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Does this cross violate a separation of church and state?

Updated on January 20, 2017

So this recently happened in my home town, and I'm interested in hearing other people's impression of it.

In Santa Clara California, there is a roughly 1000 square foot site that is city-owned property, and it marks the second build site of the city's historic Catholic mission. Santa Clara is actually known as 'the mission city' because of this mission, so it's an important part of its history. On that site was a large granite cross, which was donated to the city decades ago, and prior to that, the site had a cross there dating back to 1916. Recently, a city resident, with the help from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, filed a lawsuit with the city, claiming the cross was a violation of the separation of church and state since it was in a public park. As a result of the suit, the city took the cross down. The man who filed the lawsuit was an atheist who was offended by seeing the cross every day while driving to work.

Here is a link to the news story if you want the full details:
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Lawsuit-Prompts-Santa-Clara-to-Remove-Large-Granite-Cross-410711375.html

You can see the cross here. It is now gone, but the plaque with information about the second mission site remains.
You can see the cross here. It is now gone, but the plaque with information about the second mission site remains.
This is Santa Clara CA's official seal
This is Santa Clara CA's official seal | Source

Does this snake statue violate the same rule?

My question is, in the near by city of San Jose, a local park has a large snake statute that is a representation of the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl, a serpent god that was worshiped between 400 BC and 600 AD. I absolutely understand the need for a separation of church and state, but when it comes to something that is a historical marker, is that really an issue, and what about this snake statue, is it similar or the same thing?

Statue of Quetzalcoatl

The infamous 'poop' statue was paid for by the city of San Jose and sits in a park in the middle of the downtown area.
The infamous 'poop' statue was paid for by the city of San Jose and sits in a park in the middle of the downtown area.

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