Lankford

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement after the US Supreme Court ruled in support of religious freedom on American Legion Et Al. v. American Humanist Assn. Et. Al., known as the Bladensburg Peace Cross case. Lankford joined the case as an amicus curiae. The case dealt with whether a public war memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland, which featured a “peace cross” was unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution. The Court held that “the Religion Clauses of the Constitution aim to foster a society in which people of all beliefs can live together harmoniously, and the presence of the Bladensburg Cross on the land where it has stood for so many years is fully consistent with that aim.”

“I was recently humbled to see the thousands of crosses and Stars of David used to mark the graves of those who fell on the Normandy beaches, and the Normandy beaches are no more an established religious site than the memorial park in which the peace cross has stood for many years,” said Lankford. “I am pleased to see the Court again affirmed that the presence of a religious symbol does not necessarily establish a religion and that such symbols can also serve other purposes. I am glad to see the Court continue to uphold the First Amendment rights of Americans and to ensure that we do not construe the free use of religious symbols in public places as establishing a religion. China is scrubbing all religious symbols from public view. That may be who they are, but that’s not who we are as Americans. We recognize Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, and we do not see a need to scrub the existence of religion from the public sphere to show that. I will continue to fight for the First Amendment rights of all Americans.”