AUSTIN – In a letter today to San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner and county commissioners, the Office of the Attorney General applauded the county’s decision to maintain crosses on the county courthouse, and promised to support the county if the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) brings a lawsuit.
“Take note that on occasion FFRF will file a lawsuit to try to force government to purge all acknowledgment of religion,” First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer wrote. “If that occurs, we look forward to supporting your lawful decision to retain the crosses.”
Yesterday, the commissioners voted 5-0 to keep four crosses in windows of the San Jacinto County Courthouse, which is located in Coldspring, Texas. Last month, FFRF informed Judge Faulkner that a local resident complained about the crosses, which FFRF called “a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause” of the U.S. Constitution.
In its letter to San Jacinto County, the Office of the Attorney General pointed out that FFRF seeks to impose its anti-religion agenda through intimidation tactics, and while the organization threatens more than it sues, if often loses when it does sue. The U.S. Supreme Court has called FFRF “an enterprising plaintiff,” and one that the court has found guilty of roaming the country in search of governmental wrongdoing. Recently, a federal district court in Houston rejected an attempt by FFRF to silence Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack from opening his courtroom with voluntary invocations.
“We want to make it clear that your county may display historical religious symbols, like crosses, without violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. You should know that you can reject FFRF’s demand to impose its anti-religion bias against San Jacinto County,” First Assistant Attorney General Mateer stated in his letter.
View a copy of the letter here.