America’s Veterans had cause to rejoice this past Wednesday, April 28, 2010 as a divided US Supreme Court found for us in the long ongoing Mojave Cross case, where one disgruntled man deemed it offensive to his senses to know there was a cross erected in 1934 by World War One Veterans to honor their fallen comrades 11 miles from the nearest highway.
Lower courts ruled in favor of the ACLU and the cross has been hidden in a plywood box for some time now. Now, by a 5 to 4 decision, the simple white cross can be freed and displayed for any who desire to venture far into the Mojave Desert to see it.
We need to be vigilant as you will notice; I said it was a 5 to 4 decision. We barely won it and rest assured, anti-Veteran forces will not stop in their quest to deny us the use of such a symbol in honoring our fallen brothers and sisters.
You may download and read the 71 pages of opinion HERE if you wish.
As to the cross being solely a religious symbol, my friend Rees Lloyd, himself a former ACLU attorney who now fights for Veterans causes explained the symbolism of the Cross in veterans Memorials thusly,
“Symbols have meaning in collective life. People die for them. For instance, the Flag. The Cross manifestly has a religious aspect. But, equally manifestly, it conveys a secular meaning -- the meaning of selfless service and sacrifice for others, and is so understood, universally, beyond language barriers. In fact, there is not other symbol so universally recognized as representing selfless service and sacrifice for others, including the ultimate sacrifice of one's life. That is how it is understood at veterans memorials, and why it is the symbol so often chosen to honor the war dead.”
“The Cross, too, has acquired a secular meaning--the meaning of goodness, of self-sacrifice for others. Tear down the Cross and you are left with the absence of any symbol adequate to honor the serve and sacrifice of veterans.”
As you can see, a Cross used to honor Veterans has far more symbolism attached to it than merely religious.
Congressman Jerry Lewis (R.Ca) added his praise by saying,
“Congress has repeatedly voted overwhelmingly to protect the Mojave Cross as a memorial to veterans and those who have died to defend our nation, never intending it to be preserved as a religious symbol. I am gratified that the Supreme Court has upheld the right and authority of Congress to seek these solutions in memory of our veterans.”
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor agreed with retiring Justice John Paul Stevens who spoke in dissent,
“The government has good reason for honoring all those who have rendered heroic public service regardless of creed, but it should avoid endorsement of a particular religious view in doing so.”
Clearly these 4 just don’t get that we don’t choose symbols based solely upon a religious view. Would they adopt the same attitude if the American Red Cross were challenged on their chosen symbol and force them become something like the American Red Box?
This should also be an eye-opener to us all as with Stevens retiring and left-leaning Obama desiring to stack the court with liberals who only fall back on our constitution should they be able to distort a section to deny us of another liberty, we could have lost this case just as easily and knowing the ACLU, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see some other challenge mounted to finish the destruction of one of our Memorials.
The ACLU has been accused of desiring to destroy crosses used as headstones in National Veterans cemeteries and they continue to deny that allegation.
With the over 10 year battle to destroy this simple Memorial out in the middle of the desert, I’m not too sure I trust that denial.