Appeals Court Says Pensacola Bayview Cross Must Come Down

September 9, 2018

Saying “our hands are tied” by legal precedent, a federal appeals court Friday upheld a ruling that requires the removal of a decades-old Latin cross from a Pensacola park.

The city of Pensacola appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a lower-court judge ruled that the cross in Bayview Park violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

In a main opinion and two concurring opinions Friday, members of a three-judge panel of the appeals court lamented the ruling but said they were bound by precedent from a 1983 Georgia case.

“The city contends … that none of the plaintiffs here has suffered sufficient injury to have standing to sue and … that, in any event, the Bayview Park cross does not violate the Establishment Clause under current Supreme Court precedent,” said the main opinion shared by judges Kevin Newsom, Frank Hull and Charles Ashley Royal.

“If we were writing on a clean slate, we might well agree — on both counts. But we are not — and so we cannot.”

Four plaintiffs filed a lawsuit challenging the cross, saying its presence on public property was unconstitutional. Friday’s ruling said the question in the case was whether the city’s maintenance of the cross in the park was a prohibited “establishment of religion.”

In a 53-page concurring opinion Friday, Royal said the 1983 Georgia case that established precedent needs to be reversed.

“The Bayview cross is embedded in the fabric of the Pensacola community,” Royal wrote. “It is rooted in Pensacola’s history. If the cross is a problem, it is only a local problem, not a constitutional problem.

by The News Service of Florida

Comments

54 Responses to “Appeals Court Says Pensacola Bayview Cross Must Come Down”

  1. Born Again on September 11th, 2018 3:01 pm

    I am a born again blood bought Christian and my message to my fellow Christians is stop trying to make the world conform to Christianity. Start paying more attention to your families. Right now there is no difference in divorce rates between Christians and non-Christians. America is not a Christian nation and we haven’t been for years. Any change in America will start in the home.

    Stop clinging to monuments or as the Bible calls the “Graven Images”, and when you make such a big deal about the removal of such objects, make no mistake about it you are making them an object of worship. My faith does not begin, is not maintained, and does not end with a monument.

    I am now stepping off my soapbox.

  2. David Huie Green on September 11th, 2018 1:33 pm

    REGARDING:
    “Our Country was founded on Christianity by our forefathers, that is the religion of our land.”

    Most of the founders were not Christian as Christ defines His followers. They put no faith in him, don’t love their neighbors, worship symbols rather than the Saviour. A country doesn’t have a religion. People within a country each have a religion — or not.

    Christ came for the lost to save them. Telling people who do not believe that they are Christians just leaves them lost.

    David for The Truth

  3. David Huie Green on September 11th, 2018 1:24 pm

    Be a good citizen. Offer to remove it free of charge and then put it up on your property.

    David for problem solvers

  4. Game on on September 10th, 2018 7:17 pm

    It’s not about the cross, it’s not about religion, it’s about overturning the precedent that was allowed in a district court in Rabun Georgia in 1983 that some punks couldn’t go to a park because a cross there injured them metaphysically.

    They started right it here. We end it here.

  5. Forever in our heart and mind on September 10th, 2018 7:10 pm

    I understand people being upset, but just remember…

    They can remove the Cross from that piece of land, but they will never remove what it stood for in our hearts or minds.

  6. nod on September 10th, 2018 2:50 pm

    the next step is to remove the letter “T” from the alphabet. I am sure that it offends these same people, after all it looks just like a cross. I am sure this letter is used on government forms that are paid for by them.

  7. Frank Westmark on September 10th, 2018 12:09 pm

    The city might well win this fight on appeal to the Supreme Court if it chooses to go there. In his recent conformation hearings, Judge Kavanaugh noted that precedent can be overturned.

    Meanwhile, there is another way forward to SAVE THE CROSS: (1) interested citizens join together and form a tax exempt trust, (2) raise $50,000 to $100,000 in the trust to be invested in stable, income-producing securities that will generate $2,000 to $4,000 per year, (3) the city donates the property upon which the cross sits to the trust, (4) the trust’s Board of Trustees contracts with the city or private parties like a church, a cemetery, landscape company or individuals to maintain the cross in perpetuity.

