Cruciphobia at Mt. Soledad

cross2-525x376Consider this: Taylor Swift wasn’t even born yet when the fight over the Mount Soledad cross began. How much longer will it drag on? Disgruntled atheists first filed suit over the memorial at a veterans park in San Diego in the summer of 1989. The fringe grievance-mongers have clung bitterly to their litigious activities for nearly a quarter-century. It’s time to let go and bring peace to the city.

The historic 43-foot cross has stood atop Mount Soledad on public land since 1954. The Mount Soledad Memorial Association erected the monument to commemorate the sacrifice of American soldiers who died in the Korean War, World War I and World War II. The cross has long carried meaning for the city’s residents far beyond religious symbolism. “It’s a symbol of coming of age and of remembrance,” Pastor Mark Slomka of the Mount Soledad Presbyterian Church said years ago when the case erupted. The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board explained that the cross is “much like the Mission San Diego de Alcala and the cross at Presidio Park, both of which also are rooted in Christianity but have come to signify the birth of San Diego.”

I first started covering the case as an editorial writer at the Los Angeles Daily News in the early 1990s. A federal judge initially ruled that the landmark cross’s presence violated the California constitution’s church-state separation principles. The city of San Diego put the issue before voters, who overwhelmingly approved a practical solution in 2005: Sell the cross and the park to the veterans group for use in a national war memorial.

A pragmatic, tolerant resolution with 76 percent of voters’ support? Heavens, no! The extreme secularists couldn’t have that. They sued and sued and sued and sued. By 2007, the state Supreme Court — affirmed by a state appellate court — had rejected the atheists’ campaign. The courts affirmed the constitutionality of the San Diego referendum (Proposition A) and the sale of the cross to the Mount Soledad Memorial Association.

The American Civil Liberties Union intervened to suppress and “de-publish” the ruling as a way to prevent its use in future litigation. They lost.

Lawyers for the Thomas More Law Center, which represented the memorial association, were relieved: “This decision protects the will of the people and their desire to preserve a historical veterans memorial for future generations.” They’ve fought hard to remind America that the Founding Fathers fought for freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

But still the cross-hunters press on. Fast-forward to Christmas week 2013. U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns, who earlier had ruled in support of the cross, was forced to rule that it must come down in 90 days in the wake of a liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning his prior decision. In anticipation of new appeals, Burns stayed the order. All eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case last summer.

Rabbi Ben Kamin, who lives in Southern California, responded sensibly to the hysteria of the Mount Soledad cross-hunters who claimed to be irreparably “hurt” by the monument: “After six decades, and hundreds of thousands of visitors, cyclists, hikers, thoughtful folks who simply admire the inspiring vista of land, sky and ocean, the Cross remains simply a beacon, a marker and a landmark.” Kamin wrote that he “once lived adjacent to the site, and it did not bother me then, and it does not bother, offend or intimidate me now. I remain much more concerned about the glaring mercantilism that has by now drained all the fall/winter holidays, from Thanksgiving to Hanukkah to Christmas, of any dignity or theological poetry.”

Amen to that. Militant atheists won’t rest until every last expression of faith is eradicated from the public square. They don’t stand for reason or religious liberty. They are vengeful purveyors of cruciphobia. The everlasting good news, of course, is that in the end, hope will triumph over hate. Faith will outlast fear. And God’s love will prevail long after physical crosses have fallen.

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  • James Foard

    What do liberals and vampires have in common? Their both blood sucking ticks who hate crosses.

  • lessthantolerant

    Burning down the homes of these anti Christian would be a good start.

  • nomoretraitors

    Let’s ship the atheists to a more hospitable place, like North Korea or Cuba

    • Moa

      I’m an atheist, but more importantly I’m a “secularist”. That means I follow Voltaire’s famous dictum, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

      The problem is that some “atheists” want to dictate scientific truth to you. This is totalitarianism – even if they are right.

      Many of the problems today are not atheism or fundamental Christianity or Islam or even Marxism. The real problem is totalitarianism where they will not merely advocate their ideas in public debate, but will use coercion and the power of the State to eliminate competing ideas (such as a cross on a memorial).

      Note: I’m not advocating the fallacy of “moral relativism” where all ideas are held to be equally valid/worthy. What a secularist supports is a competitive marketplace for ideas, where ideas must survive on their merits in open debate, and *mostly importantly* the State does not favor any ideas (although the State *must* favor verifiable truth over untruth – which is why the State education must include established science and the Scientific Method).

      • Fritz Kohlhaas

        As an Atheist I’m not offended by the Cross. Many of my friends are
        Christians and I wish them a Merry Christmas. I don’t care what people believe. Everyone has the right to follow his/her own conscience.

      • Jeff Ludwig

        Your view is the more classic liberalism. Unfortunately, the secularist/tolerant agenda has been co-opted by the secularist/militant agenda. However, I would refer you to any of the books by Francis Schaeffer who might have some thought provoking ideas for you to consider.

