Veterans, 1st amendment advocates rejoice after Mount Soledad victory
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Religious rights advocates and veterans’ groups are announcing their support for U.S. President George W. Bush’s decision to sign a bill passed by Congress, which is intended to save a 29-foot cross in San Diego.  The cross, which is part of the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial will be transferred from city to federal ownership, thus halting two lawsuits which sought to remove the structure.

The national commander of the American Legion said yesterday that the bill’s passage and signing was a “victory for common sense.”  Thomas Bock, who represents the 2.7 million-member veterans group, said the Legion is “pleased to see the U.S. Congress and the President walking in the ‘footsteps of the founders (of the country)’ in recognizing the sanctity of this veterans’ memorial.”

The current Mount Soledad Cross has sat on one of the highest hills of San Diego since its installation on Easter in 1954, but was preceded by other crosses, which have sat on the site since 1913.  

Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, a religious rights law firm in Ann Arbor, Mich., that fought on behalf of the monument, told the Washington Times that the Oval Office signing is "a line in the sand."

"It's the culmination of a 17-year battle that the atheists backed by the American Civil Liberties Union have been fighting," he said, referring to a lawsuit filed against the city by atheist Philip Paulson, the Washington Times reported.

The cross was slated to be demolished on August 1st, but that order, given by U.S. District Court Judge Gordon Thompson Jr., was halted by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a move which opened the possibility for an appeal to the Supreme Court.  The recent congressional and presidential action made such an appeal unnecessary.

And the act seems to be in accord with the desire San Diegans.  Last year, 76 percent of San Diego voters approved Proposition A, which would have allowed the cross to be donated to the federal government.

Bock said the Legion doesn’t expect attacks on the religious symbols of fallen veterans to stop. “We expect more litigation and I assure you that The American Legion will be in the fight,” Bock said in yesterday’s press release.

“The religious symbols that mark the graves and honor the sacrifices of our fallen heroes - a cross, Star of David, or other identification of faith in God - are sacred to Americans. As a grateful nation, we must ensure that the memory of our heroes will never be dishonored by those who would seek to remove them.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20