    I pledge to donate $100 to the “Save the Cross Trust.” The only other thing needed is for concerned citizens to step forward and work together to do for themselves what the government cannot, and perhaps should not.

  8. rednekhank on September 10th, 2018 12:03 pm

    “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” — Karl Marx

  9. CW on September 10th, 2018 11:59 am

    @Just sayin

    So in your view everyone that doesn’t agree with taxpayer funded displays of religion is a “devil worshipper “? My goodness that is really over the top. And no, erecting a cross in your yard isn’t going to upset anyone (except maybe an HOA), so feel free to do as you wish.

  10. Concerned Observer on September 10th, 2018 10:46 am

    Sad but seemingly necessary. It doesn’t anger me. It does disappoint me. It will not, however, deter my belief. If anything, it only inspires me.

    Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

    Matthew 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

  11. My2Cents on September 10th, 2018 10:39 am

    Yall need to stop complaining about the cross coming down. If it is left up that leaves other religions free to add their own gods to the area. Would you really like a satanic statue next to the cross? Find a way to purchase the plot the cross is on so the state/government is not paying for it. That will keep it from coming down AND keep other undesirable statues being added. Be smart!

    Read this and open your eyes: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/national/article216821490.html

  12. Simmer Down on September 10th, 2018 10:24 am

    It would be interesting to see how many people would be outraged if instead of a cross it was a symbol that represented another religion. I’m guessing that most of the people who are so upset by this decision would be on the other side of the fence if it was a Crescent and Star that they were paying to maintain.

    Peace!

  13. just sayin on September 10th, 2018 9:23 am

    If everyone who is upset with the removal of this cross will in return erect one in there front yard. This will drive the devil worshipers crazy. They will go from seeing the one at Bayview maybe once every three years as they drive by to seeing several every day.

  14. Duke of Wawbeek on September 10th, 2018 7:00 am

    Yemach Shemo!

    One man’s god is another man’s anarchist.

  15. Citizen on September 10th, 2018 3:41 am

    @At John Q Public

    if you had read the link provided by @No it must stay up

    You would see that it it going YET to another appeal and the 11 court asked to re hear en blac and wish to overturn the precedent (Rabun) which basically that some jerk can get all offended and abuse the court system for an outcome which is actually against the constitution is what is going to happen.

    They will ask the Supreme Court to hear it and they wish to over turn a couple of precedents and solve this nation wide if necessary.

    It’s staying up. and Pensacola will be a leader in this war and domestic terrorist assault upon our Constitution that has been going on for years.

    Freedom of religion– not freedom FROM religion.

    It will be a Landmark case

    #Winning

  16. BG on September 9th, 2018 10:41 pm

    Without the cross we have no hope. I am a Christian and thank God for Jesus
    going to the Cross to die for me. When ANYBODY says they don’t want the cross
    They want get it ….They get Hell instead

  17. nod on September 9th, 2018 8:27 pm

    does the cross really bother anyone that much, or is it just the hate they have for GOD,?the darkness hates the light (JESUS)so they work for the devil but they have already lost. there is nothing they can do to defeat GOD. if the anti JESUS people do not change not only will the USA fall but they will one day spend eternity with the devil. May GOD have mercy on us all. none of your gods can. if the cross stays up, good. if it comes down, God is still in control. I for one support GOD, country and family.

  18. Doc on September 9th, 2018 8:27 pm

    That is so wrong, who has the right to do something like that. This country was made on faith and courage, seams like some want to take it all. I just don’t understand, if you don’t like it, don’t go there.

