About the Mt. Soledad ruling

 
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Soledad First, some background via SignOn San Diego:
The 20-year legal fight over the cross on Mount Soledad took another turn Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled the towering landmark on public land in La Jolla is an unconstitutional sign of government favoring religion. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a blow to cross supporters, who have been battling efforts in state and federal courts to get the cross removed. For now, opponents of the cross have prevailed. They have argued the Latin cross is an impermissible religious symbol on public land. Supporters have countered it is a secular landmark amid a larger memorial that honors military veterans and has no explicit religious meaning.
So you get the idea. I don't want to go into everything dealing with this case, but there are a couple of things that bear looking at. The decision is predicated on this [Pages 207-108]:
There is simply “no evidence . . . that the cross has been widely embraced by”— or even applied to—“non-Christians as a secular symbol of death” or of sacrifice in military service. [...] It is thus unsurprising that, as the government’s expert admits, “[o]ver the course of time, Mount Soledad and its cross became a generic Christian site.” The Latin cross can, as in Flanders fields, serve as a powerful symbol f death and memorialization, but it remains a sectarian, Christian symbol.
The court in fact asserts that:
In light of the uncontested history submitted by Jewish War Veterans, the few memorials cited by Linenthal provide less than a scintilla of evidence to support his conclusion that the Latin cross serves as a non-sectarian war memorial.
I'm wondering what Justice Kennedy will think of that, since in Buono (Mojave Desert Cross case) he stated:
But a Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs. It is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people. Here, one Latin cross in the desert evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten.
In fact, the 9th Circuit here even took a direct shot at him on this issue:
Nonetheless, we have thoroughly considered Justice Kennedy’s opinion. As we have discussed, the record before us does not establish that Latin crosses have a well-established secular meaning as universal symbols of memorialization and remembrance.
The court further states:
The record contains not a single clear example of a memorial cross akin to the Mount Soledad Cross.
They are playing stupid here, because, as the Court notes elsewhere:
The centrality and prominence of the Cross in the Memorial dstinguishes the Memorial from other war memorials containing crosses. For example, the Argonne Cross and the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice at Arlington National Cemetery and the Irish Brigade Monument at Gettysburg are located among the many secular monuments in those memorials.
So, presumably their cop out is the use of "akin", because there are plenty of crosses as memorials, just not one of the same prominence as the one at issue here. They seem to imply that the difference between the Soledad Memorial and these others is inclusion of the cross in a larger landscape, which is fine, but let's be clear at least about what it is. What bothers me is they acknowledge these other crosses as Memorials (yea though part of a larger memorial) and still state unequivocably that "[t]here is simply “no evidence . . . that the cross has been widely embraced by”— or even applied to—“non-Christians as a secular symbol of death” or of sacrifice in military service." You might not like it, but there is certainly evidence to support the view that there is such evidence, a position endorsed by Kennedy. Nonetheless, I think what shocked me the most about the case isn't as much the legal reasoning as just the outright imbecility of some of the statements therein. Two in particular stood out to me. Citing Friedman v. Bd. of County Comm’rs, the court noted that:
“[W]e are masters of the obvious, and we know that the crucifix is a Christian symbol.”
Um, yes. But, last time I checked there is not a 20 foot Jesus affixed to the 43 foot Memorial Cross. They do realize that there is a difference between a Cross and a Crucifix, don't they? More egregious to me was this one, wherein the Court makes the same mistake that many others make:
In contrast to this ample evidence of religious usage, the record of secular events at the Memorial is thin. The Association represented in its 1998 bid for the land sale that it had conducted annual memorial services at the site for forty-six years, but the government’s expert historian could point to evidence of only two Veterans day ceremonies—one in 1971 and one in 1973—that occurred prior to 1989.
Now, note what the Court stated about the Soledad Memorial genesis:
When the Cross was erected in 1954, it was dedicated “as a lasting memorial to the dead of the first and second World Wars and the Korean conflict.”
Imagine if I wrote the following:
The dirth of Easter Services on Christmas this Year is a sign that the Christian Churches have atrophied to near non-existence.
Presumably one of you would be kind enough to write a comment that went roughly like:
Hey Dumbass, Easter and Christmas are two different Holidays, honoring two distinct events. How about doing a little research?
The number of Veterans Day events honoring living veterans has absolutely nothing to do with a memorial set up to honor deceased veterans, except that they both deal with veterans. Veterans Day is for the living; Memorial Day commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service. It would be more instructive if we actually knew if there had been any Memorial Day events there. Alas, this ruling does not inform that inquiry.  Now, the Memorial does have some Veterans Day events, so I guess the Memorial must also be to the living (contrary to the stated purpose at it's dedication in the 50's) but one wouldn't really know that simply from the case itself. Anyway, the Court concludes that:
Accordingly, after examining the entirety of the Mount Soledad Memorial in context—having considered its history, its religious and non-religious uses, its sectarian and secular features, the history of war memorials and the dominance of the Cross—we conclude that the Memorial, presently configured and as a whole, primarily conveys a message of government endorsement of religion that violates the Establishment Clause. This result does not mean that the Memorial could not be modified to pass constitutional muster nor does it mean that no cross can be part of this veterans’ memorial. We take no position on those issues.
I might be more willing to accept that reasoning had they actually done the analysis they claim here. There was a Government witness and Justice Kennedy who asserted that the Cross can be a secular symbol of sacrifice, and yet they stated that there was not a "scintilla" of evidence to support that proposition. What the hell is a scintilla if not an expert and your boss saying so? It kind of boggles the mind. When asserting there is insufficient secular usage of the Memorial, they cite to a holiday that is not analogous to the intent of the memorial itself. They discount the 60 plus years of its' being a Memorial to Veterans, the assertion of the same by the US Congress, and other evidence to state that it has no long-standing history as a Memorial to veterans. In one part that I didn't quote here they go off on a tangent about how the city of La Jolla is known for its history of racism. And so, the history of La Jolla discrimination in housing availability is germane, but not the rest of it. And just how would the Memorial be altered to bring it into accord with their view of the establishment clause? We are left to wonder, as there is no guidance. Perhaps if we affix a 44 foot inflatable Spongebob balloon to the top and send the case back up it will survive. What I find particularly ironic is that this took place outside San Diego. Anyone know where San Diego got it's name? It is named after the Franciscan mission that was situated there, named after Saint Didacus. Perhaps we ought to rename the city to avoid entanglement of religion and state. Might I suggest the name Norvturnerville. It has a ring to it, but it might not do very well in January.
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Did they ever consider that it might be the will of the people?

The 9th Circuit Court is the most left-leaning court in the country. So realistically, did anyone expect a ruling which did not reflect the Court's leftist views?

The 9th is the court whose rulings are most often overturned by the Supreme Court. One can only hope this will be another time the 9th gets its wrist slapped.

Jason-

Certainly you should visit Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia. You sound just like the Taliban... Our federal government most certainly is NOT based on the Ten Commandments. Did you leave school at an early age or just skip a lot of classes? Most reasonably run polls do indicate that the majority of Americans are Christian when asked. In reality, like the car dealer that was recently elected to the House of Representatives, a Republican and a Christian, many are two faced people. There is scant disagreement that the most deceitful people on the planet are car sales people. Now there is a Christian for you to emulate... Most republicans seem to be so uninformed it is beyond all imagination when you hear them yell at their rallies: "Keep you government hands off my Medicare." Just dumb, dumb and dumber people you can not find anywhere.

Additionally, even if your premise was correct, the Constitution would still disallow what you seem to wish to promulgate once challenged by any critical debate. The only difference would be that "believers" would be even intellectually dumber."

"Oh, God" during sex coming frequently to my lips. Oh dear, must I then be a heathen in your book? I am so glad your true Christian life style has no affect on mine... and THAT is what the Constitution makes clear should not happen in this nation.

If the cross needs to be removed, please bring it to Minnesota where it will get honor and respect on MY PRIVATE LAND.

To Patriot American - Are you aware that using the lower case letters when you refer to Jesus or Christians appears to come across as disrespectful? I hope it was just a grammatical error as even if we disagree on an issue, to intentionally fling insults seems far beneath a true American Patriot and appears to be disrepsectful to many of your fellow veterans who may be Christian.

While we may disagree on some issues, when it comes to supporting fellow veterans - both those living and those who have proceeded us to Post Enternal, I hope we may stand together in honoring them.

When a servicemember is laid to rest with full military honors, a tri-folded flag is presented to the spouse and children, or to the parents or other family member and the family is told "On behalf of a grateful nation, I present this flag as a token of our appreciation for the faithful and selfless service of your loved one for this country." I see the memorials as not only veterans honoring veterans, but also honoring the families who have chosen to honor their family member in a way consistent with their religious beliefs; for these memorials are not ours alone but for their families too.

Freethinker:

No doubt we'll disagree for a while longer on some issues. We agree on most of your last statements, but you might want to check the Constitution on where it even allows the government to own land outside of the District of Coumbia, which was for a stated purpose. It has acquired vast amounts of the American west which it did by confiscating wealth from the citizenry for no other reason than to deprive everyone of its use and to dictate to us what any approved uses may be and I would place a bet and give odds that this site is one of them. That is a pure and simple power grab, my friend and it has also punished us by driving up the cost of what's left private.

You also surmise too much when you say I believe that the laws of physics don't apply. Although there are immature believers who use religious icons as lucky charms, few expect or demand miracles of the Creator. Again, a careful reading of the Bible records that Jesus had very little patience with those who continually called for a “sign”. Miracles were mostly given to authenticate His authority to His followers. G-d does not make a habit of publicly suspending His rules of physics.

No, Monthax, you are athiest yourself. You do not believe in Thor, Juniper, Zeus etc., right? Just add one more to it....An athiest is not a religion. Its simply NO belief of a creator at all. Pretty simple. To Versie, In God we trust was not put on money until 1900's....
So many people do not really know our history, nor the founding fathers true religious beliefs.....Read the treaty of versailles. They were rich land owners who had slaves, who made the laws... Kinda like today huh????

Larry explains it best, and then I read Trovero who says it's a left-leaning court. The Constitution is pretty clear on this issue and the court stuck as closely as possible to the Constitution, and you call that "left-leaning"? I have to wonder, aren't the real leftists the ones admonishing the court for upholding the Constitution while beating the drums for their religion to be given preference? Radical Islam and radical Christianity are both radical and as "leftist" as can be, trying to impose their beliefs upon everyone else. When I served, I served to obey the Commander-In-Chief, who was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution has been upheld in this decision. Read Larry's view and you might understand. The freedom for which we fought and many have died is, amongst other things, the freedom from religious persecution especially of land owned by ALL the people.

It is just a cross; a Memorial! Even if the meaning is all messed up or whatever. They put this cross here as a Memorial symbol and it should be left alone. It is been there for years and now it's become part of San Diego, just let it be. Let the USA build some kind of history for God Sake!

We all know that the Ninth Circuit writes their own liberal laws. When each was sworn in,did anyone ask them if they were aethists?

As a LEGION member for the better part of 58 years,served as adjutant,chaplain,2nd vice and so on,and as a past commander of a VFW post,i pose this question...........how many CHRISTIANS, people of all faiths,are there in these UNITES STATES? now... how does that many ppl let about .01% tell so many what they can and cannot do?

I’m really saddened to see that there’s a lot of Right Wing Nuts out there that are more than willing to follow a fantasy. Let’s get real here. The bottom line is that Jesus never existed and organized religion is just another tyranny. Read the works of the Founding Fathers, including the most important one of all – Thomas Paine. His “Age of Reason” will set you straight if you have the courage to read it with reason, not emotion.

Let everyone believe what they want with regard to religion. Many do not believe in any organized faith. It troubles me that the voices of "true believers" are getting louder as they try to impose their views on the rest of us in areas outside of their churches and into the realm of politics. Think back to the time of Puritan rule and the Salem Witch Trials where the church ruled the state and when rights of individuals were violated in the name of religious conformity. I do not want to see this nation become a theocracy such as in Iran where the "chosen god or religious values" control the people.

Talk about true believers, would you rather have Christian true believers who obey the law or Muslim's who are hell bent on killing non believers???

It is regretable that Jewish war veterans would not tolerate a monument
representing thousands of Christian US soldiers who died fighting Naziism
and who helped rescue Jews in death camps. The objection is absurd. Who is the enemy here: Christian
American veterans or the Nazis? Has anyone objected to having additional religious smbols at this site? Is the next step to remove crosses from Arlington National Cemetery?

I am so bitter that I was stupid enough to serve for over twenty years. I have had my rights stomped on by local government, state government as well as federal. The courts are out of order. It seems that just about every elected official who takes an oath to support the constitution just does so to take office. they do not give a dam about what is right.

I feel most elected officials do not know what their job is or the limits to their authority. Elected officials are responsible for the Health, Safety and well being of the people. The limit to their authority is that what they do protects the Health Safety and well being of the people. Not what they do. The Courts at all levels support the wrongful actions of these closet communist, socialist, or whatever they are. Why ? Because they are compromised by political powers. We are not allowed to say corrupt. That would offend far to many of these powerful people who are by their actions enemy's of the Constitution of the United states. Far to many could and should be charged with dishonoring the oath they took when accepting public service.

