Atheists are taking their battle against religious freedom to new heights--822 feet above San Diego, to be exact. There, in a beautiful memorial overlooking the ocean, rises a tall white cross. For decades, it's stood on that spot as a peaceful guard to the legacy of our soldiers.
Two thousand seven hundred plaques sit in its shadow--memorials to men and women who fought for the very freedom the Mount Soledad cross represents. But the Left, which apparently has nothing better to do than complain about a few acres of public property, is doing everything it can to bulldoze the display. Since 1989, liberals have literally gone out of their way to be offended by the Memorial, which has culminated in an explosive, multi-year lawsuit.
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Last Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court helped their cause along by ruling that the cross has no business on public property. According to the Ninth Circuit, "...[T]here are countless ways that we can... honor our [soldiers] without... state-sponsored religion." Now this is the same cross that, four years ago, Congress protected in law. Under President Bush, Mount Soledad was transferred to the federal government as a National Veterans Memorial. But that didn't phase the court, which insists that the Memorial violates the Establishment Clause. ADF's Senior Legal Counsel, Joe Infranco, called the decision "twisted." "No one is harmed--constitutionally or otherwise--by the presence of a cross on a war memorial," he said. "[But] there is great harm to tearing those memorials down."
Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) said as much in a letter to the Departments of Justice and Defense yesterday. On behalf of the city--and all of America 's veterans--they're pushing the Obama administration to come to the landmark's defense. "It is important that [you] work to preserve this legacy by ensuring that Mount Soledad ... continues to stand as a symbol of commitment and sacrifice for both the San Diego community, which we represent, and the millions of Americans who have served in the Armed Forces." Our friend Kelly Shackelford, who is fighting a similar case on behalf of the Mojave Desert Cross, filed suit today against the Obama administration for its refusal to honor a 2003 land transfer agreement protecting that display. (An agreement which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld.) As Kelly's statement points out, the fallen paid for this land with their own blood, sweat, and tears. Their sacrifice--and their faith--deserve our respect.