  19. Stumpknocker on September 9th, 2018 8:00 pm

    Our Country was founded on Christianity by our forefathers, that is the religion of our land. It seems like people get the words “ separation of Church and state “ confused. All it’s saying is that anyone who comes to our great nation can practice their religion in peace and that the government will not prohibit you from doing so nor will the government tell you what religion you must believe in. Our forefathers gave us to much credit and believed we would know and always have our Christian views which makes America the greatest nation on earth, and stand up and fight if needed. There is so many Christian ideas that our forefathers wrote about and things of public display , so wouldn’t a person think if that was the real meaning of separation of church and state none of what we know and read of our countries history would include anything regarding Christianity, our forefathers would have taken care of that at the very start. Christianity is what make our country the greatest and most generous country on the face of the earth. I have heard over and over that taking prayer out of schools was such a huge mistake, think of it on a much larger scale and see what you can come up with, not anything good.

  20. Molino Girl on September 9th, 2018 7:07 pm

    Religion, Football and Politics. Making people lose their minds since the beginning……

  21. John Q. Public on September 9th, 2018 6:25 pm

    @Vn:
    Churches and nude bars share something in common; they are both privately owned and on private property. This cross is not, and upkeep is funded by taxpayer dollars.

    @Citizen
    If you had read the article (or even the title), you will see that this has already gone to appeals and the ruling was once again upheld.

    @Sedition
    What about those whose traditions include being of another faith? Do they get to have an icon or place of reflection on the same spot?

    Nobody has lost one iota of their religious freedom here. We live in a constitutional democracy and as such are bound by the rule of law. If you want to worship, worship.. I am proud that our county has churches, Buddhist temples, synagogues, Islamic prayer houses, and other privately held places of worship for all faiths to use and enjoy.

    If you want to live in a theocracy, might I suggest Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, or Yemen? They are all bound to rule by religious leaders and I’m sure they’re all doing fine.

  22. Grand Locust on September 9th, 2018 6:10 pm

    I will stick to the guidance from Jesus, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” …..after reading this thread, I can see Jesus saying to God…..”Dad, time to send me back for a little remedial work.”

  23. Vn on September 9th, 2018 4:13 pm

    Great idea Anne!!!!

  24. Becky on September 9th, 2018 4:08 pm

    The “Bayview” cross was not erected by the Spsnish in the 1500s. The White cross on the beach was.

  25. Mark on September 9th, 2018 4:04 pm

    The Spanish Conquestidors erected these all other the Americas. Our cross was first erected in the 1500s. It was replaced after a hurricane for its historical value. This is a BAD decision.

  26. CW on September 9th, 2018 3:47 pm

    “ I personally think if flags & crosses need to come down then nude bars need to be shut down!!! I don’t care for them at all but I just look away when I drive by.”

    The problem here is that those nude bars aren’t funded by public tax dollars, it’s a business owned by a person. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

    It’s obvious many of the commenters here would love to throw out our constitution and live in a theocracy. Very scary.

  27. Sedition on September 9th, 2018 3:27 pm

    Either donate that 3′ by 3′ or so section to a private entity and tell the courts to go pound sand, or surround it with about 20 or so corn fed boys that are heavily armed and tell the courts to go pound sand.
    The courts will get the message one way or the other. Tradition should trump “law” when it’s been around for so long. No one has a Constitutional right to not be butthurt. Be a real American and grow some thicker skin. Keep our traditions and toss out those who would “transform” our traditions and way of life to that of a third world hell hole.

  28. Molino Lady on September 9th, 2018 2:13 pm

    There are sooooo many other issues that need to be address. The cross has been there for years and hasn’t hurt anyone. I’m sure these non believers could find something else to gripe about. It was there when they moved into the neighborhood but now they wants the cross down. I would hate to be you when you reach those pearly gate. Shame. Shame on you. God remembers all things,!,,

  29. Citizen on September 9th, 2018 1:40 pm

    Appeal it and over turn “Rabun” precedent.
    Make this landmark case.

    The perpetually offended can not walk by and say “That bothers me”, file a lawsuit and clog up the federal courts and/or riot and tear thing up near and dear to others.

    Write and email Pensacola officials, they have a chance to appeal it and make history and set the record straight for the rest of America.Write D4 commissioner, he will be the next mayor of Pensacola.

