Archive for Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joins effort to save Utah highway crosses

May 24, 2011


— Kansas has joined 19 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a dispute over crosses along Utah highways honoring state troopers who died while on duty.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he joined the effort because he wants to protect the right of free expression on public land.

Fourteen crosses have been erected since 1998 by the Utah Highway Patrol Troopers Association, using private funds. Each 12-foot-high cross contains a biography of the trooper who died and the state patrol's logo.

An atheist group filed suit in 2005 over the crosses. A federal appeals court ruled last year in the group's favor, concluding the crosses were an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. Utah then appealed.


Bob Forer 6 years, 10 months ago

Derek, don't we have enough problems in Kansas to deal with? Or are you simply planning your next run for even higher office? .

johnnymercer 6 years, 10 months ago

Right, because I'm sure the AG is wasting all kinds of taxpayer dollars throwing a name onto a petition. The man sees something he believes is wrong, knows that the majority of his represented constituents would feel the same way, and stands up for something. Oooo, so diabolically political!

Paul R Getto 6 years, 10 months ago

What if the deceased is a Wiccan? Can we put up a statute of the Wicked Witch of the West? Another magic-related nonissue for both sides. Let's get down to business. We should have outgrown these superstitions long ago. When you are dead you rot....worm food, nothing more; nothing less. The R's specialize in worrying about folks before they are born and after they turn into fertilizer. Can we pay attention to those actually here?

Bob Forer 6 years, 10 months ago

OMG, an atheist!!! I didn't think we had any atheists in Kansas. I betcha he's a commie too.

Soapbox 6 years, 10 months ago

Be careful, Utah, 95% Mormons, don't think of Christ in any sense of the way that 95% of Christians do. Mormons are not followers of Christ. They believe each of them will become Gods at death, unless you are female and then good luck!

an_actual_mormon 6 years, 10 months ago

If you actually want to understand what Mormons believe about Christ, check out or pick up a copy of the Book of Mormon (or the Bible, for that matter). Mormons believe that Christ is the Son of God, that he atoned for the sins of all mankind, that it is only through Christ that salvation comes, that God is our Father and Christ's Father (John 20:17), and that we will be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if we follow Him (Romans 8:17). All of these things are clearly taught in the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

If you want an example of the respect and responsibility given to women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, check out this recent talk from one of the apostles:

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 10 months ago

Sorry. I just can't get behind all of that Urim and Thummim stuff.

Brock Masters 6 years, 10 months ago

I am a Christian, but think the federal appeals court got it right. Setting aside the religion aspect, public land should not be permanently altered by any individual or group. Erecting permanent crosses on public land alters the landscape and changes its use for others, ergo, it is wrong.

On the religious issue, I beleive that there is no separation of church and state, that the law only precludes the establishment of a religion. Thus, if the state was open to allowing any and all relgious groups to erect structures then it would be one thing, but I doubt that is the case. So, by selectively allowing a Christian structure, the state is by default establishing or at least showing favor to one religion and should be prohibited from doing so.

If it was a Jewish or Muslim group wanting to erect structures then you can be sure that our AG wouldn't be joining the fight so one must conclude he is joining it not because of the legal issues, but the religous and political ones. Bad reason to join in.

The federal appeals court got it right.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 10 months ago

"On the religious issue, I beleive that there is no separation of church and state, that the law only precludes the establishment of a religion." So when Thomas Jefferson (who wrote the amendment) used the phrase "wall of separation between church and state" in 1802 to describe what he meant when he wrote it, he got it wrong? Hmm maybe you need to move to Texas where the state school board has outlawed TJ. Nothing like a bit of historical revisionism.

storm 6 years, 10 months ago

Silly agnostics and atheists, crosses keep vampires away. A good christian never displays a cross.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 10 months ago

A clove of garlic works too!

And don't forget your weapons of last resort, which are silver daggers and silver bullets!

Of course, Christians don't need any of the above, because all they need to do is murmer the Lord's prayer.

Vlad Tepes, beware!

guesswho 6 years, 10 months ago

I thought silver bullets were for werewolves.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 10 months ago

Next thing you know, it will be illegal for a church to display a cross because it will be visible from the street, which is public property.

WHY 6 years, 10 months ago

While there is no legal theory anywhere that would support such a comment, we will keep dreaming of such a day anyway.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 10 months ago

OOOO then maybe we could have gotten rid of Touchdown Jesus! (Although God was kind enough to do that for us. But then there's always that soap sculpture, Christ of the Ozarks.)

jimmyjms 6 years, 10 months ago

We traded Steve Six for this jackwagon?

Way to go, Kansas.

Bossa_Nova 6 years, 10 months ago

i'm not a christian, but if the troopers who were killed were christians then perhaps they would appreciate the monuments in their honor

deec 6 years, 10 months ago

And if they were Wiccan,Atheist, Muslim,Jewish,Hindu,Buddhist, or Satanists, would you approve of appropriately-symboled roadside monuments on public land as well?

dontcallmedan 6 years, 10 months ago

Look out--the Church of Fred may want sings on the highway next.

hujiko 6 years, 10 months ago

The whole video is golden, but the portion most applicable to this story begins at 2:40

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 10 months ago

I thought the AG was Kris Kobach. O wait....

Paul R Getto 6 years, 10 months ago

witchfindergeneral (anonymous) says… "An unfortunate ruling--Utah obviously just wanted to remind drivers of a common execution device used throughout the Roman Empire. I see nothing wrong with the public display of historical instruments of torture and/or death. === Good point, The Romans were good at this (see Monty Python) and maybe we should honor their execution methods. A 'christ' was killed each spring to make the crops grow. One year, they stole the body of a great ESSENE teacher, got some policital backing and money after a few generations and the rest, as they say, is 'history.'

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