07 October 2009

Follow up: Supreme Court on Mojave memorial cross

My interest in religious symbols comes from research on Judge Roy Moore's display of the Decalogue in his courts, which in the western canon, is one of the great foundations of our law and ethics. It is absurd the extent to which we have restricted the display of symbols of good in our Christian-founded nation and through the clamor of "white noise," have self-acclimatized to viewing with suspicion Christianity ("evangelicals") and community service (government taking stance on "Faith-based initiatives"). There was no "separation of church and state" intended in the Constitution which would prohibit religious symbols nor expression, nor acknowledging our roots in Christianity and its values, yet this lie propagates resoundingly in these frightening modern times.

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court seemed inclined Wednesday to permit a five-foot-tall cross to remain standing in California's Mojave National Preserve, while avoiding a broader ruling that could affect religious symbols on government property.
In Supreme Court arguments Wednesday, the justices looked closely at the terms of the 2004 act transferring the property. The court's decision could turn on whether the justices conclude the act requires the VFW specifically to maintain the cross.
[Solicitor General] Ms. Kagan said Congress's "sensible action" ended the government's entanglement with the Christian symbol, while preserving "a memorial that for 75 years had commemorated America's fallen soldiers and had acquired deep meaning for the veterans in the community."
Justice Antonin Scalia disputed the premise behind the lawsuit, telling Mr. Eliasberg that it was unfair to view the cross merely as a Christian symbol.
"The cross is the most common symbol of the resting place of the dead," he said. "What would you have them erect? Some conglomerate of a cross, a Star of David, and you know, a Muslim half moon and star?"
"I don't think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead," Justice Scalia said. "I think that's an outrageous conclusion."
However, the court seemed inclined to stay away from ruling whether it was acceptable for the government to put crosses on property it owns outright, a question that was never directly at issue in this case.
A decision is expected by July.

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