"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Mojave Desert War Memorial Cross

This story came to my attention today and it is just criminal what they want to do to this memorial.

"The Mojave Desert Memorial Cross has stood proudly for over 75 years, honoring our American war dead. Or it was until the ACLU stepped in and got a judge to rule the memorial to World War I veterans unconstitutional. They covered the cross with a bag, and when that didn't work, they boarded it up in a plywood box. Now, they're threatening to tear down this national monument because they don't believe America should have religious imagery anywhere on public property.

If they win and succeed in tearing down this monument, what's next? Imagine what could happen at the Arlington National Cemetery. Will they put bags over all the crosses that mark the graves of our fallen heroes? What about the 20-foot Canadian Cross of Sacrifice?

We believe America should remember and honor her veterans; and were taking our case to the U.S. Supreme Court to tell the ACLU that they can't tear down our freedom!"
Please take a moment to go by the web site, Don't Tear Me Down, and read all about it and sign the petition. And, fyi, this memorial was privately funded..." In 1934, WWI Veterans erected a monument to honor their comrades who had died in battle."...and the monument has been cared for and maintained by a private citizen named Henry Sadler. The complaint is that it is on public land.

And, while the land was originally public land, I found this info..."According to LC the Memorial Cross has long acted as a site for religious services. Easter services were held there occasionally up until 1984, after which they happened regularly. Due to these gatherings the National Parks Service deemed the War Memorial a sort of religious shrine, and so it thus disqualified the site from the National Register of Historic Places. To preserve the site, Congress enacted a series of laws which culminated in a land exchange that transferred its ownership from the Parks Service to the VFW." This means the cross is now on privately held land...land owned by the VFW...and they are still trying to have it taken down.

Found it on Life Site News

Also, feel free to disagree, just keep it civil and polite like the lovely Bean and fabulous Dora have so far. :)


Beautiful Mess said...

That's terrible! I can't believe a judge would do that! It's so insulting!

Bean said...

it isn't about "not believing" that religious imagery should be on public land - it is a basic tenant of the constitution. Religion has no place in government, including a government tribute to soldiers who were not solely Christians, in a country full of people who are not solely Christians. They should replace the cross with a more appropriate tribute, not tear it down completely.

Kristin said...

I disagree Bean. The first amendment specifically says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Allowing a cross or a menorah or some other religious symbol on public land is not making a law about religion nor is it supporting and specific religion. If you go so far as this, how can we lawfully have a federal cemetery with crosses or stars of David marking the graves?

Dora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dora said...


Actually, I agree with Bean. I don't think a cemetery is an accurate analogy. The crosses and stars of david mark the particular soldier's grave and honor THAT soldier's religion. A general memorial to soldiers should not be a Christian image. It excludes the non-Christian soldiers. A government sponsored memorial should not be exclusionary. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

it should not be torn down. I have no problem with the cross, and evidently, its been up there this long and people are just starting to fuss about it. It's honoring the fallen, if we take it down, whats next "in G-d we trust" are they going to take that off the money use? Shame on the government.

Soralis said...

How sad... why can't they just leave things be? If someone is offended by it don't freaking well go see it then!

Another Dreamer said...

While I totally think that religion should not be allowed in religion or on government lands essentially... I do think memorials are exceptions. BUT I will clarify this with, ANY religious markings should be allowed on memorials. If they raised other memorials in honor of war veterans, I would love that, instead of only Christianity. This is still a long way coming though, since Wiccans who died in the service of our country weren't allowed to have Pentacles on their graves until 1998 when the gov't finally recognized them as the religion that they are and have been. I think that having the cross there is fine, if they would acknowledge religions as well; be it at that memorial, or by erecting other memorials.

If that made any sense?

Billy said...

I agree with Bean and Dora.
Signs on graves reflect and honor the individual soldier who fought and died for his (her?) country and therefor should be crosses and stars of david etc. But a memorial that is there to honor all soldiers who died in battle, in my eyes should be something that all can relate to.

And yes, feels kind of hypocrite saying what I just said when my own country's national symbols are directed towards one group alone, having others (who yes are minorities but still live here) feel alienated, not really belonging. I love my national hymn but do understand why it might/should be changed one day.

Dora said...

Just one last thought on this. Sometimes I think it's hard to viscerally understand what it's like to feel certain kinds of exclusion until you have actually been excluded or discriminated against simply for who you are. Being Jewish in NYC, I never really felt like a minority or that I was discriminated against because of my religion. Although I certainly know more than enough history to understand. When the MI fertility clinic told me they would not treat me because I was single, I understood the feeling of exclusion on an entirely different level. Visceral. Just saying.