In California a federal judge just put a stop to the construction of the monument because it was “unmistakably religious”.
A federal judge on Monday blocked a construction of a monument in southern California, ruling it would be an “unmistakably religious” symbol on public property.
The Lake Elsinore City Council unanimously approved the construction of the polished black granite memorial last year, which would depict a soldier kneeling in prayer before a Christian cross. The City Council planned to build the monument at the entrance of the Lake Elsinore Diamond Stadium, which is owned but not operated by the city.
Here’s what the monument would’ve looked like:
So we have a soldier kneeling in prayer before a Christian cross. This seems, as the judge said, undeniably religious. What was the city’s defense?
Though the monument would feature a Christian cross and Jewish Star of David, the City Council argued as a whole the monument communicated a secular message.
Fortunately, the judge wasn’t so willing to play dumb:
“The fact that the Latin crosses and Star of David do not dominate Monument 2 cannot take away from the unmistakably religious message they send to any objective viewer,” he wrote. “The Latin crosses and Star of David are immediately noticeable to even the most casual passer-by; they appear on the front of Monument 2, and, in contrast to the concededly non-sectarian images that appear on the front of Monument 2 — the text, the American flag, and the bald eagle — the sectarian symbols are illuminated in white.”
The City of Lake Elsinore has not said whether it will appeal the decision.