    Or call.

    The judges are itching to overturn that precedent and straighten this stuff out once and for all.

    It’s not over. It’s just beginning.

    Be a part of it.

  30. Anita on September 9th, 2018 1:19 pm

    Wonder if these four people have a problem with money since it says In God We Trust

  31. Beverly on September 9th, 2018 12:27 pm

    This is outrageous! maybe we start a gofundme page and HIRE people if volunteers aren’t available and create a human chain. If we don’t start standing up for our own values and our own heritage, we do a huge disservice to all ancestors.
    As a Christian, where are MY rights?

  32. anne 1of2 on September 9th, 2018 12:07 pm

    How many of us will put up a cross in our front yards if they remove the cross? Our Private property. This is not to create trouble, but to stand for what we believe in. Take down one cross and it will be multiplied! God will handle this situation in his own way, not in the way we think it should be handled. The Devil will not win!

  33. SF on September 9th, 2018 11:30 am

    I am so sick of the targeting agenda of the left! If you don’t like the Cross or anything else you don’t happen to agree with, it is simply a case of don’t go there. If you don’t like what is on TV or radio you change the station. I don’t agree with the gay pride memorial weekend on our beach but I don’t cry about it. I don’t go! I am looking forward to the day when we decide not to put up with this any longer! SF for ridding this country of these filthy liberal crybabies!

  34. Vn on September 9th, 2018 11:30 am

    What’s next??? Churches??? I personally think if flags & crosses need to come down then nude bars need to be shut down!!! I don’t care for them at all but I just look away when I drive by. Like the liberals need to do when they drive by crosses. This is ridiculous. Liberal Nazis need to just shut your mouths & shut your eyes or just move to another country. Let’s just see how much controversial crap we can start. …..sick & tired of the world my kids & grandchildren will have to grow up in. It’s so sad.

  35. Suzie B. on September 9th, 2018 11:21 am

    If you do the research of where this started, you will find it’s local, not other countries. Other places have turned theirs into an anchor instead of removing their cross. This has continued to gain fuel and escalate in more places than just Pensacola

  36. EMD on September 9th, 2018 11:06 am

    Does anyone remember when the minority opinion started ruling in this country?

  37. alex on September 9th, 2018 10:50 am

    and one nation under God.
    In God we trust.AMEN

  38. CW on September 9th, 2018 10:41 am

    “When will all of this craziness from the tiny liberal and non-God population?
    When will the Majority Rule in this USA rise up and say ENOUGH..!!!!!!!”

    @Bob C

    In case you haven’t noticed, religion is on a decline in this country, so I’m not sure it’s a “tiny” population. Just drive by most churches on a Sunday morning, and you’ll see most of the congregation are over 50 years old. In another 20 years you’ll see many churches converted to other uses.

  39. bartender on September 9th, 2018 10:38 am

    thats whats wrong with this country now.they letting people come pver here from all these countries and telling us we cant have christians values.shame on the courts and they cant be christians.that is a land mark and its not fair to us americans. they need to go back where they came from.who keeps letting them move here anyway?

  40. tooma on September 9th, 2018 10:22 am

    To the four plaintiffs: even atheists believe in something, prepare yourselves the devil him come a calling…

  41. David on September 9th, 2018 10:03 am

    I carry God each day in my heart. You can legislate that , politicize it, .I am God’s property, I carry the cross in my soul. You can’t make God disappear. .he even watches over the satanist…you have to love God, who does not discriminate. AMEN

  42. cb on September 9th, 2018 9:42 am

    It’s not about what we think; It’s about what the Constitution of the United States says. I believe some of you would interpret the first amendment to mean, “You can have any religion you want, as long as you have one and as long as it’s Christian.” Polls show that as many as 30% of us would like to live in a Christian theocracy. Jesus would be ashamed. And, by the way, I’m a good Christian too.

  43. Niknak50 on September 9th, 2018 9:23 am

    A suit filed by four (4) plaintiffs. Upon reaching the courtroom the presiding judge should have dismissed the case as frivolous, and would have been within his rights a judge to do so. But this has been one of the problems in America, men with no fortitude or guts for lack of a better word.

