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Brigham Young University Law School

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Cross, Crucifix, Culture: An Approach To The Constitutional Meaning Of Confessional Symbols, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Pasquale Annicchino Jan 2014

Cross, Crucifix, Culture: An Approach To The Constitutional Meaning Of Confessional Symbols, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Pasquale Annicchino

Faculty Scholarship

In the United States and Europe the constitutionality of government displays of confessional symbols depends on whether the symbols also have nonconfessional secular meaning (in the U.S.) or whether the confessional meaning is at least absent (in Europe). Yet both the United States Supreme Court (USSCt) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) lack a workable approach to determining whether secular meaning is present or confessional meaning absent.

The problem is that the government can nearly always articulate a possible secular meaning for the confessional symbols that it uses, or argue that the confessional meaning is passive and ...