I’ve been posting for nearly a year now about the ongoing saga in Grand Haven, Michigan involving a giant hydraulic cross that had been going up several times a year. Local atheists convinced the city council to put an end to this government promotion of religion earlier this year, but Christians have been trying to fight back.
In June, those Christians, furious to be losing a privilege they didn’t deserve in the first place, formed a group called “Citizens of Grand Haven” and filed a lawsuit asking the court to reverse the city council’s decision.
Their case was dismissed in June in large part because the organization wasn’t real (it was only created to file this lawsuit) and because the members were anonymous.
So a few days later, they filed a new lawsuit, this time without the anonymity.
Their main argument was that removing the cross created “viewpoint discrimination” against their free speech rights. (Which is ridiculous since government endorsement of religion is specifically forbidden in the Constitution.)
Thankfully, that’s what Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing said in his dismissal of the lawsuit yesterday:
In a written opinion Tuesday, Aug. 25, Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing ruled that the question before him was whether he could order the city to display its own property “in such a way as to form a religious symbol” against the wishes of the city council.
“The answer to that question is an unequivocal ‘No,'” Hulsing concluded.
The judge granted the city’s motion for summary disposition of the case, dismissing it.
Hulsing agreed with the city’s argument that what the city displays on its own fixture on Dewey Hill is “governmental speech … and that the City has the right to determine what messages it sends through the use of its own governmental property.”
Maybe this dismissal will finally get the Christians to stop fighting this unnecessary battle. If they want a giant cross, they can put one up in a church. They don’t need the government doing it for them.
(Thanks to Randy for the link. Large portions of this article were published earlier)