SALT LAKE CITY -- The 14 crosses erected along Utah roads to commemorate fallen state Highway Patrol troopers convey a state preference for Christianity and are a violation of the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.
The ruling reverses a 2007 decision by a federal district judge that said the crosses communicate a secular message about deaths and were not a public endorsement of religion. It's the latest in a recent rash of mixed-bag rulings on the public use of crosses.
In 2006, the Utah Legislature passed a joint resolution declaring the cross a nonreligious secular symbol of death.
But American Atheists, Inc., the Texas-based group that sued to have the crosses removed from state property, argued that the crosses could imply that the trooper who died there was a Christian.
I have only one question: How sad does your life have to be that a cross along the roadway disturbs you?