Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to review Salazar v. Buono. The court’s decision in this case will determine whether a cross honoring fallen soldiers can stand in the Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County, California.
I view with caution the U.S. Supreme Courts decision to review Salazar v. Buono. The 9th Circuit ruling that the cross represents an “impermissible governmental endorsement of religion” should stand. Our public parks are a sanctuary for people of all faiths and belief systems – they should not be used to endorse any one religion.
If the court decides to allow such displays – and I hope they do not – then they must make clear in their ruling that equal access must be granted to all faiths to erect this type of monument.
In light of the court’s 2007 decision in Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation we are concerned about the potential for the court to erode further the ability of ordinary Americans to have standing to protect their first amendment rights.
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.