Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
weather sponsored by
Hickory Estates of Taylorville




Advanced Search
search sponsored by


LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE




KMRM

home : news : state news free April 29, 2016

   
1/23/2013 1:15:00 PM
Supreme Court rejects atheist's appeal over cross

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected without comment a Chicago-area atheist’s final appeal in his lawsuit challenging the use of state funds to renovate an 11-story cross atop southern Illinois’ tallest peak.

The nation’s high court on Tuesday declined to review Robert Sherman’s request to hear his case involving the $20,000 grant given in 2008 to the 111-foot-high Bald Knob Cross of Peace near Alto Pass. Lower courts already had ruled that Sherman lacked standing to sue over the grant.

Sherman sued in August 2010, arguing that efforts to repair the cross using state money have “the primary effect of advancing a particular religious sect, namely Christianity.” He noted that the grant came from a $5 million pot of money that the state Legislature channeled to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.   

Sherman insisted that the grant was a legislative earmark — not a discretionary allocation from the executive branch — and therefore violated the First Amendment’s prohibition against the establishment of religion.

“This action by the Supreme Court affirms that our nation’s court system is a joke,” Sherman said in a statement. The high court’s “refusal to take my case means that any legislative (body), whether it be Congress, a state legislature or a municipal board, can make blatantly unconstitutional grants to advance religion simply by naming an executive branch agency as a middleman in the transaction.

“What a joke! What a fraud against the taxpayers of this country.”

Messages were left Wednesday with D.W. Presley, president of the cross’ board of directors, and with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The grant in question has long been spent, used as a down payment on the recently completed, three-year effort to restore the nearly 50-year-old cross that had been showing its age with hundreds of white porcelain panels rusting, missing or hanging on by coat hangers and bailing wire.

The panels and the electrical system have been replaced on the structure, which was peeled back to its steel-and-concrete frame during the renovation. Forty ground-level, 1,000-watt incandescent bulbs that had been frequently vandalized were replaced with elevated, more efficient LED illumination, and security cameras were added.

The cross, about 130 miles southeast of St. Louis near the Shawnee National Forest, was built largely thanks to local farmers’ profits from selling pigs. It has been a fixture on the 1,025-foot-high Bald Knob Mountain, a sentry standing over forests and the region’s orchards and burgeoning wine country. Easter services have been held on the mountain since 1937.


Anderson Jewelers




Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   










Trinity Dodge Fixed

NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact Us
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved