40-Foot Peace Cross Can Stay for History’s Sake

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A 40-foot cross, a World War I War Memorial, does not violate the constitution, according to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor, who is to the left of Justice Ginsburg, and Ginsburg dissented in the 7-2 decision.

It’s labeled a Peace Cross and stands on public land outside Washington, D.C. Residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland and the American Humanist Association sued to have the cross taken down, and the American Legion, whose symbol is also on the memorial, intervened to defend it. The litigants said it violates the Constitution.

The Court decided that factors indicated it was historical, not religious in nature.

The Bladensburg cross honors 49 local men who died in World War I and was paid for by local families, businesses, and the American Legion.

The radical Atheists of the American Humanist Association were behind the lawsuit.

THE CRUX OF IT ALL

The commission fighting the suit argued that it’s not an ordinary cross. At its heart is the symbol of the American Legion, at its base, four words: Valor, Endurance, Courage, Devotion.” There is no religious content on the cross and there are other memorials nearby.

During questioning, the justices expressed their varying viewpoints. Sotomayor said the cross is too large. Breyer said, “History counts.” He also said the times are different. Kagan said her decision is in the context of that historical moment in time.

In the final decision written by Justice Alito, he wrote that the cross, undoubtedly a religious symbol, “carries special significance in commemorating World War I. He stressed it is a place for the community to gather and honor the sacrifices of veterans.

The Dissent

Justice Ginsburg wrote, “Just as a Star of David is not suitable to honor Christians who died serving their country, so a cross is not suitable to honor those of other faiths who died defending their nation,” Ginsburg wrote in her dissent. She was joined by a fellow leftist, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “Soldiers of all faiths ‘are united by their love of country, but they are not united by the cross.'”

We think Christian soldiers were united by the cross and we don’t have a problem with a Star of David to honor Jewish soldiers.

At some point, we have to stop destroying our history, but what do you think?

 

  • A precedent setting and courageous decision with ramifications far beyond this one case. Monuments to Washington, Jefferson, Lee and Jackson are now protected for both their symbolic meaning at the time they were erected as well as their historical importance

  • Hopefully true believers in the great leap forward are traumatized by the presence of the cross. To get enlightened comrades riled up tell them that their 19th century fairytales from a German rat bum are also a religion.