The ACLU of New Jersey threatened legal action against the Neptune school district after an attendee at last year’s graduation ceremony took offense to the building’s religious symbols and Christian-based references -- among them a 20-foot white cross above the auditorium’s entrance. The ACLU asked the school to remove or cover up the cross and three other religious signs, arguing their visibility during a public school event is a First Amendment violation....Interestingly, if this case goes to court, the key Supreme Court precedent will be Van Orden v. Perry, the case about the 10 Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds, and that monument supposedly originated as a promotion for the Cecil B. de Mille movie "The Ten Commandments." From the oral argument in Van Orden:
The Camp Association said it could not cover the cross, said to have been a gift from movie director Woody Allen, who used the auditorium during shooting for the 1980 film "Stardust Memories."
Justice O'Connor: How did this monument get there? Was it in... is it true that it was put in as a result of promoting a movie about the Ten Commandments?And the cross is only said to be a gift from Woody Allen.
Mr. Chemerinsky: The record is unclear as to that. There are certainly many indications in the popular press that Cecil B. DeMille together with his movie, The Ten Commandments, worked with the Friends of Eagles to have these monuments put around the country. But there is nothing in the legislative history that links this particular monument to that.
Where do all the religious stories come from? If there were movies back in Biblical times, what movie directors would be wandering around in those old Judeo-Christian stories? Anyway, I tried to find a YouTube clip showing the cross in "Stardust Memories," but I can't remember that movie well enough to know what scene it's in. I did run across this clip from Woody's "New York Stories" that has a little Larry David performance in it. And here's Larry David saying "Religion should be made fun of, it's quite ridiculous, isn't it?... If I really believed that stuff, I'd keep it to myself, lest somebody think I was out of my mind":