Friday, January 14, 2011

Cross Declared Unconstitutional

The Mount Soledad Cross is back in the news again. The cross belongs to the American Legion and was erected 57 years ago as a war memorial. Part of the complaint in this case is that it exists on government land.

The First Amendment addresses religion and government, and prohibits the government from establishing a national religion to which citizens must adhere. Allowing the Legion to maintain this cross is hardly the same as establishing an official religion.

The complaint was brought by the ACLU on behalf of Jewish war veterans. And now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has found the cross to be unconstitutional.

Certainly I sympathize with Jewish veterans who might feel "left out" when the see the cross. But a symbol erected by a private organization is not required to be all inclusive. And I can see that, if the Legion wishes a religious recognition, it would be difficult to do so without leaving out some group or other.

The Ninth Circuit decision in this case seems to ignore a U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of a different cross in the Mojave National Preserve. And it also seems to dramatically expand the meaning of the First Amendment.

Read more below:

And read this informative insight from the Heritage Foundation:

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