The Supreme Court's Tale of Two Cities

In a recent article for The Catholic Thing, Ismail Royer, Director of RFI’s Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team, reflected on the Supreme Court’s June 20 decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association. In this decision the Court ruled that “despite its inherent religious symbolism, the presence of the Peace Cross on public land [in Bladensburg, Maryland] did not imply government endorsement of Christianity…” Royer’s action team also filed an amicus brief in this case.

By rejecting the American Humanist Association’s (AHA) argument that the presence of the cross violates the Establishment Clause, the Court “reminded Americans of the cornerstone of the founding generation’s agreement for living together, codified in 1791 as the First Amendment to the Constitution.” 

Quoting a powerful statement from the opinion, Royer highlighted the Court’s concerns with the sort of militant secularism underlying the AHA’s claims in this case: “A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion.”

Royer concludes the article by observing that the Court “declined to overturn the very constitutional order that grants the atheist complainants in this case freedom from religious coercion – and for that we, and they, should be grateful.”

Read the full article: The Supreme Court’s Tale of Two Cities.

“The Supreme Court’s Tale of Two Cities”

by Ismail Royer