Mojave Cross’s existence poses problem for historical revisionists


It was touch and go for a while, but the ACLU’s failure to produce a time machine convinced the Supreme Court that a 76-year-old Latin cross in the California desert was not erected by today’s fanatical, right-wing Christian theocrats who are trying to force religious tyranny upon historically godless America.

“I’m very disappointed,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “The court majority was clearly determined to find any bogus reason to keep this religious symbol in a public park.”

Added Lynn, “It’s alarming that the high court continues to undermine the separation of church and state. Nothing good can come from this trend.”

Lynn said the ruling in Salazar v. Buono will likely encourage further assaults on the church-state wall.

It wasn’t clear why Lynn sees this as a recent assault on the constitution, when the cross itself was conceived, designed, and planted nearly eight decades ago. But then this is a guy who insists that our founders were the original secular activists, despite their pesky habit of erecting crosses, praying incessantly, and carving religious statements onto marble slabs.

All just annoying pranks, no doubt, which leave Lynn and his friends at the ACLU less time to monitor school children for unauthorized prayers and unapproved Christmas songs while guarding some mouth-breather’s constitutional right to view Internet porn at the Public Library.

They still make a difference, though. Just last week, they found a judge willing to agree that the National Day of Prayer founded an unconstitutional state religion. Whew! That was a relief. After sixty dark years, Americans are once again free to worship as they choose.

But no time to celebrate, with all the evidence to board up and people to muzzle who state that our founder’s Christian values nurtured a harmonious birthplace for liberty, education, medicine, and science. That’s why they must act quickly when Sarah Palin says things like this:

“Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our Founding Fathers – they were believers. And George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life.”

“Sarah Palin is stupid, Sarah Palin is ignorant. Lalalala, I can’t hear you,” the secularists quickly responded, fingers in ears.

And they’re correct, if you believe that historical knowledge is measured by how well one can peer down one’s nose and puff out one’s chest feathers while making brazenly false statements. Kind of how Lynn did, when he discussed Palin’s remarks on the O’Reilly Factor last week:

“Okay, I think we’ve established, to be blunt about this, that Sarah Palin, that Governor Palin really doesn’t read the newspapers. We found that out during the campaign. And now we’re finding out that she doesn’t read history, either, or she would know that some of the great framers of our country, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, even Andrew Jackson, who was probably an NRA member as well as a supporter of the first amendment, didn’t want to have the government involved with prayer. So it drives me crazy to see conservatives who are hypocritical, who want the government out of everybody’s life and everything around them except for one of the most important  things that individuals choose, whether to be religious or not.”

Wow. Palin is an anarchist? That’s an interesting assertion, but judging by all the other whoppers contained within that paragraph, I don’t think I’ll spread that around until I have confirmed it through a more reliable source.

Lynn did cite the most secular of our founders. The problem is that those least religious make today’s right-wing Christian look like Christopher Hitchens. But secular activists must do what they can with what they got, which means simply ignoring the reams of evidence that Jefferson and Madison prayed, expressed faith in God, declared national prayer, attended church at the Capitol, appropriated federal funds for missions, and on and on and on. Really, one has to wonder, has Lynn ever even been to the Jefferson Memorial?

I have. I adore Washington D.C. (I call it Museum Disneyland.) I know all too well that corruption and avarice flourish inside the beltway, but from my west-coast outsider’s perspective, I only see high-minded idealism etched in stone and carefully preserved from paradigms in the trajectory of not just our country but the entire course of human events.

Where else can you walk from one memorial to courage, honor, and sacrifice to another? Like Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, I am awestruck by such a concentration of freedom artifacts. Our nation’s capital echoes with the faith, idealism, and virtue of our founders – not blasphemy and corruption. At least not yet.

Our founders planned our legacy by studying the foibles of mankind and autopsying failed societies – referencing the Bible more than any other source. The infant country wasn’t perfect, especially in the historical context of the time, but their careful blueprint set us on a path toward greater and greater rights for all – rights that they fervently declared everyone is entitled to because we are all precious, unique children of God.

It will take a lot of plywood to cover up the evidence of that.