FFRF wants Christian Texas courthouse sign removed

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is asking for a blatantly Christian sign to be removed from a Texas courthouse.

A concerned Orange County citizen recently contacted FFRF to report that prominently displayed in the county courthouse building is a religious sign stating “Trust In The Lord.” To remove any possible ambiguity in the message, there is a cross in the middle of the sign. There is no doubt that the religious sign is meant to get the attention of the general public. Furthermore, the concerned citizen also noticed multiple crosses on display at the workspace of a courthouse official.

“The Supreme Court has long recognized that the First Amendment ‘mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion,'” FFRF Staff Attorney Sam Grover writes to Orange County Tax Assessor-Collector Karen Fisher. “Displaying signs that promote Christianity, along with Latin crosses, fails to respect either constitutional mandate of neutrality. It endorses religion over nonreligion and Christianity over all other faiths.”

And the religious significance of the Latin cross is unambiguous and indisputable. “The Latin cross . . . is the principal symbol of Christianity around the world, and display of the cross alone could not reasonably be taken to have any secular point,” to again quote the U.S. Supreme Court.

Besides, such signs alienate the considerable portion of the population that isn’t Christian. These citizens should not be made to feel excluded, like outsiders in their own community, because their county prominently places Christian signs and symbols in important buildings. Nearly 30 percent of Americans are non-Christians, with almost 25 percent practicing no religion at all.

The verse displayed in the courthouse is from Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on your own understanding.” On the contrary, FFRF counsels, citizens should be watchdogs who demand government accountability and transparency.

“County residents going into the Orange County Courthouse to conduct crucial business should not perceive that they’re intruders just because they don’t share the sentiments displayed inside the building,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Such an important governmental center should be welcoming everyone.”

FFRF asks that the unconstitutional religious sign and cross be removed immediately so that the right of conscience of all Orange County citizens be respected.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 29,000 nonreligious members across the country, including 1,200-plus in Texas. Its purpose is to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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