The Right to the Cross on Public Property. Response to a Humanist Association

The paper focuses on the right of citizens who are believers and nonbelievers to the Cross’s presence on public land or in prominent public buildings. The authors support arguments used in the 2019 case of the United States Supreme Court American Legion v. American Humanist Association by outcomes of legal analyses presented during the 2011 controversy concerning the presence of the Cross in the chamber of the Polish parliament. There seems to be no logical connection between the presence of the Cross in public places and the government’s impartiality in religious matters. The Cross does not threaten the impartiality as it fulfills an important social function: it calls for readiness to sacrifice in the name of the good of other people. The right to the Cross becomes an expression of sincere concern for the common good and of true humanism. The people’s expectation that their right to the Cross is respected proves to be both legitimate and constitutional in Poland and in the United States. It is true particularly when the Cross had already been present on public land for a significant period of time. An act of establishing the Cross in public space is different in its nature from demolishing the Cross by cutting its arms or removing it completely from any public space.

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