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-Supreme Court: WWI Memorial Cross Stays

by Dr. D ~ June 21st, 2019


Yesterday (6/20/19) SCOTUS ruled that a WWI memorial cross on state land in Bladensburg, Maryland could stay where it was. From Christianity Today:

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of allowing a memorial cross to remain on a state-owned median in Bladensburg, Maryland, and declared that government efforts to maintain the landmark do not violate the religion clause of the Constitution.

     “The fact that the cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol should not blind one to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent: a symbolic resting place for ancestors who never returned home, a place for the community to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for this Nation, and a historical landmark,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito, in the majority opinion.

<Read the whole article>

Response: It is important to note that the cross was not ruled a ‘secular symbol’ like the lawyer for the state of Maryland was suggesting as a possible resolution of this case. By a 7-2 majority the memorial cross was not considered to be a violation of church and state but well within the original intent of the First Amendment.

Atheists had brought the lawsuit against the cross claiming that the 83 year old peace memorial was a violation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court justices acknowledged that while the cross was a symbol of Christianity the memorial had a long history that should be respected and allowed to stay on state supported land.

All across America are similar crosses that are under some kind of legal action and dispute. Hopefully this ruling shows the way forward toward resolving the hundreds of battles over historical crosses on public lands and in national cemeteries like Arlington and Gettysburg.               *Top

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