  44. John Q. Public on September 9th, 2018 8:47 am

    It sure does include freedom FROM religion if the icon is on property that tax dollars pay to upkeep.

    Want to worship? You have that right in full. Go to church. In no way are your religious freedoms revoked by the removal of this cross.

    Unless of course, you wish to add iconography for all religions at the same site and fully acknowledge what freedom of religion under the Constitution guarantees, but I don’t think that’s what the “Christian nation,” types mean when they talk about religious freedoms being infringed upon.

    When they say, “My religious freedoms are being denied,” what they really mean is, “I can’t impose my religious beliefs on people that I don’t agree with, so I am being denied my freedom of religion.”

  45. Tabby on September 9th, 2018 8:45 am

    This same idiot, David Suhor, a self proclaimed devil worshipper, goes to county commissioner meetings causing trouble. They even let him lead the invocation with a “prayer” so they wouldn’t get sued. Are we headed to civil war again ? Seems like it. Instead of North v South, it’s gonna be Reality v Insanity.
    As for the cross, rezone a quarter acre where the cross is and lease it to a private party. Do it publicly so everyone technically has a chance to get it but work behind the scenes to give it to who you want like you do everything else. Simple.

  46. Gene on September 9th, 2018 8:39 am

    It needs to go to the Supreme Court, because even these judges say it is not right.

  47. What if?1 on September 9th, 2018 8:34 am

    What if a private party owned the area where the cross is? Would this still apply? Nope.

  48. Brenda on September 9th, 2018 8:11 am

    Well people in other countries can come and take over America tell us take down the cross or if you are an American shame on you if you don’t like the cross don’t look at it. Your days are coming.

  49. Freda Whaley on September 9th, 2018 7:31 am

    It’s freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. I wish people would get that right.

  50. Bob C. on September 9th, 2018 7:20 am

    Saw attorney for the plaintiffs being interviewed. She said that for non-Christians to come upon this Cross would make them feel unwelcome and for that reason it must come down.
    My question is that with our family Being Christians if we were to go someplace and Not See A Cross would that make us feel unwelcome?
    The answer is of course is NO because WE as Christians carry Our Crosses within us as well as display outwardly.
    When will all of this craziness from the tiny liberal and non-God population?
    When will the Majority Rule in this USA rise up and say ENOUGH..!!!!!!!
    Keep the Cross.

  51. bigbill1961 on September 9th, 2018 3:35 am

    And the downward spiral of our country continues. The liberals and atheists are determined to remove any reference to Christ whatsoever. We can see the results of turning our backs on God everywhere. This country was founded to escape religious persecution, but here we have yet another example.

  52. Nathan H. Findley on September 9th, 2018 3:14 am

    REMOVING THIS CROSS IS LIKE REMOVING GOD !!

    BELIEVE THIS IT WIILL COME BACK ON YOJ !!

    BELIEVE THAT !!

    GOD WINS IN THE END !!

  53. Citizen on September 9th, 2018 2:37 am

    Tell the rest of the story– not just part of it.

    “Absent en banc reconsideration or Supreme Court reversal, ”

    and ….”Having said that, it’s equally clear to me that Rabun is wrong. (precedent) On neither score
    —standing
    __or the merits
    can Rabun be squared with a faithful application of Supreme Court precedent, and I urge the full Court to rehear this case en banc so that we can correct the errors that Rabun perpetuates.”

    “Under the Supreme Court’s pathmarking Establishment Clause standing
    case,
    Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of
    Church & State
    , Inc.
    ,
    454 U.S. 464 (1982), the plaintiffs’ allegations here

    offense, affront, exclusion—
    are plainly inadequate.”
    Judge Newson

    Take the time to read the entire document. We can make history here.

    We just need Pensacola to Appeal, they will win it for Pensacola and the rest of the Nation.

  54. No it must stay up on September 9th, 2018 2:22 am





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