PRESS RELEASE AMERICAN ATHEIST GENERAL HEADQUARTERS 7215 Cameron Road Austin, TX 78752-297

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

PRESS RELEASE AMERICAN ATHEIST GENERAL HEADQUARTERS 7215 Cameron Road Austin, TX 78752-2973 (512) 458-1244 Special TEXAS RELEASE: 29 June 1993 Officers and directors of American Atheists, Inc. were astonished today when the Supreme Court of the United States upheld its two cases in Illinois and denied its case in Texas -- all on religious symbols and imagery in city seals. American Atheists had challenged the use of the Christian cross and religious slogans on the seals of the cities of Zion and Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The Supreme Court decision issued today upholds the March 1991 decision of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Illinois. At that time, the Appellate Court's core decision was that: "In both cases, we find that sectarian religious imagery simply has no place on municipal seals. . . . both the seal of Rolling Meadows and the seal, emblem, and logo of Zion represent unconstitutional uses of religious imagery . . . . they represent unconstitutional endorsements of a particular religious faith. Thus, both cities are permanently enjoined from continued use of their seals (and in Zion's case, its emblem and logo as well) in their present unconstitutional forms." However, in the case of Austin, Texas, where the city uses a Roman Catholic cross and angel wings, the Supreme Court upheld a November 1991 Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that: "The insignia passes constitutional muster because its principal (or primary) effect is not one that either advances or inhibits religion." Generally when several federal circuit courts of appeals are in conflict the Supreme Court accepts the cases for review. In this instance, Madalyn O'Hair, founder of American Atheists, surmises that the court wanted to deliver a personal rebuff to American Atheists in the city and state where it is headquartered. In doing so, however, the court has simultaneously approved of the use of a Christian cross in one city's seal and disapproved of the same Christian symbolism in two other cities' seals, thus only adding to the confusion and to the implication of bigotry in the Supreme Court. *********************************************************************** * * * American Atheists website: http://www.atheists.org * * PO Box 140195 FTP: ftp://ftp.atheists.org * * Austin, TX 78714-0195 * * Voice: (512) 458-1244 Dial-THE-ATHEIST: * * FAX: (512) 467-9525 (512) 458-5731 * * * * Atheist Viewpoint TV: avtv@atheists.org * * Info on American Atheists: info@atheists.org, * * & American Atheist Press include your name and mailing address * * AANEWS -Free subscription: aanews-request@listserv.atheists.org * * and put "info aanews" in message body * * * * This text may be freely downloaded, reprinted, and/other * * otherwise redistributed, provided appropriate point of * * origin credit is given to American Atheists. * * * ***********************************************************************

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank