The Freedom From Religion Foundation says an illuminated Latin cross atop the San Angelo Police Department in San Angelo, Texas, must come down.
FFRF is a national state/church watchdog with over 19,000 members nationwide, including over 900 in Texas.
FFRF and its local complainant contend that the cross is in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and is "an unmistakable symbol of Christianity."
"The building is clearly marked 'San Angelo Police Department,' which allows all passersby to identify it as a city building. Its hosting of a powerful sectarian symbol cannot be seen as a traditional decoration of the holiday season, but instead can only be a message of government support of Christianity," wrote FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert in a Dec. 5 letter to Police Chief Tim Vasquez.
The illuminated cross is part of the police department's annual Christmas display.
Markert points out that the cross sends a harsh message to members of the community who are non-Christian or non-religious that they are outsiders. Illuminating a cross at night for all to see is an overt and egregious endorsement of Christianity, "which is prohibited under the Constitution." She added that the law is on FFRF's side, as many courts have ruled against Latin cross displays in government spaces.
FFRF urges the police department to take immediate action to remove the cross.