Federal Courts Attack San Diego, Veterans, Christians, Democracy

Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Cross,” Christian News Wire, 26 June 2006, http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/64487411.html.

The latest example of anti-democratic Judicial Tyranny is out of California (where else), where…

A three-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on June 21, 2006, that the majestic 30-foot cross atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego must be removed by August 1, or the city will face $5,000 per day fines.

Atheists began a crusade to remove the cross when they filed a lawsuit against the city 17 years ago. The cross, located in a city-owned park in the Pacific Beach area with a breathtaking 360° view of the California coastline, was built in 1953 as a Korean War Veteran Memorial. Christian groups found it a popular site for Easter sunrise services and other events.

800px-Mount_soledad_md
Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross

It gets worse.

In November, 2005, San Diegans approved Proposition A with an overwhelming 76% of the vote, which would have allowed the cross to remain by transferring the title to the land. A District Court judge ruled that Prop A was unconstitutional, but in an ironic twist, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled moments after the 9th Circuit that the city could appeal the Prop A ruling.

Extending the logic, I can’t imagine why other public crosses should stand in public places as public memorials

rfk_grave_md
The Grave of Robert F. Kennedy
Arlington, Virginia

The ugly, militant secularism of California’s federal courts is despicable. Due to judicial fiat, San Diego (must the city change her name as well? — tdaxp) is being forced to destroy a war memorial, a historic cross, a beloved part of history. Similar disgusting idiocy from Earl Warren began the War for the Courts. Agitprop, such as the California Federal Judiciary seems to automatically generate, may be the key to completing it.

8 thoughts on “Federal Courts Attack San Diego, Veterans, Christians, Democracy”

  1. Is the purpose of the large cross simply a memorial or to promote Christianity? I don't know, I don't live in San Diego. We've got a large cross here in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but since its on private land, no one cares.

  2. Adam,

    The purpose of the cross on the RFK grave is to memorialize an American, violently killed by an enemy. The Korean War Veteran's Memorial Cross in San Diego, California, has a similar purpose.

    San Diego's government attempted to solve the problem of the cross (which actually predates the Korean War, a cross on the hill going back to 1913) by selling the land. The sale was ruled unconstitutional, in a piece of Effects-Based Jurisprudence that would have made Warren proud.

    The word “promote” in your question seems to be a weasel word. If you mean “To contribute to the progress or growth of; further,” then clearly constitutional acts like allowing student religious clubs to use public school property would be “promoting.” So would anti-Klan police activity (which would promote Catholicism and Judaism in a region), &c.

    A test more in keeping with the 1st Amendment would be to ask whether it establishes a church, which it clearly does not do.

    Sadly, cases like this will not be the last of the Leftist attack on and deformation of the law-courts. Too bad.

  3. I hope the Supreme Court saves the day.

    76% of the voters in San Diego want this memorial to stay. But they are overruled by 3 damn judges.

    Why are the courts forcing this nation to be atheists?

  4. Marvin,

    “Why are the courts forcing this nation to be atheists?”

    I gave a more theoretical answer elsewhere, [1] but here's a stab:

    Radical Secularism is a belief system that conflicts directly with religion. If someone is radically secular they cannot be religious, so any religious person is out of reach of radical secularism's belief system. Thus the only way radical secularism can spread is by destroying religious feeling.

    This is similar to animals. Robins and Blackbirds compete for the same type of prey. Thus Blackbirds will attack Robins to drive out competition.

    Just as blackbirds who were shy around robins would starve, types of radical secularism that are shy around religion would starve of followers.

    To me, the most interesting thing is why, since Earl Warren, these people have been so stupid. Secularism has been much more successful in Germany, say, because the German activists haven't delighted in humiliating their opponents. (Some German states still have crosses in the classroom, while no American public schools can have prayer.) Perhaps American religionists have been cursed by enemies, but blessed with very foolish ones.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/01/22/liberal-education-part-i-the-petty-troika.html

  5. Adam,

    I disagree with Marvin — I do not believe that atheism is a motivating factor here. But a strong secularism certainly is.

    This is analogous to the secularism of Ataturk — a man who never renounced Islam, but tirelessly attacked public displays of it. And I would guess that Ataturk's motives where the same as those of the “Christian and Jewish judges” in this case.

  6. Hmm, could be true. And “promote” was the wrong word to use – the 1st Amendment itself promotes religious practice. There's a line to be drawn here, obviously the government couldn't build a memorial Cathedral and hold services, but can use a simple cross as a grave marker.

    From what I can tell, the issue for the past few years is over whether the city's attempts to sell the land were fair or were rigged in favor of a particular religious group.

