American Atheists Inc. is a front for a pack of vampires?
The idea that crosses “aren’t religious” is patently offensive to me. I’m a Jew. A cross is THE Christian symbol. I feel no need at all to “avoid contact” with crosses. In fact, I rather like them. But I wouldn’t hang one on my wall or wear one around my neck or want one for a headstone.
I also don’t see the “mean spiritedness.” American Atheists is making it clear that they want to honor the troopers. But they object to erecting religious symbols on publicly owned property to do so. I can agree with that.
The quote at the top of my post makes the atheists sound like histrionic freaks, however. But the second quote makes the cross-builders sound like they’re being deliberately obtuse in order to avoid criticism.
Perhaps they should erect giant Og hammers instead.
I, too, believe that the memorials violate the law described in the article.
I wonder if they’d put up a Star of David for a Jewish trooper killed in the line of duty? A crescent for a Muslim trooper? Or a pentacle for a Pagan trooper? If they differentiate the memorials based on the religion of the trooper involved, I’d be all for changing the law. If they assume that all troopers are Christian, then I’d see an even bigger problem than simply the appearance of government endorsement of religion.
Having said that, the idea that the plaintiffs have suffered damages from the displays seems a bit far-fetched to me. (Of course that may just be boiler-plate for the type of suit being brought - I don’t know.)
Of course, I wonder - just how far will these people go?
What about the numerous WWI, or earlier, military memorials for hometown troops killed during conflicts? A lot of towns I’ve lived in, or driven through, have these - often in the shape of a cross. Unlike the situation in the OP, these are actually set up and maintained by governments. Do we go and privatize the monuments, now, to keep them from breaking the line between church and state? Or do we redo them? Or just accept that earlier eras did assume that the US was a nominally (at least) Christian nation? I’d object to seeing them destroyed, but I think it’s a legitimate question.
In spite of the fact that the crosses do, IMO, constitute a endorsement of a particular religion by the state, I’m pretty annoyed about the decision to sue. All these idiots have done is create the next right wing storm in a teacup. If you haven’t yet been driven mad by the hysterical, screeching Right’s pusillanimous protestations about how saying ‘Happy Holidays’ hurts the tender feelings of their merciless God, just wait until they get a hold of this. “Callous Leftists Demand Destruction Of Memorial To Fallen State Troopers”. Know why I capitalised every word? Because that’s the editorial headline of next Sunday’s New York Post.
In a nation where secularism genuinely is under attack, and where associations like Atheists Inc serve a valuable purpose, lawsuits over sensitive shit like this really do far more harm than good. These dumbasses need to learn how to pick their battles.
I agree that the lawsuit is a bad idea for the reasons you mention. Claiming that you are being damaged by merely seeing a cross seems a little silly. In reading the article it does seem that the crosses violate the the UDOT policy and did anyone notice that they are 12 foot crosses. Isn’t that a little excessive? I wouldn’t want a series of 12 foot memorials on our highways here. Why should the Highway patrol have privilages that the average citizen doesn’t have?
Perhaps they might have changed their approach and pointed out that no private citizen has the right to put up such a memorial or as someone else mentioned, would they allow a 12 foot symbol of some other religion, or just a twelve foot marker from a private citizen. I honor the sacrifice of our police force but I think that’s a little much.
If they get any support from non atheists who think the crosses are just a bad judgement call then they might accomplish something.
That was my thought. This has the potential for an interesting debate: is a memorial that accounts for an individual’s belief – when paid for by the “state” – a promotion of religion? I’d think not. However, if the memorial does not consider the individual’s belief (i.e., they’re all crosses), then it does.
However, one might question the appropriateness of religious memorials on, say, federal (or state) highways. As I said, an interesting exploration of personal religious expression vs. “state” religous expression.
By “these people,” I assume you mean the ones who insist on putting crosses on people’s graves or as memorials without the slightest indication that the deceased was a practicing, believing Christian, or even a Christian at all? I wonder how many of the dead at Arlington were atheists, agnostics, Jews, Buddhists, etc.?
I agree, then, “these people” should be stopped, or at least made to stop long enough to get their brains humming and think before putting up Christian symbols on everyone’s graves.
As an athiest, I think its great that the symbols of Christianity are being taken out of context and branded with more contemporary meaning. Making a cross symbolic of anything other than the crucifixion further erodes its connection to that specific event…I mean companies like Coke pay millions to ensure their brand is never associated with any other soft drink than Coke. Athiests, I feel, should support the rebranding of the symbol of the cross as a generic memorial symbol, in addition to the use by the Red Cross, train Crossing signs, Hot Crossed buns, etc. All serving to trivialize the message of Christianity and, fingers crossed…returning it to the status of metaphorical allegory where it should be.
Eve, did you check out Monty’s link, or my own, in earlier posts? Certainly the photograph I linked to is pretty graphic evidence that crosses aren’t just being put on everyone’s grave willy-nilly.
I can’t speak for all the monuments at Arlington. I’ve only spent a few hours there, and don’t remember much specific other than Audie Murphy’s marker. I do know that the military puts religious affiliation upon all dog tags issued, and having a cross, or Star of David, or crescent or any other religous symbol on the VA marker is a matter of the choice of the family - not issued pro forma by the VA, itself. I can’t promise you that no one’s marker is covered with a cross against their wishes: families can be terribly stubborn about such wishes. (Just look at RFK’s memorial.) However, for the past 40-50 years, at least, it’s been privately done, on a case-by-case basis.
As for the issue with the OP, we’ve got no evidence to conclude that the troopers killed in duty were or weren’t practicing christians. And that was a point I’d made in my earlier post.
By the way, what would you consider an appropriate memorial to use for an athiest, since you object (with very good reason.) to the cross? I happen to like the generic VA marker, but I know it’s not a common taste. And also isn’t exactly the sort of thing one can put up next to highway.