House approves religious symbols on war memorials

Somehow, I don’t think we’ve heard the last on this subject:

The House on Tuesday approved a measure that seeks to permit religious symbols on federal war memorials, a response to a court ruling that declared a cross atop a San Diego memorial violated the Constitution.

The War Memorial Protection Act passed on a voice vote in the Republican-controlled House but faces uncertainty in the Senate.

The measure, which would allow religious symbols to be included in military monuments, was introduced by Rep.Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared the 43-foot cross atop Mt. Soledad an unconstitutional “government endorsement of religion.”

The measure’s approval came the same day the House passed a bill, the World War II Memorial Prayer Act, to authorize installation of a plaque or inscription at the World War II Memorial in Washington of the prayer that President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered on the morning of the Allies’ invasion of Europe.

Hunter said his legislation was needed in the face of legal challenges against the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial “and the likelihood of more to come.”

“Our Constitution protects the freedom of religion, not freedom from it,” Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Carlsbad), a bill co-sponsor, told his colleagues. “This issue is one that has gone so far that we’re actually talking about tearing crosses down over war memorials.”

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