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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Pensacola’s Large Public Cross is Focus of Legal Battle

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Jun 26
  • Comments

After a judge recently ruled that a large cross which stands on public property in Pensacola, Florida, must be taken down, some experts say there is still hope to save the cross.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation had filed a lawsuit against the 34-foot cross in 2016. Last week, District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the cross must be taken down within 30 days.

“I am aware that there is a lot of support in Pensacola to keep the cross as is, and I understand and I understand and respect that point of view. But, the law is the law,” wrote Vinson in his ruling, according to Fox News’ Todd Starnes.

According to, Nixon Daniel, an attorney who represented the city of Pensacola in the lawsuit, said that there is precedent to keep such religious displays if the portion of property on which it stands is sold to a private owner.

“There is a case that involved a similar cross out in the West a number of years ago on federal property, where Congress authorized the sale of the property to a private entity," Daniel said. "The Supreme Court of the United States said that that was appropriate."

Daniel went on to say that the case may be appealed in hopes of reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hopefully provide clarity on the frequently muddled interpretations of separation of church and state.

"I think that if there is an appeal it'll be an appeal that will be aimed toward ultimately trying to get the issue to the Supreme Court and get some clarification to the disarray that the Establishment Clause jurisprudence is in right now," said Daniel.


Publication date: June 26, 2017