The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Fighting Judicial Religious Bigotry in San Diego

Posted by thelamp on July 14, 2006

One of the nation’s most striking war memorials could be dismantled in a little more than a month if the U.S. Supreme Court does not take action to save it.

City officials in San Diego last week said they’d ask the high court to overturn an outrageous court order to tear the cross down by Aug. 1 or face fines of $5,000 per day. A federal appeals court has declined to suspend that ruling.

The case has been tied up in various courts for 17 years, with judges consistently ruling in favor of the atheist Vietnam veteran who initially sued to have the cross removed. The rulings ignore the will of the local population; last year, 76 percent of local voters backed keeping the cross in place by donating the land it sits on to the federal government, an action that courts have also ruled inadmissible. City officials have said they will take the cross down rather than pay any fines if no legal accommodation is reached by Aug. 1.

The Supreme Court declined to hear the city’s case in 2003 and legal analysts, even those who support the cross, believe it’s unlikely to hear it this time. It’s also possible that the White House can resolve the situation by taking the land the cross sits on by eminent domain. Another option is to move the cross to private land nearby.

The 29-foot cross has overlooked the San Diego area since 1954, when it was dedicated as a memorial to Korean War veterans.

CMC is struck by the religious bigotry that U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson Jr. has displayed in his rulings concerning this issue – even preventing the sale of the land the cross sits on to a private group. Please pray for a resolution to this case that permits San Diegans to continue to enjoy the memorial as it was originally constructed.


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