This will not happen. to bad.

Take a look at Dearborn Michigan largest pile of Muslims in America. They have foot baths in the college for them. A public school had their football team practice at three or so in the morning to comply to that relegion of theirs. It goes on and on and here we have judges ruling against American Christians like this. Get ready to flee boys they are taking over.

I thought that our Country was founed upon God. When did we altogether stop honoring God? His name is on our money and it is included in the Pledge of Allegiance. If the Muslims can block streets during their prayer time, why can't we have a Cross out away from the busy streets to go and HONOR those who gave their life for us, including JESUS? Congress needs to take a refresher course on the Declarartion of Independence.

Leave it alone. Do they have to nitpick every little possible Christian sign in the country? Just leave the cross, and if someone wants to put a Star of David or some other symbol up to commemorate Jewish or any other religious or ethnic group, feel free to add it. We are all supposed to be tolerant and tolerated here. This is a beautiful monument and it would be a shame to lose it just to make a few narrow-minded people happy. Wish they would spend their time doing something that is actually helpful to our nation instead of always trying to tear down what we have and are proud of here. If they don't get it, I wish they would just GO AWAY.

I was not aware they had voted to retain the Cross. That changes my whole perspective of this blog. If the Court overturned a vote by the people of this great nation to keep the Cross, That area is no longer a Democracy it is Communistic. My idea was based on the people not voting on the issue. The issue is not about a Cross on public land it is about how powerful the Court system is. When our Freedoms are taken away we have the right to overthrow the Government as described in the Declaration of Independence.

I agree with Ernie. Bible thumping Christains are getting very desperate in their efforts to reassure themselves in their beliefs by imposing them on everyone else. Look at this extract from a letter submitted to the editor years ago when this issue came up in San Diego:
"As a Christian, I am appalled that a judge has again ruled against us Christians on the cross issue. However, do not worry fellow Christians; as the majority, we rule! We don’t care what the constitutions of the U.S. or the state say. That cross is going to be there forever, or the Second Coming, whichever comes first. ...Most of my life that holiest of symbols has stood as a quiet, reassuring sign and reminder of the total dominance of my Christianity over other religions and against godless Communism. Most Americans are Christians, nearly 80%. Most of those believe in Santa Claus, miracles, the Easter Bunny and all of the good stuff. That Cross is the symbol of our majority control of this country.
Some say that, as a war memorial, it is not a symbol of sectarian religion. This could not be further from the truth. While people of other religions may have in a few isolated cases fought and died in war, they did so as the unwitting tools of us Christians. It was Christians who did the real fighting and dying. The non-believers cannot expect us to allow their puny, heathen symbols to desecrate our scenic mountains..."
Get real Christians! If you want Jihad against everyone else go to Afghanistan and fight the evidoers there.

Yes, the cross is a religious symbol. Claiming it is not is like claiming Intelligent Design isn't Creationism. It's a dishonest attempt to change the framework of the argument. The government of this country was designed to be secular for a reason. It doesn't matter if you don't like it, you can't claim you are supporting your country and your government if you only like the "christian" parts.

It's all or nothing and this country is for ALL of us, not just the Christians.

Routinely held where? You've read Van Orden, the various creche display cases, the 10 commandments cases, the mojave desert case etc, which one of those held that? None of them.

And as a lawyer, you should know that Kennedy, Justice of the Supreme Court held exactly what you are saying violates common sense.

There is no Constitutional violation, it may be an eye sore but the Contstitution only states that the government can't estabish a religion. If you say that they can not reconize a religion than there is no fredom of because is does not exist. hmmm

This is just another example of the . Lets vote to have these radical 9th Judicial Court of Appeals warped interpretation of the U.S. Constitution judges impeached. & excelled from the USA, Long live the USA! “In God We Trust”! Are the people really that dune, all of our Government people are of one or another kind of Christians Believe. even Hitler had some kind of Christians Believe, So to separate God from the Government you would have to have people of no Christians believe & moral value at all. there is a place for God and a place for government. For without God there would be no USA, I have been to many County, wail as a soldier & the oath i Taken was for GOD & COUNTY, and all county have some kind of Christian believe, just the name is difference. The Cross Stand For The USA believe, BEFORE, NOW, & FOREVER no matter what the 9th Judicial Court of Appeals Think.
Thank God I am American (this is were i was born, no matter were my family come from, for one who is born in USA is an American & nothing else).

There is a larger issue here. This left wing court and the administration's Justice Department, I feel
don't care about "church and state", they just want control over what we think. The church is a threat
to their moral control. It will get worse.

