- After being threatened with a lawsuit from the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation, the city council of Steubenville, Ohio, on Tuesday decided to remove the image of Franciscan University from its town logo.
- “We really see this as a crime, because we weren’t included because we were a religious institution,” Michael Hernon, vice president of advancement at Franciscan University, told CNSNews.com.
- “We’re included because we’re one of the significant members of the community who are contributing over the last 60, 70 years to the economic and cultural likes of the community.”
- In December 2011, the city council of Steubenville decided to revamp its town logo. Along with a silhouette of the Franciscan University chapel and cross, the logo included other Steubenville landmarks such as the Veterans Memorial Bridge and Historic Fort Steuben.
- Following a complaint from a Steubenville resident, the Freedom from Religion Foundation—which is based in Madison, Wis.—threatened the city council with a lawsuit if the image of the Franciscan chapel and cross wasn’t removed from the logo.
- “The inclusion of a Latin cross on the official city logo violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” according to a May 22 letter sent by FFRF to Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci and the City Council.
- “The City’s inclusion of the chapel and cross, as it was intended, signals an endorsement of ‘faith’ and Christianity,” the letter said.
Ohio City Council Removes Image of Catholic College From Town Logo | CNSNews.com