If you visit Bayview Park in Pensacola, Florida, it’s hard to miss this government display that’s been around for at least 50 years:
And just in case there was any doubt that the cross represents Christianity, it stands next to a plaque referencing Easter.
“By prominently displaying a Christian cross at Bayview, a public park, the city is promoting Christianity over all other religions and religion over non-religion,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “The courts have been virtually unanimous in determining that crosses on public land violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
No word yet from Pensacola officials, but there’s no secular reason for this cross to remain in place. Not that that’ll stop them from arguing otherwise.
By the way, this letter came only after a local activist, David Suhor, contacted the city to get more information about the cross, giving officials a chance to take care of this issue on their own. They didn’t want to meet with him and they couldn’t tell him what group was responsible for putting up the cross in the first place — an exchange you can read on Suhor’s website. That’s why the AHA is now getting involved.
***Update***: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has also sent a letter to Pensacola officials.