Are the nutcases going to remove all the crosses at Arlington and around the world at Veterans Cemetarys .....added note.....the whole planet knows what nutcases the 9th Court are....as a veteran of two wars It so disgusting to see and read what these idiots are up to.......

The 9th Curcuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned Judical body in the history of America. Though I'm an automotive engineer, and not an expert on Constitutional law, Article III Section 2 enpowers a judicial body to try a case in which there is a dispute between citizens, including all cases of law. As the 1st Amendment states: "Congress shall pass no law making any religion the religion of the United States, or take away the freedom to worship as one pleases." As this decision violates the people's right to "worship as one pleases" this decision should be overturned by the Supreme Court. The decision is legislative in nature, and in the court's conclusion that this doesn't "pass constitutional muster" is both illegal and treasonous as described in Article III Section 3. This decision is aiding to hamas radicals and therefore members of the 9th Curcuit Court of Appeals should be brought forth on charges of Treason against the citizens of the United States and further suffer disbarment. George Vollrath, San Antonio, Tx

It is a sad day indeed, when I read the comments from someone deceptively decreeing himself as a “Patriotic American” writing what he does above. The founders of our country were Christians, HELLO! The majority that died in the Revolutionary War, Civil war, WWI, WWII, and other conflicts were Christians! Whether the cross reflects Christians or covers all Gods and religions really doesn't matter.
For our confused brother to insinuate that Christians are all murderers, and implying this is not the case with other groups of people should make him reflect on what he is doing in this country or even on this earth. Why even bother to be here??? Have you even asked yourself that question and what was your answer? Truly a sad situation for a life with no true compass or purpose. Ever since man has been alive there has been war. For land, resources, religion, freedom, or whatever reasons, war has resulted more often than not, more civilized and fair societies, with clearer guideline to live, and with more freedoms. Using his logic, the Revolutionary War should never have been fought, so welcome to the new undeclared, uncivilized, with no laws new world! By the way, still pay taxes, but now you can simply shut up about your freedoms or be hung as a traitor, according to rule back in the 1700s!
In nations without armies, or effective armies please explain your position, Africa, South America, and even Mexico today? Please explain your freedoms being a problem again, or try living in one of the 3 areas above and tell us how it is! It is due to people like the thinly veiled Patriotic American , that this country is slowly losing it's grip as a superpower, that morals and values in society and the military has decayed, government handouts will exceed gross production some day soon, and we are going to become a failure as a nation. It may not be in out lifetime, but what are we doing to our children’s and grandchildren’s future. Setting them and our country simply to fail!!!
Bottom line, the cross stays, if another group wants to establish a co-existing monument close to this memorial, we should allow it, and keep moving forward as a nation of one, and not destroy what is already there for us to remember those that died so we can discuss this topic as free Americans!

@Roger M
I'm Christian.
I'm a member of the American Legion - so just what right do *you* have to question my character on the basis of *my* opposition to the use of a Christian symbol as a memorial to those of ALL faiths?
In this case, I agree with the Appeals Court ruling. Since the time of the Crucifixion of Christ, the Cross has been a distinctly CHRISTIAN symbol. Erecting a cross as a memorial on public land demeans the faiths of those of non-Christian faith who have served with honor and distinction.
It really is that simple.
Look at it this way, how would you feel if they had erected a huge Star of David, Menorah, or Crescent instead of a Cross?

To the "unpatriotic american": Only a fool has said,in his heart,there is no God.Liberals only believe in themselves. As far as JESUS being a liberal,that my friend,is blasphemy for Christ said to love your brother as yourself and we know liberals dont do that!! He also does not believe in slaughtering the unborn,homosexual marriage, or spitting on veterans as liberals do.Tom hayden and Jane Fonda caused the torture and death of many veterans and oh by the way they are liberals!Code Pink spit on Marines as they come back from Iraq,and by the way they they are liberals.Do not compare JESUS with those fools!Are you really a veteran or a liberal INFIL-TRAITOR?I will pray for you and hope someday,before it is too late,that you see the light and come to see CHRIST for who He really is because right now,you have not a clue!!!!!!!!!!!!GODS LOVE AND PEACE BE WITH YOU.

Richard-
You want to be honest and mention all the times the court has upheld those same displays?
You can start with Van Orden which I have mentioned repeatedly, and then you can distinguish from your apparent invisible cornucopia of unnamed cases.

