The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Reprieve for a California Landmark

Posted by thelamp on July 14, 2006

The Mount Soledad Cross won’t be coming down anytime soon, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s agreement last week to intervene in a case against the atheist Vietnam veteran who has fought for years to have it torn down.

Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a stay in the case July 3. That blocked a federal district court from imposing an order that the 29-foot cross be torn down by Aug. 1. The city of San Diego was facing fines of $5,000 a day, and had committed to tearing down the cross rather than pay the fines. It’s not clear how long the stay will be in effect.

The cross, dedicated on Easter Sunday 1954 as part of a memorial to Korean War veterans, has been the object of litigation since 1989. Philip Paulson, a Vietnam veteran, has argued that the cross, which sits on city property, constitutes an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Incredibly, he’s found courts to agree with him, forcing city officials into expensive litigation to preserve the San Diego landmark ever since.

In May, U.S. District Court Judge Gordon Thompson Jr. set the Aug. 1 deadline. He’s also frustrated efforts by the city to preserve the memorial by donating the land to the federal government, then by giving the land it sits on to a private organization.

Justice Kennedy’s action is not a permanent solution to the problem, but nevertheless represents an answer to prayer. Please continue to pray for a resolution to this case that permits San Diegans to continue to enjoy the memorial.


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