Bible Verse on Bench In Memory of Virginia Teen Must Be Removed
They decided to highlight his love for baseball and installed a bench next to the baseball field at his school, Randolph Henry High.No one complained, but the school's lawyers think it should go.
According to television station WSET, included on the bench is a scripture from Philippians 4:13 which reads, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
But the Charlotte County School Board said the Bible verse is a violation of school policy and must be removed from the bench.
Federal judge rules cross on Lehigh County seal is unconstitutional
A federal judge ruled Thursday the large yellow cross at the center of Lehigh County’s seal violated the Constitution, which will likely force the seal’s redesign.It makes much more sense to remove those people from Lehigh County, if they are so offended by their neighbors. The Lehigh Commissioners should take a page from Judge Roy Moore and design an even more "offensive" symbol.
In a 23-page decision, Judge Edward Smith begrudgingly ruled in favor of The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based organization that promotes the separation of church and state.
In 2014 and 2015, the foundation threatened to sue Lehigh County if it did not remove the cross from the seal. The cross’ presence, it argued, violated the Establishment Clause, which forbids government from favoring one faith over others or prohibiting religious practice.
Stephen Meholic, David Simpson, John Berry and Candace Winkler — all Lehigh County residents and members of the foundation — joined the suit as plaintiffs. The four testified that they were opposed to the seal or found it unwelcome or offensive, according to court documents.
Commissioners refused to back down to the threats. In a resolution unanimously passed in 2016, commissioners argued the cross needed to be viewed in historical context. The cross, they said, represented the Christian settlers who colonized the region. The foundation filed suit last year as a result.
In his ruling, Smith said the cross was a passive symbol that did not coerce anyone into adopting Christianity or establish a county religion. However, existing case law required him to find that the county was honoring the settlers because they were Christians, which violates the Establishment Clause.
“This welcome ruling should settle the matter and get the seal redesigned to be inclusive, to ensure that it does not continue to send a message that only Christian citizens are represented or welcome,” she said.
In any event, if you can't defend a widely popular symbol, you'll fail at defending less popular symbols such as Confederate statues.