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Old 06-20-2019, 01:31 PM
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Default Supreme Court rules Peace Cross war memorial can stand

Supreme Court rules Peace Cross war memorial can stand
By Ronn Blitzer | Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/sup...orial-can-stay

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Peace Cross war memorial on public land outside Washington, D.C., can stand, determining in a 7-2 decision that it does not violate the Constitution.

Residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland and the American Humanist Association (AHA) had sued to have the cross taken down, and the American Legion, whose symbol is also on the memorial, intervened to defend it. While the residents and AHA claimed that a cross memorial on public land violated the Constitution, the Court determined that factors, including the history of the memorial, support the idea that it is not religious in nature.

“For nearly a century, the Bladensburg Cross has expressed the community’s grief at the loss of the young men who perished, its thanks for their sacrifice, and its dedication to the ideals for which they fought,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court’s opinion. Alito noted that while this particular cross does not serve a religious purpose, removing it because it is a cross would be a religiously charged action.

“It has become a prominent community landmark, and its removal or radical alteration at this date would be seen by many not as a neutral act but as the manifestation of ‘a hostility toward religion that has no place in our Establishment Clause traditions,’” he wrote, quoting Justice Breyer’s concurrence in the 2005 decision in Van Orden v. Perry.

The court's decision reverses the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the cross was unconstitutional.

The 7-2 majority on Thursday cited the structure's historical nature in its narrowly drawn decision, saying the Latin cross design reflected the nationwide trend at the time it was erected to honor war dead with community monuments. The cross was associated with World War I, and the Court noted that the U.S. used it in military honors, such as the Distinguished Service Cross in 1918 and Navy Cross in 1919.

The Bladensburg Peace Cross, as it is known, sits in a traffic circle in the Washington suburbs to honor 49 local World War I soldiers who died in battle overseas.

Its supporters, including the Trump administration, said it was created solely to honor those heroes and is secular in nature. Opponents called it an impermissible overlap of church and state, since it is controlled and cared for by a Maryland parks commission.

The Court noted that while the cross has its roots in Christianity, it currently appears contexts that are “indisputably secular,” such as trademarks for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bayer Group, and certain products from Johnson & Johnson.

The Court also made a distinction between keeping established monuments with religious symbols, like the Peace Cross, and erecting new ones, stating, "Familiarity itself can become a reason for preservation," and, "The passage of time gives rise to a strong presumption of constitutionality."

Even AHA recognized that cross memorials may be permissible in some cases, like certain World War I Latin crosses in Arlington National Cemetery. While AHA claimed that those crosses are different because they are in a cemetery and are more associated with individual soldiers, the Court said that does not make a difference, as memorials serve the same purpose as gravestones for many grieving families.

Ultimately, the Court determined that despite the religious significance of crosses in general, this particular memorial does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, even though public funds are used for its upkeep.

"[T]there is no evidence of discriminatory intent in the selection of the design of the memorial or the decision of a Maryland commission to maintain it," the Court said. "The Religion Clauses of the Constitution aim to foster a society in which people of all beliefs can live together harmoniously, and the presence of the Bladensburg Cross on the land where it has stood for so many years is fully consistent with that aim."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took issue with the notion that a cross could be secularized just because it serves as a war memorial.

"Just as a Star of David is not suitable to honor Christians who died serving their country, so a cross is not suitable to honor those of other faiths who died defending their nation," she wrote in a dissenting opinion, where she was joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The dissent claimed that by having the Peace Cross on a public highway, the government "elevates Christianity over other faiths, and religion over nonreligion."

Fox News' Bill Mears and Shannon Bream contributed to this report.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Supreme Court rules Peace Cross war memorial can stand

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Old 06-21-2019, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Supreme Court rules Peace Cross war memorial can stand

June 21, 2019
Supreme Court frustrates a central leftist strategy, affirms constitutionality of historic cross — and the folly of 'tearing down monuments'
By Thomas Lifson

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog...monuments.html

.Yesterday's 7-2 Supreme Court decision in American Legion et al. v. American Humanist Assn. et al. may prove to be a watershed in obstructing one of the Left's core strategies: discrediting our collective history and eliminating the monuments to it so as to tear up constitutional limits on the power of government.

The American Left has turned away from making the political economy of America better for the less fortunate in society and embraces what Barack Obama euphemistically called "fundamental change," meaning state control of the economy — putting politicians in charge. This agenda requires discarding the constitutional limits on government — an ambitious goal, to be sure, but one that can be accomplished if the Founders and all who followed them and embraced those limits can be discredited in the eyes of a critical mass of the population.

For instance:

Quote:
There's plans in the works to cover a mural of George Washington from the halls of George Washington High School in San Francisco due to complaints that it's offensive and demeaning to Native Americans and African Americans.

The San Francisco school board is expected to decide next week whether to cover the image or paint over it, but there's no plans among top officials to leave the imagery in the open for students to view, according to several Bay Area news reports.
Writing for the majority, Justice Alito called out the motives of those who want to remove all religious symbolism from publicly owned land:

Quote:
A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion."
Religious monuments are not the only markers of our past that are being torn down, of course. Monuments to the Confederate dead and their leaders are being torn down, sometimes by governments and sometimes by mobs, in an effort to erase the history of that cause and its public support.

But Justice Alito recognized that over time, layers of meaning accumulate, and reflect not just the intent of those who created the monuments, but the sentiments of succeeding generations who interpret them from a different perspective.

Quote:
[A]s time goes by, the purposes associated with an established monument, symbol or practice often multiply.
He offered a present-day example from the support of the aggressively secular French government for restoring Notre Dame Cathedral:

Quote:
Although the French Republic rigorously enforces a secular public square, the cathedral remains a symbol of national importance to the religious and nonreligious alike. Notre Dame is fundamentally a place of worship and retains great religious importance, but its meaning has broadened. For many, it is inextricably linked with the very idea of Paris and France.
George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, but unfortunately, the American Left has adopted it as a how-to manual. Orwell wrote: "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

The Supreme Court has grabbed back control of the past from the leftist mobs who seek to eradicate all that does not conform to their agenda.
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The United States Constitution ©1787. All Rights Reserved

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