Giant Cross Ordered Removed From Southern California Mountain

Judge says cross violates constitutional separation of church and state

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Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Visitors gather at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego, Calif., in 2006.

A federal judge ordered the removal of a giant cross from the top of San Diego’s Mt. Soledad, ruling that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns issued the order on Thursday. It’s the latest chapter in a long legal battle over the 43-foot cross, which was erected in 1954 as a memorial to Korean War veterans.

In 1989, two Vietnam War veterans filed a lawsuit saying that the Christian symbol violates California’s “no preference” clause. In the years since, the city of San Diego has tried twice to sell the property, but was stopped by the courts.

Judge Burns’ ruling orders that the cross to be removed within 90 days, but it can remain in place if the case is appealed.

In 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the cross violated the First Amendment. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

[CNN]

38 comments
CrossWinds
CrossWinds

Was it not the communists in Russia that tore down all the crosses on structures wherever they found them? That is becoming the mindset of some people in our own land. What Next. Maybe they will want to tear down all the Crosses in graveyards, as it would be offensive to other faiths.....


Galatians 6:14.......
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world......

Mark 8:38.......
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

aztecian
aztecian

this stuff needs to come down.  it does not represent the majority nor does it lend itself to being acceptable to other beliefs and cultures.  we need to change.  take it down now!!!

GeniBarrow
GeniBarrow

How can we go about repealing this action?



AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

As a San Diegan citizen I happen to like seeing the cross on top of Mr. Soledad.  In fact, 75% of my fellow citizens support the continuation of the cross as it is. 


The legal challenges have been relentless since 1989.  The oft cited reason for taking the cross down is the separation of church and state.  Personally, I find that an excuse and not a valid reason.  The fact that it is a Christian religious symbol sitting on top of a local hill top doesn't mean that it is also influencing the state in any way what so ever.  In this case the "state" being the government of the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego and the State of California,   It is a memorial to those who fought and died in the Korean War.


I agree with notmyshametobear below in that if it were the Star and Crescent of Islam that was so prominently displayed no one would dare touch the issue due to the hopelessly distorted guidelines provided by the Politically Correct.  But, just like the "art work" called Piss Christ where a statue of Jesus was immersed in a vase of urine the symbol of Christianity bears no such protections and is regularly assaulted.


Basically we have a real non-issue here that is taking up a load of money and energy that could be redirected to more real and pressing problems this city and county have to solve.


Some people just can't let a nice thing alone.  Most of We the People of San Diego agree with me and I with them.  

mak4374
mak4374

The Great Spaghetti Monster will slay these pagan symbols, and those who stand in the way of His sauce!  Repent oh unbelievers, and non-beer drinkers!

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

1 Corinthians 1:18...........
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

Philippians 3:18-19............

18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.

Alejandro_Cruz
Alejandro_Cruz

Can someone comment, if they know what they're talking about, what's the difference to having "In God We Trust" printed in our currency and having the president of the nation say "May God bless the USA" to this particualr issue?

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

The solution is simple. People who want the cross displayed, (1) raise private money, (2) purchase private land, (3) construct and erect cross. No public money, no public land, no problem.

ronhat10
ronhat10

" ruling that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state". Could you quote for me the section in the Constitution that sets this so-called separation of church and state? Doesn't exist.


BuzzBayless
BuzzBayless

@mak4374Hail, fellow believer of the one true faith! May his noodly appendages caress you.

mak4374
mak4374

@CrossWinds

Fred Flidstone 4:44....
YabaDabaDoooo!




Because, that makes just as much sense...if you believe in "the power of God", whatever that is.

Joe.Blough
Joe.Blough

@FrankMcCarthy


Santa is an anagram for SATAN.


Ho-Ho-Ho = 6-6-6  There are 6 letters between H and O (I,J,K,L,M,N)! Stop the satan worship by our kids, please!

mak4374
mak4374

@FrankMcCarthyOk everyone!  Just back away slowly, there are some....special people here.  Let's give them a little...breathing room.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

@FrankMcCarthy Your president is a liar, no your president is a liar, no your president screwed this up, no your president screwed this up.

----The Argument of 4 year olds

tmfmac
tmfmac

@FrankMcCarthy  

George W Bush nominated Burns.

He assumed office in September 2003, yet you blame this on Obama? 



Denesius
Denesius

@ronhat10 If you had finished your comment on the note "could you quote for me...", you would have been seen as ignorant, but seeking enlightenment. By adding that last sentence, you demonstrate yourself as ignorant, and unwilling to rise out of your pit.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@ronhat10 It's called the "establishment clause", from the first amendment.  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Because folks like you have less brain power than those who wrote the Constitution, we have people we call "justices" who interpret what that means.  The historical precedent, combined with the interpretations of times past, establishes a separation between church and state - or between religions and government.

