Another Christian Cross on Public Property, but the AHA is Fighting Back

In Bladensburg, Maryland, there sits a World War I memorial called “Peace Cross.” It’s a 40-foot cross on public property, maintained by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The American Humanist Association is asking the Commission to remove the Christian symbol:

“The cross is a Christian symbol, and government should not be in the business of promoting religion. When government oversteps its bounds, as in this case, it sends a negative message to those who don’t hold Christian beliefs,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “A war memorial should be inclusive and recognize everyone’s service and sacrifice. We owe it to our veterans to replace this memorial with something more appropriate and universal.”

“This cross amounts to an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity on public land,” said Bill Burgess, attorney and legal coordinator of the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “It is an exclusively Christian symbol that does not represent the sacrifice of non-Christian soldiers. Its prominent presence on public land leaves any observer with the notion that Christianity is exclusively favored and promoted by the government.”

The AHA points out they mean no disrespect to the soldiers who fought in the war:

This letter should not in any way be misread to imply that those who support the separation of church and state in general, or AHA in particular, seek in any way to diminish the sacrifice of the soldiers whose names are listed on the plaque on the base on which the Bladensburg cross sits. It does them, and us all, a great disservice, however, to conflate patriotism and religion. A Christian cross does not represent all of the war dead; it is not the marker chosen by Jews, Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists, nor by atheists, agnostics, humanists or other nonbelievers. A cross is an inherently Christian symbol. The state cannot choose it to stand for all of the fallen. To do so is to denigrate the service of those who have not chosen that religion, relegating them to second class citizen status.5 It sends the message to those who see it that the government sees only those citizens who are Christian as mattering, when, of course, that is simply false.6 When the state prefers Christianity in this way, it not only betrays those of its citizens who are not Christian, it violates the separation of church and state, a value held dear by the founders of our nation and enshrined as a fundamental right in the Constitution they drafted.

Earlier this summer, the San Diego-based Mount Soledad Cross was found to be unconstitutional so there’s precedent for this case.

Let’s hope the Commission understands that before they waste taxpayer money to fight a battle they deserve to lose.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/TweetThatSheet Daniel Brown

    I’m sure even the Christian soldiers who died would be upset to see that their government has chosen to represent them over their brothers in war.

    • Coyotenose

       We don’t get to decide how dead men would have felt about things. SOME of them would understand the point; most were products of their time and place.

    • WoodyTanaka

      It’s irrelevant.  They don’t exist anymore.  What they would have wanted doesn’t matter, because we have to live with what we create. 

  • http://twitter.com/UselessInfomant Scott Maddox, CPA

    I live 5.6 miles from Peace Cross. Is there a petition that I can sign?

    • fredwords

      You can become a plaintiff. There will be a number of them, including me. You’ll become a part of history. 
      If interested, contact Bill Burgess at BBurgess@AmericanHumanist.org . He’s the attorney handling this matter. 

  • EdStarr

    I, too, live a short distance from this monument and drive past it regularly.  For some time, I’ve hopefully anticipated that its inappropriateness and inherent unfairness would prompt this kind of action.  I’m glad to see that day come. 

    • fredwords

      Dear Ed, the American Humanist Association is looking for lawsuit plaintiffs.  And the best ones are those who drive past the cross regularly. If interested, contact Bill Burgess at BBurgess@AmericanHumanist.org . He’s the attorney handling this matter. 

  • A3Kr0n

    It’s a disservice to atheists and non-believers? If there’s a difference, then I’m confused. I’m still wondering about that anti-atheist comment in another post, too.

    • Coyotenose

      It’s an idiom. “Non-believers” are often religious, just not Christian.

    • Anonymous Atheist

      Definitionally there isn’t really, but many ‘non-believers’ aren’t yet comfortable associating with that scary ‘atheist’ word.

  • GeraardSpergen

    I don’t think these letters should include so much editorializing.  They ought to say, “This monument is on public property and maintained with public funds which makes it unconstitutional.  We request that you remove it on those grounds.  Please refer to US vs Mt. Soledad for precedent.”

