On November 27, 2018, I posted an article entitled “The Atheists vs the Cross”. The American Humanist Association had challenged the “Peace Cross” in Bladensburg, Maryland, a monument erected in 1925 to honor men from Prince Georges County who died in the Great War. The Humanists argued that the monument violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, and the federal Fourth Circuit Court had agreed with them and declared that the size and form of the memorial made it unconstitutional. The matter was then appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Yesterday, February 26, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case. I would be profoundly disturbed if the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.
The memorial was erected by the American Legion on private property, but in 1961 the state of Maryland took possession of the land on which the monument stands; and since that time the state has incurred some modest expenses in relation to the memorial’s maintenance. The Humanists want the monument to be destroyed or moved to private property (an impossible task). One circuit court judge suggested that one possible solution was to remove the arms of the cross.
Does anyone need this sort of narrow minded bigotry? Should not the American Legion be free to honor the fallen soldiers in a way that seems proper to them? If a Jewish organization wishes to honor their own with a monument in the shape of menorah let them do it — and do it on public land! We must learn to love one another and show respect for each other’s rich traditions.
As some have pointed out, if the appeals court decision is allowed to stand “it will also render unconstitutional the two principal WWI memorials in Arlington National Cemetery, which likewise are freestanding crosses residing in the Fourth Circuit.”
I pray that common sense will prevail.