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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bladensburg Cross Supreme Court Case Completely Disregards Religious Freedoms
June 20, 2019, Washington, DC – Today, The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is dismayed by the Supreme Court’s decision today in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, allowing extreme entanglement of religion and state. NCJW Director of Government Relations and Advocacy, Jody Rabhan, released the following statement:
“The decision of the Supreme Court to allow a 40-foot Christian cross to remain on public property to be repaired and maintained with public funds is disturbing. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) believes that denial of the religious symbolism of the cross is untenable as public policy. NCJW honors the 49 soldiers to whom this memorial is dedicated and believes that the use of the cross is especially offensive as we honor those who gave their lives to defend our country’s freedoms, chief among them freedom of religion.
“We know first-hand the importance of the constitutional guarantee that, throughout American history, has kept the government from imposing one religion or one set of religious beliefs on everyone. As Justice Ginsburg explained in her dissenting opinion today, “when a cross is displayed on public property, the government may be presumed to endorse its religious content.” Indeed, today’s decision to allow the cross to stand sends a clear message of government endorsement of Christianity and Christianity alone.
“Moreover, the decision opens the door to more argument on this topic in other cases – argument that should have been put to bed with adoption of the First Amendment over 200 years ago. For Jews and members of other minority religions, or those who choose no religion, the 7-2 decision is an insult. The cross — an outwardly religious display — and use of government funds to maintain it is a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The government has no business putting its stamp of approval on any one religion. Plain and simple.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.