What THAT means is that government can't meddle in the affairs of religions.  However, religions can not meddle in the affairs of government, either.  That's called "separation".  If the government allowed people to erect religious monuments on government property, it would be an establishment of religion.  The government saying, "This religion is what we believe".

Now, I know Christians have a hard time dealing with this little fact, but OUR government isn't allowed to do that because the constitution says it can't.  Crosses on government property tell non-Christians that the government is establishing a religion (Christianity), endorsing it, promoting it, all in violation of the first amendment.  The free exercise of religion can't be done on government land in that manner.

So, perhaps your delusional and irrational mind can't quite grasp how it works.  But that's okay.  People smarter than you know how it works.  And in 90 days, that cross is FINALLY coming down.

Because as a vet, it really pi$$e$ me off to see my fellow, fallen non-Christian veterans being dishonored by a religion they neither believed in or practiced.  I'm all for memorials.  But if it's for vets, and especially if it's on government land, let it be symbolized by the flag, instead.  After all, they died for their COUNTRY.  They didn't die for Christianity.

lamorpa
lamorpa

@ronhat10  

So you're saying the first amendment and Article VI don't exist?  You think you know better than Thomas Jefferson, saying, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."  I'm picking Mr. Jefferson over your personal bias.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@DeweySayenoff


Thank you Dewey for a well reasoned and well written argument supporting the decision to take down the cross on Mt. Soledad.  However, as well written as your argument is I simply do not agree that the cross influences the local government or suggests religious support from said government in any way.  It also does not constitute a law based on religion.  


The cross is a popular local landmark.  People don't think twice about it other than it has been there a long time.  The only people who are "offended" by the cross or are engaging in legal actions aimed at removing it are a minority of the population of San Diego County.  The vast overwhelming numbers of San Diegans support the continuation of the cross as it is.  These include secular individuals as well as Christians etc.  We happen to like the cross, like seeing it and like going to the memorial for the incredible views it offers.


What we are experiencing, again, is the tyranny of the minority to push their own beliefs and opinions on the majority of We the People.  And toward that effort they will split hairs and bring forth nuances of the law in order to justify their viewpoints.  It happens far too often in this country.  And, truthfully, we have much better things to do.


The fact that every challenge to the legitimacy of the cross is overturned is a reflection of how the people of San Diego view this issue.

ronhat10
ronhat10

@DeweySayenoff @ronhat10 What that means is the government cannot tell you what religion you should adhere to, nothing more. It has been bastardized as "separation", yet the word does not appear in any of that. I too am a vet, and it pisses me off when individuals feel that if it offends them, then it has to go. I think it's very clear who is delusional. Yes, there are lots of people smarter than I. But, I don't acknowledge you as one of them. You cannot have a logical discussion without resorting to personal attacks. Surest sign of a weak argument.

ronhat10
ronhat10

@lamorpa @ronhat10 Enlighten me o wise one. I'm aware of no law that was made respecting establishement of any religion. If anything, it is prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Has nothing to do with separation.

ronhat10
ronhat10

@Openminded1 @ronhat10 @Denesius Again, this is not about religion. You talk about fanatics trying to push their crap on others, how is this different? You don't agree, so you're trying to push your crap. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@ronhat10 @Denesius They agree a lot. People need to keep religion private, but reality dictates that all the religious fanatics try to push their crap on everyone else. From the Mormons, to johova witness morons, and everyone in between, no cult is worse the Muslims who kill people world wide. people need to keep their holly roller bs to them selves.

ronhat10
ronhat10

@psychobabbled @ronhat10 @DeweySayenoff Not about religion in the least. Nobody who knows me would call me overly religious. It is a symbol, nothing more. I just for the life of me can't understand how someone can be offended by a symbol that is as benign as the cross. Put up a star of David or crescent. Hell, put up a festivus pole if you're a mind too. We just have to stop trying to impose our will on others.  To me, this is not a religious issue.

psychobabbled
psychobabbled

@ronhat10@DeweySayenoff Then let's just put up a big star a crescent and a star of David.  Or, I'll just make up my own religion and insist that you put a giant muppet up there that I call "my" God. Do you see how ridiculous it gets? If religion is so important to you, let it be important to YOU. Why does everyone else have to have it shoved down their throat? Why does it have to be displayed in a place that isn't a church? Your relationship with God should be the most important thing and you should love your fellow man enough (as the Bible taught) to respect that all people are Christians.