Saturday, October 01, 2016

Suit Challenges Veterans' Memorial Featuring Cross

A suit was filed yesterday in a New Jersey federal district court challenging on Establishment Clause grounds a war memorial erected outside the Veterans Memorial public library in Roselle Park, New Jersey.  As pictured and described in a report on the lawsuit by NJ Advance Media, the memorial depicts a soldier kneeling over a grave marked by a cross. The complaint (full text) in American Humanist Association v. Borough of Roselle Park, (D NJ, filed 9/30/2016) alleges in part:
When the government displays an iconic religious symbol – the symbol of Christianity – on its property, it sends a strong message of endorsement and exclusion. This message of religious favoritism is even more problematic because the cross display purports to be a government memorial honoring war dead. No such monument should honor just one religious group, but the cross at issue here does exactly that: it exalts Christian veterans and excludes everyone else.

UPDATE: NJ Advance Media reports that on Oct. 6, in light of the litigation, the Roselle Park Borough Council voted unanimously to dismantle the statue outside the library.