Utah Highway Crosses Violate Constitution: Court

'Massive' crosses violate separation of church, state
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Aug 20, 2010 4:41 AM CDT
Utah's crosses dwarf this cross, in California.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(Newser) – Erecting roadside crosses for fallen members of Utah's Highway Patrol is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court has decided. The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, addressing a lawsuit launched by an atheist group, said the memorials—which typically stand twelve feet high and include photographs and biographical information—constitute government endorsement of Christianity, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

Memorial crosses are common on American highways, but the court decided that Utah's "massive" crosses took the trend too far. The judges said large crosses convey "a message of endorsement, proselytization, and aggrandizement of religion that is far different from the more humble spirit of small roadside crosses."

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