        • Moa

          Thanks Jeff for the recommendations. I’ll take a look at Schaeffer’s writings.

  • Bobby Pataki

    “Militant Atheists”???

    The main group that wants the Mt. Soledad Cross removed is a JEWISH Veterans group.

    Republicans are scared of the Jews.

    • Erudite Mavin

      Your gratuitous Jew hating comment is typical of those who don’t know the facts.
      I live in San Diego and know too well the years of this fight. The group you mention is one of many over the years.
      The Left and Libertarians hate the Jews.

  • LawReader

    Amusingly, I had a liberal ‘atheist’ (full disclosure – I’m an agnostic, because I never met the atheist capable of proving he had enough ‘god like knowledge’ to substantiate his views) – argue with me the other day that issues like this ‘don’t arise from intolerance, but ‘Constitutional’ validity. Having just a tad more legal background, I assured him I was pretty sure ‘display of…’ did not amount to the ‘state establishment of religion’ the founders were concerned with. He argued, as most people on his side of the equation, that ‘forcing people to look at it…’ constituted that ‘infringement’ he so righteously championed against…

    Curiously – he somehow had the gall to ‘pooh-pooh’ the notion that there was no difference in his viewpoints – than there would be be in banning construction of a church on a public street, as the liberal ‘trigger’ seems to be ‘in my field of vision’ – and hey, taxpayer streets…

    It’s rather interesting watching this from a ‘sidelines’ point of view – but it’s also rather obvious that the country – and what currently passes for ‘courts’ – increase their hostility to religion on almost an hourly basis.

    Or – as some military ‘diversity’ bozo with veto powers apparently just noted – ‘You can’t send a *Christ*mas card to a military address…’.

    One suspects the ‘state religion’ – if established by liberals – would best be described as the Church of *Intolerance*

    • Consider

      ” I never met the atheist capable of proving he had enough ‘god like knowledge’ to substantiate his views”.

      So you consider the existence of Zeus, Baal, Shiva, Amon Ra etc, a possibility?

    • Consider

      “.. the country, and what currently passes for ‘courts’ ,increase their hostility to religion on almost an hourly basis.”

      From your mouth to Gods’ ears…

  • Jeff Ludwig

    Twenty-four years these rotten atheistic schemers are screaming their offense?! What pathetic individuals. So full of hate! The article is an incredible survey of an event in the so-called culture wars (really a war against Christianity and the Christian/European roots of Western Civilization). Michelle Malkin has done another one of her many good services to humanity by reviewing the history of the Mt. Soledad Cross and the latest episode of the saga.

  • Consider

    This is not only an issue of state-church separation, but also an aestetic question and has something to do also with morbity: should tools for execution of people be paraded on every other hilltop or every church tower? The cross has been a Roman means of execution of, euh, criminals but also we are told, innocent people.
    Later, for this purpose axes, gallows, guillotines, electric chairs, gas chambers etc. were used.
    One can only imagine that had Jesus lived and executed in another era (if he exitsed at all), people would wear little replicas of guillotines on their neck laces, or gallows in all scales would squall from every hill top, and church roof.

    • Drakken

      This is a prime example of our libtarded re-education system at it’s finest, zero critical thinking skills and always high on emotional stupidity. When the SHTF, I consider this useful idiot a candidate for Darwin Award, and it may get a honorable mention to boot!

      • Consider

        A creature who ridicules Darwin, dares to call others idiots.

  • Drakken

    If you want to stop this bloody nonsense, start getting into the faces of these militant commi atheist and dare them to do something about it, ignore the so called judicial ruling and anyone who comes to take down the cross, have at it, when a few of them are sent to the hospital, they will quit this nonsense, a little pain issued out to these scumbags goes a long ways.

    • Consider

      What an example of critical thinking and emotional intelligence!
      Suddenly we can dispense with law and order, otherwise so dear to types like this one.

  • Barry Penobscott

    Perhaps if the cross could be somehow encased in urine and designated as “art”, the complaints would go away.

  • JacksonPearson

    ..I..(-.-)..I.. the ACLU.

  • USARetired

    I first visited this Memorial 57 years ago, have visited many times since and have not been a California resident for 48 years. I day I see it removed will be the day I reverse my opinion on armed insurrection!
    Any future candidates who vows to keep this national treasure should receive all the votes!

  • Proteios

    The new atheism is forming a cult of sorts that must preach, market it’s idea and delete the belief it has set itself against. I’m not sure how else they would do it, as a group that defines themselves on wht they don’t believe is otherwise silly unles you start formalizing a transient form of secular humanism and relativism. As a scientist I find it amusing they seek to monopolize the field of science as atheism itself is a form of intellectual laziness. Recall how many decades it took before they accepted the Big Bang theory, which was put forth by Father Georges Lemaitre.