Because of anti-Christian bigots pretending they are atheists I got really interested in crosses on in public spaces.
It started with the crosses that stand over Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
I was told that no government monies could be spent on such things because of the first amendment and the separation of church and state.
I read the first amendment carefully and it doesn't include that phrase. That phrase is part of a single letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association.
We in the gun rights community talk a great deal about the injustices derived from the penumbras generated by adding words to the constitution. Why do so many of us ignore this?
What the first amendment says about religion is the Federal government is not allowed to establish a state religion and that it may not forbid the people from worshipping as we will.
The fourteenth amendment seems to apply the prohibitions on government found in the Bill of Rights to the states and perhaps to local governments as well.
What does all that mean? Did you know that the authors of the constitution and all of those amendments? They do say what they intended.
To be frank, Jefferson is wrong. It's not surprising, he was out of step with the other authors quite frequently, and to our benefit most of the time.
What was intended?
It was intended that if the population of a town was so incensed by the presence of a religious symbol placed in the public square that they should vote out the government officials who committed this egregious offense and replace them with persons more like minded. The intent was not to shield a teeny minority increasingly sensitive to any slight. The intent was not for the judicial branch usurp and override the electoral process when such a small group disagreed with the majority in an election.
This intent would not be clouded except for the need to have passed the 14th amendment. The intent of the 14th amendment was to finally ram home to the former Confederate States that they'd lost the war and that people with dark brown skin and kinky hair were free and equal citizens of the restored United States. That was the sole intent of the 14th amendment. The authors would be shocked to see their amendment twisted to remove a manger scene from the courtyard.
Over and over in my reading I find that the people who founded this nation intended us to be informed and to use our guaranteed rights to elect people to provide for our collective interests while also guarding our liberties. Judges were to be the referees, not writers of the rules or players in the game.
If you don't like seeing a cross on top of a water tower or a baby Jesus in the city courtyard, talk to your city council. If they ignore you, find someone to vote for who won't. Run yourself if it means so much to you. But until they declare that Christianity is the official religion of Yourtown USA and require you to attend services on Sunday, they have not abridged your rights in the slightest according to the protections of the 1st amendment.