    You are right in that this is a stupid PR move. There are plenty of winnable school discrimination lawsuits to be filed, especially here in the South, but these guys spend their time on war memorials. Its sort of like the theory of McCarthy secretly working for the Soviets to discredit anti-communism.

  7. Here's what I just read that should change the story quite a bit. It seems that the cross was not built as a war memorial, or at least not used as one, until its defenders realized this would be a good way to win the lawsuit.

    http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/cross3.htm

    *Every annual publication of the Thomas Brothers Map from 1954 to 1989 presented a geographic legal description of the location as the “Mt. Soledad Easter Cross” after which year (cross case was filed on May 31, 1989) the name of the legal location on the map was changed to the “Mt. Soledad Memorial.”

    *There was no placard or marker to be found anywhere on Mt. Soledad Natural Park nor at the site of the Mt. Soledad Easter Cross to indicate that it was a veterans' memorial until after 1992, when the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association installed such a marker with a “Veterans” memorial inscription.

    and

    * The Mt. Soledad Cross was dedicated to “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” in a dedication bulletin by the grandmother of William J. Kellogg, President of the Mt. Soledad memorial Association on Easter Sunday, 1954.

  8. Adam,

    I knew of the history of the cross, and that should not change the verdict.

    To see why, ask yourself if those standing stone, totem poles, erected by eskimos and indians after a certain date and now on government land should be demolished. There seems to be two primary answers

    a) Yes, because aboriginal are incapable of real religion, so there is no Establishment violation (as opposed to the actually valid semitic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)
    b) No, because such things are part of the history and culture of a region.

    On your blog I mentioned the ugly militantism that many atheist groups descend too [1], and this is a great example. That the atheist Soviets and secularist Turks left their Orthodox and Islamic themed structures on government property standing, but that so many American atheists refuse to grant the same right of place to historically Christian sites in the US, is horrifying. (Indeed, American Atheists have to look back to the Cultural Revolution for a similar cleansing of the past. Chinese today regret the same kind of destruction of religious-yet-cultural works by the Red Guards that secularists want to spread between our shores.)

    [1] http://themetropolistimes.blogspirit.com/archive/2006/07/03/strategies-for-atheist-activism.html

  9. If the cross really had historical significance, they'd have a case. It was erected only 35 years before the lawsuit was filed, when the whole problem could have easily been resolved by a fair value sale of the land to a private group. If the cross had significant cultural value to the people of the area, they would have done so at some point instead of setting up the atheists as wanting to tear down the cross.

    Almost all of these lawsuits filed by religious seperation groups and individuals are about things erected during the McCarthy era, and were put up to declare the area as Christian, and explicitly against atheism since it was associated with communism. Nobody's suing to get rid of the cross ontop of Independence Hall, to remove religious paintings from the Capitol building or to get rid of the cross on Kennedy's grave.

    If secular judges were really trying to “cleanse the past” they would hardly be issuing decisions that make historical and secular cultural significance a factor, would they?

  10. Adam,

    A cross has stood on that spot since 1913. If the fact that the current cross is a re-creation of the original is relevent, should we wish that China smashes the Buddhas [1], because most of them are relateively recent recreations of previously destroyed monuments?

    You describe the “original intent” of the cross (or rather, the original intent of the present cross). Even if true — how does this matter? Shall we destroy standing stones if they were originally intended to show how some forest-god was stronger than another?

    Your last paragraph goes to competence, not motivation. It is doubtful that political Christianity would exist as it does today in the United States if not for the courts.

    You mentioned that atheists “have done a horrible job of promoting everyday tolerance of atheists and atheism” Secularists in the United States have used an interesting combination of ugliness and incompetence. The present correlation of forces is their reward.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/05/22/botanical-gardens-and-a-former-chinese-president.html

  11. The debates, including the one we're having, are always about whether the particular monument, inscription or practice has sufficent secular historical, cultural or other reason for government support. Few people want the governments to build churches (or synagogues, mosques, etc) and hold services, but most people disagree where to draw the line.

    I tend to think that the large majority of the legal problems are when people have different lines drawn, and not when one wants to destroy the history of Christianity and the other wants to turn the US into the Vatican.

  12. Adam,

    To the extent there is a qualitative different (and not just a division on where to draw a line), it is between a traditionally left Utopinan and traditionally right Constrained vision of what government can do. [1] Utopians/Leftists/Unconstrained Theorists largely assume that traditions are a form of memetic drift, and discount the negative effects of the destruction of history (a very physical destruction, in the San Diego case). Others oppose that.

    At least, this is my generous interpretation. The other — of multiculturalist/disgust at western society — is stomach churning. But that's an explanation that's true in some cases [2] too.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/07/05/last-thoughts-on-pinker.html
    [2] http://themetropolistimes.blogspirit.com/archive/2006/07/08/multiculturalism.html

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