  • Guest

    I don’t understand the hate. Christians promote something they love, whether it be public or private property. Atheists promote something they hate, whether it be on public or private property. You see the difference?

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      I’m not seeing any hate from our side.  The christians think it’s love to put their symbol up on government land and claim that it’s in honor of all the fallen.  We see it as a symbol that excludes everybody not in their camp, so to us it looks like the christians are hating on all the non-christians.  We don’t think hatred and exclusion is appropriate for public land, and we’d like it taken down.  It’s fine if you want to put it on your own property, or put it up at a church.  It’s fine if you put up a monument that honors the fallen of all faiths or of no faith, but you can’t do that with a symbol belonging to only one religion. 

      • Nathan

        I’m sorry but it’s not hate. It’s a symbol of our savior that we love! We don’t hate non-believers, we don’t hate anyone. I can’t speak for the entire Christian world, but for the most part we are very loving people. True followers of Christ don’t hate or they are not a true follower. You all put up signs that put down Christians, we put up crosses and signs that promote our savior Jesus Christ. A quote to live by, promote what you love don’t bash what you hate.

        • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

          You don’t speak for the entire christian world, and you apparently have never tried to live as a non-believer among a christian majority, either.  We are faced with a constant daily torrent of hate, most of which comes from so called “true followers of christ.  To many non-believers, your cross is a symbol of the people who abuse and bully us.  Then you show up here and start talking about “love”.  You could best show love by example.  Move your cross to your churchyard and stop trying to force your religion on everybody else. 

          • Guest

            I don’t know who you were hanging around, I have talked to a few atheists about religion and not once did I call them names or ridicule them. It was actually brought up one day at my workplace. There was about 5 or 6 of us standing around one of our co-workers who openly admitted he was an atheist. We simply asked him why? We talked about it, and when I could sense he was getting uncomfortable I backed off. A couple of them kept talking to him and I told them to back off, in which at that time they did. Later he texted me and thanked me for being understanding of his non-belief. In turn I told him if God ever convicts his heart and needs someone to talk to I’d be there for him. You see, you can have a bad experience, and completely shut people out. You’re hurting nobody but yourself.

            • WoodyTanaka

              “Later he texted me and thanked me for being understanding of his non-belief. In turn I told him if God ever convicts his heart and needs someone to talk to I’d be there for him.”

              You’re such a hypocrite.  You couldn’t simply let him be an atheist, accept him and be his friend.  Instead, you use it as an opportunity to sneak in there when he’s reaching out to you.  If the overt method of conversion to your mind virus doesn’t work with you, I guess you go with the covert I’ll-pretend-to-be-your-friend-so-I-can-sneak-in-the-Jesus-talk method, instead.

              • Guest

                There is the hate I’m talking about. I simply told him “if” he was ever convicted by God, IF, I would be there. How is that pretending to be his friend? Seriously, you should really look up the word bigot, because that is your mentality.

            • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

              You’re apparently new here.  You have one instance of a christian (you) being semi-tolerant of an atheist, and you think that’s representative of our experience as a whole.  It’s really not.  You say that not once did YOU call them names.  Did you happen to ask if they had ever been called names, ridiculed or harassed by anybody else?  People in our community are harassed, they lose jobs, they receive death threats.  This happens every day, and is mostly perpetrated by followers of this religion of “love” whose symbol you are so fond of.

              • Guest

                According to the non-believers I’ve talked to, Christians are the ones trying to take on the victim role. The more I talk to atheist the more I feel like you’re the ones trying to take the, “feel sorry for me” role. I cannot control what other Christians do or say, I’m sorry if you feel like we are intolerant of your lifestyle, I will openly admit it. I think you are making a huge mistake, but I don’t force my religion on anyone. It’s your choice, you will have to live with the consequences of a godless lifestyle. I’m sorry it is what it is.

                • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

                  “It’s your choice, you will have to live with the consequences of a godless lifestyle.”
                  OK, see, that’s a threat, that if we don’t follow your religion there will be bad consequences.  You say “I dont force my religion on anyone” and then in the very NEXT SENTENCE you try to force your religion on us.  You said one thing and did another; we get this kind of behavior from christians all the time.

                  Do you see why we get tired of this?  And maybe why we don’t want your symbol given preferential treatment by the government?

                • Guest

                  I haven’t threatening you or forcing anything on you. You don’t have to believe it, and as far as I can tell you don’t. If there is a heaven and hell which I’m quite sure there is, you are the one choosing to take the alternative route, it’s not a threat. God will give you continuous chances to make the right decision, you have the option to be obedient. If you don’t believe in hell you have nothing to worry about because it doesn’t exist. For people who don’t believe you sure do get awfully worked up about it. If I was forcing it on you I would say you either do this or I will treat you badly which I am not. You think I’m being mean because I am telling you what God has told us, it is you who is being cruel to yourself.

                • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

                  You have a strange idea of what “not treating someone badly is”.  Remember that most atheists in America are ex-christians.  We’ve heard all that thousands of times, and if it was at all persuasive we would not have left in the first place.  So here you are with your “I’m not intolerant, but…” and then you dump your tired evangelism on us, ONE MORE TIME, because you can’t have a simple conversation with a non-believer without threatening them with hell.  Every time you behave like that you remind me of how glad I am not to be like you any more.  

                  And now this reply thread is getting to thin and hard to read, so I’m done with it.  

                • Guest

                  It’s not a threat it is a WARNING!

        • WoodyTanaka

          Then put up your cross on private land, with private funds and all will be well. 

      • Guest

        One solution could be, raise money and put up a monument for non-believers. You need to consider the soldiers of the Christian faith as well.

        • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

          Possible.  And one for Jews.  And one for the Muslims.  And one for the Hindus.  Etc., etc. etc.  And where do we stop?  Do they all get to be as big as that cross?  If the Satanists want to put up a monument too, is that OK by you?  How about when the Pastafarians want to put up a giant statue of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pbuH)?  At what ponit have we lost sight of the original purpose of the memorial?  When we do this we aren’t memorializing soldiers anymore, we’re building monuments to our own egos

          Or how about we put up a memorial that has no religious symbols at all? A simple solution that avoids people competing to show off how pious they are.

          • grerp

            Are you paying for this new memorial?  Because most municipalities are broke and underwater paying for their pension obligations.  Take this one down, and it will not be replaced.  

            • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

              Since there are so many churches in the area so anxious to keep it, the municipality could auction the cross off, one of them can buy it, and the proceeds can go for the non-religious monument that should have been there in the first place.  The church can put the cross up on their own property, and the city avoids a lawsuit. 

          • Guest

            It’s funny that you say all this because it is only non-believers that seem to be complaining about Christians and this monument. It seems we are the only religion that gets attacked by atheists. The majority of the articles on this website are anti-Christian, and the majority of atheist are strictly against Christianity alone. I realize atheists are probably against all religions but it just seems Christianity is the majority of the focus. If it were the Jewish star or the Islam crescent and star ect. would you make just as big a deal, I’m guessing probably not.

            • WoodyTanaka

              “It seems we are the only religion that gets attacked by atheists.”

              Because most every religious American in Christian.  If the Jews or Hindus were able to get their religious symbols built with public funds on public lands, we’d fight them, too.

              ” If it were the Jewish star or the Islam crescent and star ect. would you make just as big a deal, I’m guessing probably not. ”

              you’d be wrong.  And get down off your cross, for pete’s sakes.

            • Vision_From_Afar

               As a member of a minority faith, I take umbrage at your presumption that this doesn’t bother me. I back the atheists completely in this endeavor.
              You have no idea how relieved I was when I saw that my own town’s new, beautiful and respectful war memorial contained zero religious symbols. Those men didn’t die for the Cross, they died for the Stars and Stripes.