"Patriotic American" doesn't have to worry about having a compass, he would not know how to read it. Like it or not, this nation was formed as a "Christian Nation." Nowhere in the US Constitution does it say or infer that there should be a separation of church and state. This warped interpretation only effervesced from liberal atheistic judges and perpetuated by the ACLU. The ACLU should stick head it toilet a flush. This anti-God organization is only destructive and just move on to a place where their ilk would be tolerated.

It cracks me up that people like some of those above can give his/her version of the way things should be and how organized religion will fall and all his other ideas. If we disagree with people like that we are all scum and must be dumb people that do not matter.

The fact of the matter is there is a freedom of religion in this country and a freedom not to believe in a higher power. Your choice. We are also told to be tolerant oof others. There are crosses on public land in every national cemetary in and out of this country that mark the graves of Americans that fought for this country and the free world. Do those crosses hurt anyone? Are they offensive to non believers ? like they were offensive to the NAZIS, and others who would take away your beliefs and thougts of freedom. Ask people in Vietnam, combodia, red China, Cuba, countries behind the Iron curtain before it fell about all the pain and suffering placed upon them by people that do not believe in a higher power or just plain reject the higher power.

The crosses mean something to families of fallen service members. It means something to those that serve. If you don`t like them don`t look at them and stay away from them. You non believers are taking down crosses, taking down any religious structures that offend athiests or non believers or those against organized religions. Where does it stop? How much do we destroy to make them happy. I guess they are right. There is no god, no higher power. There is no purpose to life and there is no importance in the way we treat fellow man. There is no ultimate consequences for how we live our lives while here on earth. It doesn`t matter that we take care of each other or the land that no one gave us. Lucky to be them.

Thanks to all VETS for serving. There are a few that believe we serve for the cause of securing freedom for those that don`t have it or need it protected. Do we make mistakes? Yes without question but we give everything to the cause and believe with all of our hearts that we are doing the right thing. Please God by any name help this COUNTRY SEE THAT THINGS LIKE THIS CROSS NEED TO STAY. I love and believe in this country good, bad and ugly it is mine and I am a proud American patriot.

Get rid of it, and good riddance. Organized religion, especially the christian religion, has throughout history been responsible for a staggering amount of death and misery. Millions of men, women, and children have been murdered, raped, jailed, and tortured in the name of "god". Placing a christian cross at a memorial for fallen soldiers does nothing but dishonor their memory. If the memorial is taxpayer funded/public land it is clearly a government endorsement of christianity, and therefore unconstitutional.

If you remember correctly, our forefathers set out for the New World in order to escape religious persecution. They wanted to be free to live as they wanted, to not have others views forced upon them. This was in the forefront of the Founding Fathers' minds when they laid out our Constitution. It should be noted that many of the Founding Fathers had no love of organized religion, and some of them actually held it in contempt. You won't hear that truth from your pastor or from the used car salesmen we call elected officials.

Freedom OF religion also means freedom FROM religion. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the right of every American, and there are no qualifying factors. Not having religion forced down your throat by your government is a basic right of every American, and an easily understood core principle of American liberty and freedom. If you don't understand or support that, then you fail to understand what FREEDOM really means, so stop waving that flag and pretending to be a freedom loving American, because you aren't one.

You can freely practice your religion of choice on your own time, in your own home, or at your place of worship, why must there be a continual effort to broadcast it in public places or during public events? Does the baseball player need to sign the cross before each and every time he steps into the batter's box? Does the football player or team need to pray on the field before and/or after the game? Could you not pray just as effectively before the game, in private? Or does the prayer only count when everyone can see you doing it?

While it is nice that "god" has time to help those who pray to hit home runs and score touchdowns, I might suggest that he tend to more important matters. Let's start with all the untold millions of innocent children who are at this very minute, and have been for centuries, suffering from the terrible pain and tragedy of starvation. They never seem to get any help from the almighty one who could, with the snap of a finger, permanently end that horror, but for some unknown reason, chooses not to and is therefore responsible for it. So we can say with all certainty that "god" starves helpless innocent children to death, and has done so for centuries. Something so awful would certainly qualify as a sin, it has to be worse than coveting your neighbor's sweet new sports car, or regularly eating too much ice cream for dessert, right?

How about the millions of innocent people who throughout history, have been systematically exterminated for one reason or another? I'm 100% sure there was a lot of praying going on in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. "God" could have stopped the holocaust in an instant if he wanted to, but quite inexplicably just simply decided not to. Odd choice for a being that supposedly loves us all so much. I'm sure the response is that "god" works in mysterious ways right? Yeah, let's go with that sad and tired excuse.

