Atheist group appeals ruling on cross memorial on state land

AP News
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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 4:49 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — An atheist group has appealed a federal judge's ruling that a 40-foot-tall cross situated on land owned by the state of Maryland doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution.

The American Humanist Association filed the appeal Monday with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In December, a federal judge in Maryland ruled that the 90-year-old monument known as the Bladensburg Cross does not amount to government sponsorship of religion. The judge wrote that the cross was meant predominantly for secular commemoration of World War I.

The humanist association says the cross endorses Christianity while ignoring non-Christian veterans and other cross war memorials have been found unconstitutional.

The monument stands in a highway median just outside Washington. The land is owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.