              • Guest

                It honestly was not my intentions to offend anyone just trying to make a point. I just feel as a Christian, my religion is the most scrutinized especially in this country(USA). I can understand why other religious people and atheists might get upset about a cross but I assure you it was also not intentional. You can perceive different things however you wish but it doesn’t make it right or wrong soley on you’re own interpretation of it. The cross was not put up to piss you off in other words. On the other hand, you cannot deny atheist signs being put up to intentionally piss off Christians, hoping that we do something irrational so we come out looking like the bad guy. Honestly no, I don’t understand why atheists even get upset about a cross, what does it symbolize to them, they don’t believe in God. Buddhists, Jews, other religions maybe but non-believers no. Why should a cross representing something that doesn’t exist really even irritate you honestly? If you want it taken down(I’m sure you’ll get your way you normally do) raise money and pay to have it taken down and a new one put up.

                • NewAtheist

                  This isn’t about something so petty as being offended by a religious symbol, or even about religious inclusion with respect to the dead interred in that spot. It’s about Constitutionality, pure and simple: that the governemtn shall not establish a state religion. And most persecuted? Mayhap you should delve into the true Christian history… and you’re only “most percesuted” in this country because you are the biggest & most vocal.

                • Guest

                  The point I’m trying to get to is, when they put the cross up they weren’t trying to offend anyone. Rather they were trying to honor those who gave up their lives and rights for us. Ironically, that is exactly what the cross symbolizes. If you want to raise money or better yet waste MORE tax dollars to take it down, as long as you put something back just as honorable, I don’t have a problem with it. Except of course wasting tax dollars.

                • allein

                  I’m sure most Christians aren’t trying to offend anyone when they support these types of displays, they simply *do not think* at all of the people who might disagree that it is an appropriate memorial.

                  Also, to your earlier comment, yes, it does represent something that exists. It represents *your religion* which, on government property, with government money, simply shouldn’t happen. It really shouldn’t be difficult to understand that.

        • WoodyTanaka

          “One solution could be, raise money and put up a monument for non-believers.”That would still not solve the problem that this christian one violates the constitution.”You need to consider the soldiers of the Christian faith as well.”No, we don’t.  No one has a right to have a violation of the constitution simply because they beleived in the religion that is being favored by that constitutional violation.

      • Blacksheep

        It’s the difference between “Yes” and “No.”

        It’s a very different dynamic to do / create / put forth that to undo / destroy / take away.

        • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

          But that has nothing to do with whether a cross is appropriate for a memorial on public land.  If it should not have been put there in the first place, it does not matter what the “dynamic” is.  Religious symbols belong on private land, not public land. 

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      No. I see neither actions of Christian love, nor atheist hate. The only thing I see is secularists acting in defense of the Constitution because they love their country.

    • WoodyTanaka

      Your looking at it wrong.  Atheists aren’t promotiong something they hate.  They are fighting against you people violating the constitution.  “Hate” has nothing to do with it.

      • Guest

        I was referring to the subject as a whole. Christian crosses and signs compared to atheist signs, whether they are on private or public property. Sorry I did not stick to the subject at hand directly.

      • Blacksheep

        Oh, there’s tons of hate against Christians on here. Just stick around for a while and you will see it!

  • http://aeternum-somnium.blogspot.ca/ Tim Rosenfeldt

    If the Peace Cross were a new memorial, I could agree that it should be removed, but it was erected in 1922. Unless its presence was contested early in the past 90 years, let it be. The AHA was founded in 1941 but I don’t see reference to even them tackling this previously. There is no honor in pursuing this so long after the fact; it does nothing more than reflect poorly on the current atheist generation(s). 

    • Nigel McNaughton

       Absolutely, I can’t get behind the forced removal of a 90 year old war monument. If this was something overtly racist or hateful then it might be different. This has a tinge of fundamental religious groups destroying historic buildings and monuments because of their religious origins.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        The cross — a brutal execution device — is inherently HATEFUL, and has long been used to intimidate and silence others.

