Update 1/7/11 6:00pm. Two San Diego area Congressmen, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Carlsbad) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) sent letters to US AG Holder & Defense Secretary Robert Gates in defense of the memorial.
A commanding and dramatic site. A testament to our War Veterans who have given their lives to Advance Freedom and protect our nation. Now in danger from leftist and liberal organizations like the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and our own court system.
This time an outrage from the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, specifically Justice Margaret McKeown who penned the 50 page decision this week, stating the 43 foot tall Mount Soledad Cross which sits on federal land in a park just outside the city of San Diego violates the "Establishment Clause" of the Constitution, noted below:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
In reaching the decision the 9th Circuit overturned a previous ruling in 2008 by Justice Larry Burns who ruled in a previous lawsuit by Jewish veterans the cross is part of a memorial built for and in memorial of all veterans, not just those of any ethnicity or religion. The Cross now belongs to the Federal Government, specifically the Defense Department, the entity which now must intervene to save the cross from possible demolition. Not only is there a cross, but also 2,700 plaques dedicated to war veterans both living and deceased in 6 concentric rings.
The crux of McKeown's decision states the Cross
"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."
Our national heritage seems to be in the crosshairs of liberal organizations and judges who are chipping away bit by bit at the ideals and religion this country was founded upon.
This Cross controversy has been in the court system for over 10 years, SCOTUS Justice Kennedy intervened in 2006 ruling for a stay after Congressional legislation and the voters of San Diego made their feelings known positively after the ACLU filed suit on behalf of an atheist who was apparently "offended" by the cross. If the "offendee" was "offended" this diarist sees no need for that "offendee" to attempt to limit access to the thousands of visitors who see the cross as a Beacon of Light and comfort for our veterans, those who made the ultimate sacrifice and their families. After all, it just sits there. There's no coercion of any kind.
Gina Coburn, ironically a spokesperson in the San Diego attorney's office and once a plaintiff claims the cross will have to be removed unless the 9th Circuit reverses their decision or SCOTUS intervenes.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Atty. Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute whose organization is representing the American Legion and has filed a brief asking the court to protect the monument. Liberty Institute also represents over 4 million veterans in their fight to preserve the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial which also had a cross, pictured below, which was stolen back in May after SCOTUS "saved" it. This is akin to desecrating people's graves.
Liberty Institute will be appealing to the Obama Administration and the US Justice Dept to intervene to save the Soledad cross. Their press release is here.
It seems we have an attempt at "religious cleansing" here, my folks. I wonder what the reaction would be had this been a mosque. Attorney Shackelford states:
“The Ninth Circuit’s opinion almost completely disregards the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Salazar v. Buono, in which the Court said that the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial should stay,” said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO of Liberty Institute. “This ruling is a slap in the face to our nation’s veterans, and we hope that the Justice Department will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to set the matter straight.” [snip]This is part of a national trend to remove crosses on federal land, regardless of whether the cross is part of something as sacred as a veterans memorial."
We'll have to see how the Justice Dept. and Obama handle this. After all, Obama was "called to task" by members of Congress in this letter for "misquoting history" in his speech in Indonesia last December. In the speech he called our national motto E pluribus unum when in reality it is In God We Trust. A deliberate misquote, an error or no teleprompter in site?
The letter is signed by 42 Congressmen.
As our Veterans Memorial Crosses seem to be toppling like dominoes, what is next to be targeted? The site below?
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks
Crossposted at Procinct.net