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08/02/2012 United States (Christian Post) – The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), based in Wisconsin, has claimed a victory in its case against the city of Steubenville in eastern Ohio after officials agreed to drop religious symbols from the community’s official logo.
The Steubenville logo, which had been designed by local businessman Mark Nelson in 2011, featured the cross from Franciscan University’s Christ the King Chapel and historic landmarks like Fort Steuben and the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge.
“Steubenville is a theocracy and is a Christian city where non-Christians or nonbelievers are not favored citizens,” FFRF’s chief spokesman, Annie Laurie Gaylor, had said of the logo. She insisted that “the city may not depict the university chapel and cross because to do so places the city’s imprimatur behind Christianity.”
Back in May, FFRF sent a letter to Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci, arguing that the religious symbols on the logo violated the separation of church and state, and warned that the logo needed to be changed immediately, the New American reported.

He added that “what bothers me is this organization has used its interpretation of separation of church and state, that is not included in the Constitution, to bully the city into changing its logo. My family and I are proud to be here in Steubenville and to be part of the community. We are also proud to have a business in Steubenville.”
Franciscan University has also said that it strongly disagrees with the push to redesign the logo.
“We find it particularly troubling that an out-of-town and out-of-touch group targeted the university for removal from the logo solely because of our religious identity,” said Michael Hernon, the university’s vice president of advancement. “For more than 65 years, Franciscan University of Steubenville has proudly served as an integral part of this community, and we were honored to have our chapel included in the new city of Steubenville logo.”
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