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Published On: Fri, Feb 2nd, 2018

New Mexico Community College succumbs to atheist threats, ‘banishes’ ‘divisive’ crosses

New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs has been forced by Wisconsin’s Freedom From Religion Foundation to remove several Christian crosses that were previously displayed throughout the public school campus.

The college has taken down a number of crosses that were either hung up or displayed in several areas throughout the campus in response to theletter to the college’s President Kelvin Sharp earlier this month.

One of the “divisive” crosses the Freedom From Religion Foundation got “banished” from New Mexico Community College in Hobbs photo/twitter

The letter was written by FFRF legal fellow Christopher Line and sent on Jan. 18.

“It is our understanding that New Mexico Junior College has numerous crosses on display. We understand that there is a cross in the main reception area of the Ben Alexander Student Center that sits on the counter and faces the public,” the letter reads. “We also understand that several offices, including the cashier’s office, contain crosses that are easily visible to anyone visiting or passing by these offices.”

Line argued in the letter that having crosses on display at a public college, or any government entity, is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“The religious significance of the Latin cross is unambiguous and indisputable,” the letter contends. “A majority of federal courts have held displays of Latin crosses on public property to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.”

The atheists point to success in the extremely liberal 9th Circuit Court of California, Trunk v. City of San Diego, where the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a decision that the city government’s authorization of a giant cross’ construction on public land was a violation of the Constitution.

“Furthermore, federal courts have upheld restrictions on the display of religious iconography in government offices and buildings because such restrictions exist to avoid and Establishment Clause violation,” the letter continues. “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has said the, ‘government has a greater interest in controlling what materials are posted on its property than it does in controlling the speech of the people who work for it.'”

FFRF reported Friday that it was successful in its attempt to “banish” crosses from the school.

“Sharp recently responded, informing FFRF that the violations had been addressed, and it was further reported to FFRF that the crosses have come down,” according to an FFRF news release.

“The school has done the right thing to ensure that all students, faculty and staff feel welcome,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. “Religious iconography is divisive and has no place in the space of public education.”

Full statement of FFRF touting the “banishment” of the crosses HERE

About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

Displaying 4 Comments
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  1. Brian Westley says:

    The problem isn’t that they’re “divisive”, it’s that they’re unconstitutional. A government college is for ALL students, not just selfish Christians.

    • Ray says:

      Selfish Christians?

      Why are you atheists so thin-skinned? Can’t tolerate some employee who wants a cross in her workplace? This site published one of the photos, but I’ve seen two others and these were NOT out there, preaching to people.

      Unconstitutional?

      That would be if this violates the establishment clause…try to make Christianity the “law of the land” or prevent others from their practices. These crosses did NONE of those things.

      Shameful lawsuit and attitude.

      Dear Global Dispatch people, I love the “atheist extremism” – PERFECT NAME

      • Brian Westley says:

        Yes, selfish. Wanting a public college to push your religion is selfish.

        “That would be if this violates the establishment clause…try to make Christianity the “law of the land” or prevent others from their practices.”

        The first amendment covers much more than just that.

        • Ray says:

          Of course the first amendment covers much more than that, but we are talking about freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Having a cross at your job is hardly pushing your religion. That is absurd and a premise that is just ignorant of human nature.

          Even if we include the “separation of church and state” principles added later by Jefferson’s writings, that is a “National” religion NOT some random workers on a tiny college campus. Are you afraid it’ll start a revival? That cross will brainwash those simple minded college kids?

          As I said, absurd.

          Let’s just be honest. The movement from FFRF, American Atheists and other humanists is a war on Christianity. You hate it, want it gone. You want to eliminate it from the public square.
          If these factions would be honest about those intentions then we can at least respect their frankness for who they truly are.

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