        • Fargofan

           I’m glad I’m not the only one to see this as strange. The modern version would be putting up a Peace Noose, a Peace Electric Chair or a Peace Lethal Injection Needle.

          • Blacksheep

            It was a torture device, so at first look it is an odd religious symbol. But Christ’s death is at the very center of our faith, and the cross is a symbol of his sacrifice and love. 

            • NewAtheist

              which is why a cross has NO place on public, governemnt-funded land.

            • Fargofan

              I understand that. I was raised Christian, went to a Christian college and church, etc.

        • Nigel McNaughton

           This was not put up as a hateful act but one of remembrance 90 years ago. The people who put it up where doing what they thought was a honourable act 90 years ago. Your screaming does nothing to address the relevant points here.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Sorry, but the cross is right up there with the swastika as far as hate symbols go. The cross is not “honorable” — using it as a memorial is fucking offensive. It’s like erecting a statue of a sniper rifle to “memorialize” JFK.

            If you can’t (or, more likely, refuse to) acknowledge the truth of this, I can’t help you. (And you have a twisted sense of honor.)

            The honorable thing to do is to take down the cross and put up a memorial that, you know, ISN’T shaped like a brutal execution device.

    • WoodyTanaka

      I fail to see any reason why a 90-year-old conflation of church and state is any less unconstitutional than a 9-day-old one.

      • http://aeternum-somnium.blogspot.ca/ Tim Rosenfeldt

        Who said it was less constitutional? Not me. But to answer the implied question, a 9-day old conflation of church and state hasn’t had the opportunity to affect like something similar but 90 years old. The one 9 days old should be an issue tackled immediately, before it takes root in the hearts and minds of those who accept the symbol regardless of religion. It’s a very simple matter, alluded to in my previous comment. If the families of non-Christian soldiers memorialized by that symbol had a problem with it and pursued the matter, that’s one thing. But that memorial has now existed for 90 years, and has most likely been accepted by the majority, if not all, of those families. Despite the cross being taken by Christians as their symbol, there’s a strong possibility that it means something other than “only Christians soldiers are validated here” to those who were killed in action, their immediate families (if still alive), and their descendants. The vendetta against anything and everything remotely religious missteps if it isn’t taking all aspects into consideration…which I doubt they are doing. If they have and those affected the most agree with AHA, more power to them.
        And yes, I realize that a cross in this context is not considered “remotely religious”. Regardless that Christians simply commandeered as their own a symbol that is nothing more than an ‘X’ marker that was tilted on its side to be stuck in the ground.

        • WoodyTanaka

          Who cares about the families?  The opinion of the families is irrelevant.  Even if every person in a town wanted to erect a relgiious symbol, it woudl be illegal for the government to do that.  The prohibition against this nonsense exists regardless of what those people belived. 

          And there is simply no way that this symbol can be viewed as a non-religious one. 

          • http://aeternum-somnium.blogspot.ca/ Tim Rosenfeldt

            I care about the families, along with millions of others who realize that the soldiers themselves are not the only people who sacrificed.

            I’ll help you out by clarifying your last statement: *to you*, “there is simply no way that this symbol can be viewed as a non-religious one.” Just because Christians think a cross is *their* symbol doesn’t mean I have to. In fact, a few years back, I gave up thinking that every occurrence of two lines intersecting indicates a Christian cross.  So, it’s a simple matter to see this as nothing more than memorial; a marker with the names of dead soldiers on it. Christians nowadays are putting up crosses everywhere, often for no better reason than it is guaranteed to piss off some atheists (a LOT). This is just a 90-year old marker, erected at a time when these issues were not on the front line.

            Anyway, feel free to lambaste this post also but I’m done here and moving on…

            • WoodyTanaka

              No, not just to me, but to the religious kooks, too.  That’s the point.  The symbol is one which objectively suymbolizes the religion and put there with religious purposes.  That you feel comfortable living as a slave to this nonsense is your business. 

