California memorial cross found unconstitutional

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Chockstock, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110105/us_nm/us_california_cross_2



    Yes!! More controversy. It seems like we live in a country where everyone just can't seem to agree on a lot of things. I guess its part of being an American. Anyway, does anyone disagree with this court ruling? I really can't decide. The decision makes sense due to separation of church and state, but the irony of that policy is obvious in that politicians often invoke God's name in speeches and the words "In God We Trust" are clearly labeled on our moolah. Sometimes, stuff just doesn't make sense.

    The appeals court, recognizing volatile feelings generated on both sides by the case, wrote that America's war veterans can and should be honored, "but without the imprimatur of state-endorsed religion."

    In its 3-0 decision, the court stopped short of ordering removal of the cross and left open the possibility that the memorial could be redesigned to incorporate a cross in a way that would "pass constitutional muster."

    But the appellate panel took no position on a remedy, leaving the question of how the memorial might be reconfigured to be decided by the lower-court judge.
     
  2. linkgmr

    linkgmr Old Grad

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    I'm gonna have to disagree with the decision there. A memorial is a memorial. A cross is a universally recognized symbol for a grave/memorial, not an attempt for the government to make Christianity the state sponsored religion. As the great Sigmund Freud once said : "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".
     
  3. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    Fixed it for you.

    Seriously though, the entire memorial nature of a cross is tied up in its religious imagery. You can't possibly claim that a memorial in the form of the cross is not religious in nature. There's a certainly a debate on whether the government can or should display religious icons, but to argue that that the Soledad cross is not religious is foolish.
     
  4. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    Cross is a symbol

    I think that separation of church and state is once again being taken out of context...I believe its original intent was to prevent our government from forcing specific religion on its people. Not dis allowing religious expression. Having the cross in sight is not forcing Christianity on people no more than an Indian totem pole on a Federal Indian reservation is somehow forcing their beliefs on me.. ..Sometimes I think our founding fathers would cringe at what the courts have done in the last 40 years. Just my opinion...but this is still the greatest nation in the world:smile:
     
  5. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    I'd have to agree with bjkuds. I don't see anywhere that the memorial was trying to force Christianity upon anyone through its design; it was simply a memorial to those particular service members. On a smaller scale, are we going to completely ban the use of crosses on the side of a road to memorialize an accident or heck, the many found along our border memorializing people who attempted to make it into our country but weren't even citizens? Sometimes I think we're becoming too PC and not really just seeing a larger picture of what was actually intended by what's being done in memorials like this.
     
  6. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    For my fellow posters, it doesn't appear as though the use of a cross was the reason at all. It was the fact that a 4-story cross was made the center-piece of a veteran group which hailed from many religions. Had it been designed to reflect that diversity (as the article alludes to) then the memorial probably wouldn't be a source of controversy. It seems not to reflect the veterans there as well as it should.
     
  7. linkgmr

    linkgmr Old Grad

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    Someone seems cranky.

    I never said it wasn't a religious symbol. I just said that it's a universally recognized symbol for a memorial. The fact that it uses religious imagery is irrelevant. It's not an infringement upon anybody's rights, and it sure as hell isn't hurting anybody. It's a memorial, and it seems to function adequately in that role, regardless of religious connotations.

    In my humble opinion, this is less an attempt by the government to establish state-sponsored Christianity and more a "help, help I'm being repressed!" type scenario.
     
  8. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    I've got an idea for a memorial, link. We'll put up a big crescent. It's not religious, it's just a war memorial. I'm willing to bet that your opinion would change on that memorial.
     
  9. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    I think though Steve in a way you also have to remember where we are and what our history is as a nation....

    We may have a secular government, but it was upheld by the Supreme Court that saying "in God we trust" on the federal currency we have was patriotic and not meant to have religious undertones for the public. Also the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance was added in 1954, 60 years after it had first been created. We may have separation of church and state, but Christianity's influences are found in many, many places as it dates back to being influential in the founding of our nation and aren't always meant to be pushed on people as religious in their nature. You may have a choice to say the Pledge but who is going to get a choice on what money they use when living in this country? "In God we trust" seems to be a bit more overly religious than a common cross symbol that is seen in multiple places in our culture.

    When it comes to Islam, there are recent negative associations (unfairly or not to the whole religion) to the "normal American's" mind besides the religion itself. A great deal of this I would say comes just from not be educated enough about the religion as its not greatly present when compared to the branches of Christianity in the US.

    Someone mentioned before that the government was to be kept separate from religion so as that practicing a specific religion couldn't be forced on people, but at the same time, there was no limiting on freedom of expression of religion.
     
  10. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    My point, Casey, was that its really easy to argue an explicitly religious symbol is just a non-sectarian memorial when its your religious symbol.
     
  11. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    True. I still think that this is an overreaction of us trying to be too PC anyways
     
  12. linkgmr

    linkgmr Old Grad

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    All right. If that's what you want for your memorial, go for it. Maybe such a symbol would be even more appropriate as a memorial for the wars that we are currently engaged in, to further symbolize the sacrifices that we have made for an Islamic nation.

    Fact of the matter is, that wouldn't hurt anybody either. A memorial is a memorial, and to politicize it is disrespectful to those who that memorial is representing.
     
  13. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    But many people would not feel happy having their Jewish son represented be a cross, Muslim daughter under a star of David, or a Christian under the crescent. In Arlington, not every gravestone is a cross. I'd argue the other side. Are we so callous and lazy to just plot a large 4 story cross on the memorial instead of trying to creatively represent the entire group in all its glory? If you want to represent the religious side, show it all. If you're representing the shared sacrifice of one, use an appropriate symbol for that (plenty of military related symbols to show that!)

    Argue PC or not. I'd rather listen to the siblings, parents, children, etc. of those buried there. If they feel their own relative's memory is being ignored by a single symbol which doesn't represent, then we have no place arguing that it's too PC. The memorial is for them, not us.
     
  14. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    I agree with Hornetguy in that the relatives of those it represents should be the ones to have a say...if they are offended then fix it...if not.... I reference my previous humble opinion. Have a great night
     

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