Further, it is simply illogical for an all knowing and all powerful being to require worship from inferior beings. As a comparison, would a brilliant scholar demand worship from the mentally challenged? Would requiring worship from those clearly inferior to you be a sin? Pride maybe? Pride is the sin of sins. If so that would also make "god" himself a sinner, and imperfect, and therefore unworthy of worship.

Help me out with this one, "god" created we humans as imperfect sinners, correct? So when we actually do sin, (an act that "god" is clearly responsible for since he created us that way) we then have to get down on our knees and beg forgiveness for something that we can't avoid doing, and the one we are begging forgiveness from is the very one who caused it in the first place. Utter nonsense.

Think about it folks, organized religion is nothing more than a method of establishing control through fear. As worldwide communication grows, so does individual knowledge and the global intelligence level. With knowledge comes an expanded view of the world, and fairytale stories will be seen for what they are. Eventually people will stop being afraid, stop being manipulated, and will finally be set free of the bonds which have held them down for so long. Organized religion will fall, it is inevitable. When that time of liberation occurs, it will be known as the single greatest advancement of humankind and the human condition.

That is all, now you can go back to watching Limbaugh and Beck.

Are we sure the kangaroo court that ruled on this didn’t have "we love Nancy Pelosi" T-shirts on under their robe when making their decision. This is nuts!!! The progressives that say this decision is based on Separation of Church and State" need to take a class on the US Constitution and the Amendments. Well after the constitution was signed and ratified, George Washington and John Adams had a national day of fasting and a national day of thanksgiving in effect. Study the notes of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and John Locke concerning this and you will see that is where the concept is really originated and that it has been twisted over the years by bipolar crazies to try to eliminate religion all together. This is not what the Establishment Clause meant at all. This nation was built upon 2 thoughts, "freedom and religion" not freedom from being exposed to religion. It simply states that the government can not dictate a national religion. If this is not the case, please explain how the current President can justify expenses visiting the Pope in July 2010 on the tax payer’s dime? Looks like an endorsement to me based off of those that are screaming about this cross, or maybe not??? Why didn’t the left start jumping up and down on this? I am sure if those who practice the Jewish, or Indian faith, or Moslem faith wanted to put up a Veteran's memorial to honor those that have defended our country, the objections would be very limited. That my friend is true meaning of the 1st Amendment concerning government and religion. The next step these nuts will want is to remove all of the crosses on graves at our National Cemeteries.

I really get a kick out of reading these posts:
That these people who post know more about the Constitution of this country than an Appeals Court Judge - hilarious.
That anyone who disagrees with them are called idiots, nuts, leftists, communists, socialist, etc. - Nothing like calling your fellow American Legionaires names to show YOUR intelligence.

I commented on this yesterday but I guess it was not politically correct enough so it was removed.
Yeah, let's post all the addresses and phone numbers of the court members and then we can be just like the Muslims when their Allah was insulted. If nothing else you'll get people to hate the Christians as much as some despise the Muslims. Give 'em a reason, brilliant! If you don't agree with their interpretation of the Constitution just harass them., duh.

I'm not Christian, but but I think the cross should stay. I'd like to see a placard denoting the historical time period in which the cross was erected. In the 1950's the US government made many decisions that did establish that the US government believed in God. No it didn't establish a particular religion as official, but the intent was simply to further separate the US from the USSR which was apparently officially atheist and was murdering/executing members of the clergy. So, the US government officially added "under God" to the pledge (1954) and made "In God we trust" the official motto (1956). This effectively kicked "E Pluribus Unum" to the curb, which had been the unofficial motto ever since Thomas Jefferson penned it. "In God we trust" was originally added to money by a very Catholic secretary of the Treasury in the 1800's (I cannot remember exactly when). All of his male siblings had joined the clergy and his mother was disappointed that he didn't follow suit. He added what is now the official motto to our money to appease his mother. And Of course the main reason the Soledad cross is there - Christians built it. I seriously doubt that this court decision is going to lead to the removal of crosses in graveyards because the graves have Christians buried in them just the like the graves of Jews in those graveyards have the Star of David on them. So forth and so on....

I have been trying to figure out, for years, how ATHIESTS became the majority in this Nation. Christians are being persecuted by every other faction of individuals in the country. Are our judges and politicians all members of the ACLU or the Communist party ??? Sorry, but I think the ACLU is the Communist party in the USA. It was said that this nation would fall from within, and I think we are well on our way.

