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         February 9, 2011        

Court says it's constitutional for Illinois to spend
$20,000 rebuilding huge downstate Christian cross

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It yet another bizarre, ludicrous and preposterous decision by our nation's courts, Michael P. McCuskey, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, ruled yesterday that it is constitutional for the State of Illinois to force you to donate 20,000 of your atheist tax dollars towards the cost of rebuilding of a 110-foot-high Christian cross on private property in southern Illinois.

Doing so is consistent with the First Amendment principle of state/church separation, according to the court.  The Court also found that such an expenditure complies with the Illinois Constitution, at Article X, Section 3, which provides, in pertinent part, that "No grant of money shall ever be made by the State for any sectarian purpose."

                       
Bald Knob Cross, in 2007 before restoration
and in 2010, after restoration paid for with your atheist tax dollars.
This is what we're paying taxes for.  Click on either picture for a larger image.

Lest there be any confusion as to what the purpose of the Bald Knob Cross is, the Bald Knob Cross of Peace organization, which operates the property, says the following in their by-laws:  "ARTICLE III - PURPOSE:  The purpose of this organization shall be to maintain and develop the Bald Knob Cross monument and its properties in ways that advance and are consistent with the principles and values of the Christian faith, for which the monument stands as an iconic symbol."

Article III of the bylaws doesn't say anything about the cross being a "T" for tourism, and the bylaws were obviously written without them knowing that the wording that Article III contains precisely mirrors what the Supreme Court of the United States says is something that you can't do with public funds.  The organization deleted their bylaws from their web site, after I filed the lawsuit, because there's no reason to leave incriminating information lying around for everybody to see.

The Court justified its decision by claiming that, if it were to intervene, it would violate the separation of powers doctrine of the US Constitution.  Ever hear of "checks and balances"?  If the courts are unwilling to intervene when the other two branches of government violate your constitutionally guaranteed civil rights, what are we supposed to do?  What's to stop constitutional violations by the other two branches of government if the courts refuse to get involved?

That will be the basis of our appeal to the Seventh Circuit.

At least the courts are consistent in saying, "Anything goes," when it comes to the government unconstitutionally using your atheist tax dollars to promote the Christian religion.

Previous Rob Sherman News stories on this subject matter:

2010:

Monday, August 16:  Bill Vandergraph is unfit to stand trial

Thursday, August 12:  Sherman sues Friends of the Cross to force return of unconstitutional grant

Friday, August 6:  Supplemental document file also proves fraud committed by Friends of the Cross

Thursday, August 5:  Contract proves fraud committed repeatedly by Friends of the Cross

Wednesday, August 4:  Lisa Madigan asked to investigate contract fraud by Friends of the Cross

Sunday, July 18:  Don't tear down the Vandergraph Cross of Shame

Saturday, July 17:  Friends of the Cross leader arrested for raping four-year-old girl!

Monday, July 5:  New $52 million Grant scandal at the Illinois General Assembly and DCEO

Tuesday, June 29:  Sherman meets Senate sponsor of $20,000 grant to Bald Knob Cross

Wednesday, June 16:  Day of Reckoning rapidly approaching for Friends of the Cross to return the $20,000

Thursday, June 3:  Pictures from meeting with Quinn, presentation to Friends of the Cross and from Stanley Cup Playoff game

Wed., June 2:  Sherman meets with Friends of the Cross and with Governor Quinn to discuss Bald Knob Cross controversy

Saturday, May 22:  Sherman to tell Friends of the Cross: Return unconstitutional $20,000 State grant

Tuesday, May 4:  Illinois donates $20,000 to restore 111-foot-high Christian cross on private land

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