              • http://aeternum-somnium.blogspot.ca/ Tim Rosenfeldt

                So you’re saying we should consider your opinion to be the same as that from the religious kooks. Done! 8P

  • Agnostic

    Appears that fighting for minority ‘rights’ is so much more Important than issues like money supply in private bankers hands and what it can do to the entire economy. If you believe Ben Still in the money masters series, you will see how minor all these issues are.

    • Coyotenose

       “How dare you prosecute anyone for breaking and entering when not every murderer has been caught yet!”

  • grerp

    You realize that, when they are forced to take this down, they will not erect a “nothing” memorial to honor those soldiers, 99% of which were probably Christian and would resent this action?  There will simply be no public memory of these fallen men.

    • Coyotenose

       You don’t get to decide how dead strangers would feel about things. And thank you for making the point: that 1%, or, even that .1%, was discriminated against – ILLEGALLY -  for the sake of religionists’ feelings.

      • grerp

        Oh, blah blah.  I do get to decide, at least for me.  You may bully, through the courts, to obliterate from memory the names  ofthose men who sacrificed for their country and communities, but I’d bet anything their comrades, atheists or religious, would rather have them remembered through this vehicle than not remembered at all.  

        Legality is not morality.

        • Coyotenose

           And there we have it. You think you get to decide how dead men with no public record of their positions would think and feel. Another neocon who thinks they’re psychic. Thanks for supporting that trope.

          You changed your argument, by the way. Not that I’d expect a religionist to be consistent, or to not act like a pissy wannabe martyr after being called out for making things up.

          • grerp

            I’ve read quite a lot of primary source material from this period in time.  I guarantee you the people whose names are on that monument didn’t feel as you feel.  But go ahead and take down history and remake it as you feel it ought to have been.  Who needs to have the dead remembered when feewings are being hurt now.
            It’s interesting that American society managed to erect thousands of these things  in the shadow of the Constitution and no one noticed until the late 20th century.

            • WoodyTanaka

              “It’s interesting that American society managed to erect thousands of these things  in the shadow of the Constitution and no one noticed until the late 20th century.”

              Big deal.  Americans held black folks as second-class citizens for just as law, in direct defiance of a number of constitutional amendments.  Americans can be pretty dumb and pretty twisted when it comes to this stuff.

              • grerp

                Well, if we believe it now it must be true then.

      • Blacksheep

        You know full well that the men to whom this memorial was erected would be fine with a cross. They aren’t “Dead Strangers”, they’re war heros.

        Besides, erecting a memorial is not “Making a law respecting the establishment of religion…”

  • Coyotenose

    Defenders of this monument are probably going to argue that it was intended to represent 49 specific men, and that all of their religious backgrounds are described in historical documents as Christian.

    Doesn’t matter. Just like it wouldn’t matter if it was a different religious symbol on public land representing 49 men of that religion. The group that originally erected the cross didn’t know they were doing anything wrong. They came from insular backgrounds where the presumption of Christianity wasn’t even conscious. We simply know better now. We know that the tax monies of everyone in the country end up paying to maintain and restore a religious symbol. We know from experience that many defenders of it are aware that it is unconstitutional, and they simply do not care. We know that their sense of privilege is such that they are fine with demanding that we pay for their religion to be promoted. And we know that a forty-foot cross is promotion of Christianity, no matter what the panderers, the ignorant, and the apologists claim in their ridiculous knee-jerk defenses.

    • grerp

      Ah, the “We know better” position.  Thank goodness some elitist knows what’s best for the great unwashed masses who cannot possibly decide for themselves what they want or believe or even should want or believe as well as other, more knowledgeable people can.  I can’t wait until I’m dead and people can dance on my grave and call it respect or whatever enlightened people of 100 years hence decide is appropriate and right.

      • Coyotenose

         Personally, I can’t wait until someone without an actual argument has to make up a position and try, badly, to apply it to me. Oh look, I don’t have to!