Well, whoopy doo. I dont spend even 1 hour a day on a barstool drinking and/or smoking. If I did, I would think that would be my own business.
You are damn right I complain about that dang or damn Obama. After all, he is as close to a Marxist Commie Pinko as I've seen in any public office in my 65+ years.
Do you maybe also believe it takes a community to raise a child? If so, you are full of it! It takes a male and a female who are married to each other to raise a child, with some help from grandparents, friends and other decent people.
My free time has been eroded by having to work harder to pay for those who don't work (not to be construed as those who customarily work but are unemployed).
I don't take any offense to your comments about Christians just so we bear in mind that the Islamic folks are the worst type of murderers the world has ever known who claim to live under an umbrella of religion. Those bastards created the word "intolerant".
As for judges, especially Feds, we should tar and feather 90% of them ride them out on a rail. Sorry scumbags.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!! GOTT MITT UNS

I guess this means we will have to remove all of the crosses along public roads where people have died in auto accidents.
Is that not government land?

In response to: "The dirth of Easter Services on Christmas this Year is a sign that the Christian Churches have atrophied to near non-existence.

Presumably one of you would be kind enough to write a comment that went roughly like:

Hey Dumbass, Easter and Christmas are two different Holidays, honoring two distinct events. How about doing a little research?"

I would would say "Hey Dumbass, Easter and Christmas were pagan holidays first. How about doing a little research." The Church overtook these holidays, and now, a society that is starting to wake up out of the fog of religion, is starting to take them back.

PS- I thought I marked Legion mail as spam after your last edition where you bigots were protesting the DADT repeal.

If there are any Jewish, Muslim, or other Non-Christian there, I'm sure their families would prefer either recognition also - and that would lead to a huge mess, or removal of the Christian cross. This thinking honors non-Christian Americans who have served and died for their country. I am a Christian and a true believer, I am also an American and understand that being a true American does not require you to be a Christian, like me. Hey AmLegion, quit being so "lets please the majority" or a blue eyed club, be American (and Christian)! "This country dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" said our greatest American (A. Lincoln, for you illiterates) and that thinking is what is required an American. I am glad the court defended MY freedom by removing that cross from public land. I am sure that there are many church grounds where you can honor the following in a totally Christian way and if you include a few non-Christians you would be pleasing them and showing your true Christianity and I am sure there are other symbols that would honor "that last full measure of devotion".

I am so tired of people protesting about crosses and religion and keeping church and state separate. If you have to, put up other monuments to other faiths but give us the right to believe in christianity if we choose to and the freedom to worship without constant harrassment. So the cross is on public property, so are the many government buildings that have facades with sentences which mention God and so are many statues and on and on ad nauseum. The courts have many other rulings to concern themselves with besides whether a cross on public property is correct. Get over it!!

JCampb- Where? Where is that in the Constitution? It says only that there can be no establishment of religion, nor interference with the free exercise thereof.

Back in '66 at Christmas time some moron got the idea to send a small spotter plane up over Da Nang airbase broadcasting Christmas Carols at earsplitting volume through loud speakers. It was supposed to be good for our morale. I looked out into the field by the runway and saw a guy swearing and with great dramatic futility throwing rocks up at the low flying aircraft.
I recognised that guy as a my buddy Joe, a Jew and one of the best intelligence analysts in the Air Force.
His contribution to the war effort far surpassed my own and I felt bad at this gratuitous insult to him and his tradition. And to this day I still sympathize with non Christian veterans who repeatedly had Christianity shoved down their throats by the military.
It's all very well for some politician to say that a cross is just a universal symbol of a respectful burial, but I can almost guarantee you that no Jewish, Islamic, atheist or traditional Native American family would feel all that good abut having their veteran son buried under one. Either you respect another veteran's lawful religious beliefs or you dismiss them because you believe Christianity is BETTER than their beliefs. That arguement, at least, can be dealt with historically. The pseudo-logical defense of a Christian religious symbol on the basis of tradition, common practice, etc. is just annoying hypocrisy by those who believe their religion is superior. It deserves to be met with scorn by those other vets who have also paid their dues.

We still hold that myth that this country is a Christian country. The very first treaty this country entered into clearly stated by the then President, George Washington that this country was NOT founded on any religious principle. That same treaty by the way was with a Muslim nation. A treaty we entered into to procure the release of American Marines who were captured in Tripoli.

Yes, A TRUE Patriot (unlike the rest of us fakers) nothing says inclusion like "tearing down that religious crap" that has stood as a monument to veterans for 60+ years.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.