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By Stephen M. Krason, Crisis Magazine, September 12, 2019

Stephen M. KrasonIn early Augustthe Freedom from Religion Foundation—secularist bullies who go around the country seeking especially to pressure local governments to eliminate anything that even remotely suggests a favorable official view of religion—suffered an unaccustomed defeat in the courts. They usually get cash-strapped local governments to do what they want by threatening legal action, whose costs the municipal authorities can’t handle. They supposedly find plaintiffs from the local area, who are sometimes anonymous or do not use their actual names. They seem to go around seek out plaintiffs so they can file suits to promote their agenda of pushing any vestige of religion out of the country’s public life.

The use of litigation as a pressure tactic by outfits like the FFRF was made possible decades ago by the Supreme Court’s carving out an exception to most establishment clause cases, which precludes suits in the federal courts merely because one is a taxpayer even when no legal harm has been suffered. In this most recent case, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, decided to take on the FFRF when it challenged the constitutionality of Lehigh’s official seal—which includes a cross among other symbols, including the Liberty Bell—and prevailed in the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The court said that the cross, which the county argued was meant to honor the Christians who had settled there, could be constitutionally sustained because of its historical significance and that the 75-year-old seal had to be judged in light of its overall message and the fact that many state and local government seals include religious symbols or mottos. ….

Read more at  crisismagazine.com