        If you aren’t able to grasp the basic Constitutional issue, whining louder and more ignorantly does not make up for it. The “We” who knew better wrote this into place 130 years BEFORE this cross was put up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Kokch/100000074576649 Sandy Kokch

    Whilst it is not in the USA, but my own country of birth the UK, may I suggest that when the “other side” argues that war memorials are often crosses, the secularists show them a picture of Britain’s most revered war memorial (to all conflict dead) The Whitehall Cenotaph.

    No crosses there as it was deliberately designed by Luytens to represent ALL war dead, not just Christians. That is how you pay respect, not with sectarian symbols.

    And to the “traditionalists” like Tim below who say “ah well its been there blah blah blah” Yeah…thats the tradition argument that Christians like to use mate. It didn’t wash in San Diego, nor in the Ahlquist matter….and it shouldn’t here either. It may have been erected in 1922, but that was in a time when the KKK held mass marches and cross burnings in Washington.

    Sod tradition – tear it down and replace it with a monument that honors all not just some.

    • http://aeternum-somnium.blogspot.ca/ Tim Rosenfeldt

      Check my avatar, Sandy. There are no Christians in this household, *mate*. You have your opinion and I have mine, which I stated earlier. If you don’t like it, state your piece or ignore it. There’s no need for presumptions.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    I wouldn’t want to grandfather in all crosses on public property, but if someone can prove that every single person buried in the cemetery in question was a Christian, I see no harm in letting it remain.
    In France I visited the Verdun chapel.  There probably are some Jewish and atheist dead among the human remains beneath it, but I wouldn’t want to see it destroyed because it has artistic merit.  This very blah cross has little or no artistic merit.  Replace it with something moving, if we have any arts funding left.

  • MadSeamstress2000

    I’m thinking that SINCE the monument has been there so long, there should simply be a prohibition against any govt. money being spent to maintain it. If the churches or vets groups  want it to remain, let them keep it up. Otherwise, let it become an eyesore (which it already is!)

    • fredwords

      It is lit up at night, which involves an ongoing electrical expense. The floodlights also have to be maintained, as do the flower bushes around the base of the cross. 

  • Robert

    what you will find very hard to accept is the same man who died on the cross will be your final judge after you die.

  • Dan

    Having a cross on public property and maintained with taxpayer money is an endorsement of Christianity.  Any reasonable person who sees a cross understands it is a christan symbol.  Allowing the Cross to remain in violation of the separation of church and state, feeds the view held by some that the U.S is a Christian Nation which it is not but if this is allowed to remain the false perseption that the U.S is a Christian Nation continues.  This belief in the Christian Nation has led to some Christians attempting to force their religious views and beliefs into law and on to others.  It is for this reason more than any other that atheist and other religious minorities strongly oppose these violations of the separation of Church and State even in the face of publicly looking bad and mean spirited.  The slippery slope analogy is the concern you alow this and next it will be prayer in school, creationism in school, bans on religious minorities, etc.

    The fact that the a violation of the separation of church and state had persisted for over 90 years does not give it a pass.  Based on this logic all one must do to violate the consitution is keep the violation going long enough and some how it stops being unconstiutional, so if one groups freedom of speach is supressed long enough that supresson of their constituional rights becomes constitutional I don’t think so.

  • Tkdmccutch

    The monument was originally erected on private property( and was that way for many years), not public, so get off your high horses about how the cross came about in the first place. It was not erected with a goal of forcing Christianity on anyone, rather using what at that time something that was regarded as an acceptable symbol. To forestall the whol issue, it should be bought back and become private property again. Then, it would still offend some people, but not crossing the church and state line. I, too, am an atheist, and a liberal, but radical atheists and radical liberals are just as bad as bible-thumping, proselitizing Christians and their counterparts in other religions. Why don’t we go back and cleanse everything that has gone before rather than take a clear look and learn from the past and find a way to go forward that shows respect for everyone (although that will never happen because humans are sorry compilations of biases and prejudices)? Political correctness all around! I’m an individual and everyone is expected to do what I want to do, so there!


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