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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Display of Religious Symbols on Public Property

Volume 4 . Chapter 14 . § 14-04
Key point 14-04. The display of religious symbols on public property does not violate the First Amendment nonestablishment of religion clause so long as they are part of a larger display that includes secular symbols.

1. In General

Several courts have ruled on the constitutionality of displaying religious symbols on public property. Many courts have concluded that the maintenance of crosses on public property constitutes an impermissible establishment of religion.27 One court observed:

The employment of publicly owned and publicly maintained property for a highly visible display of the character of the cross in this case necessarily creates an inference of official endorsement of the general religious beliefs which underlie that symbol. Accordingly, ...

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