The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Victory For A Treasured Landmark

Posted by thelamp on August 10, 2006

President Bush is expected to sign a bill passed last week in Congress that will preserve the Mount Soledad cross in San Diego. The cross was just weeks away from destruction at the hands of a federal judge.

The Senate voted Aug. 2 by unanimous consent to have the federal government acquire the cross and the municipal park around it. The House had approved the bill last month. President Bush’s signature would bring an end to the 17-year court battle between an atheist Vietnam veteran and the city of San Diego, which had owned the cross and the park.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a stay in the case last month, which prevented the cross’s destrcution. A federal district court order would have brought the 29-foot cross be torn down on or before Aug. 1.

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 constitutes an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Incredibly, he found courts to agree with him, forcing city officials into expensive litigation to preserve the San Diego landmark ever since.

U.S. District Court Judge Gordon Thompson Jr. set the Aug. 1 deadline in May. He 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.

The federal government’s laws governing religious displays on public land are more sensible than the state of California’s. The legislation passed last week may not prevent further legal action by anti-Christian activists, but it does give the cross a much better chance of being safe from those who would destroy any representation of faith in the public arena.

This is an answer to prayer, and CMC is grateful.

Source:  www.centerformoralclarity.net

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