Phyllis Schlafly says that President Obama is planning to remove the crosses at Arlington Cemetery:
You were talking a minute ago about Arlington Cemetery; if you haven’t been there, I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of all the crosses there and I just wonder if the day is going to come when they want to take down all those crosses.
The reference is to this urban legend — usually told about the ACLU — debunked by Snopes here.
Snopes also notes that this image of a cemetery filled with crosses has nothing to do with Arlington. That’s a picture of Arlington there on the right. And below it is the picture often circulated with the lying-spam email recounting the urban legend Schlafly is repeating. It’s also apparently the picture in Schlafly’s head — confusing a European cemetery with the national cemetery in Arlington.
The implication in [the urban legend] — that the ACLU’s opposition to religious displays on state property extends to its advocating the removal of headstones and burial markers from federal cemeteries in the U.S. (although the message is accompanied by a photograph of a cemetery in Europe where American World War II servicemen are interred) — is another example of one group’s exaggerating its opponent’s position in order to mobilize support through political outrage.
This seems to be a habit for right-wing faux patriots busily condemning others’ patriotism — they have no idea what the gravestones at Arlington really look like. Here’s an item from August of 2000: “Cheney speech got Arlington Cemetery wrong.”
Contrary to the emotional picture painted by Dick Cheney in his speech at the Republican convention Tuesday night, there are no crosses in Arlington National Cemetery.
In accepting the Republican nomination for vice president, Cheney closed his speech with a moving description of the helicopter ride he used to take from Andrews Air Force Base to the Pentagon when he was Secretary of Defense.
He described the power of the various monuments of Washington in the order the chopper passes them, ending with the famous military cemetery that abuts the Pentagon.
“Just before you settle down on the landing pad, you look upon Arlington National Cemetery…its gentle slopes and crosses row on row,” Cheney said.
… Cheney would appear to be confusing Arlington with Flanders Fields, a poem written by John McCrea about the World War I battlefields of Northern France: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow/ Between the crosses row on row.”