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Fri Mar 16, 2012, 01:39 PM

White House asks Supreme Court to allow cross on Mt. Soledad

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-white-house-asks-supreme-court-to-allow-cross-on-mount-soledad-20120316,0,5085109.story



By David G. Savage

March 16, 2012, 9:36 a.m.
Reporting from Washington—

The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to allow a 43-foot-tall cross that serves as a war memorial to remain atop Mt. Soledad near San Diego, arguing the cross that has been there since 1954 is not an endorsement of religion.

The government should not be required “to tear down a cross that has stood without incident for 58 years as a highly venerated memorial to the nation’s fallen service members,” Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. said in a new appeal to the high court.

He urged the justices to reverse a decision of the U.S. 9th Circuit of Appeals that last year held the cross was primarily a Christian symbol and unconstitutional. Its prominent display on public land in La Jolla amounted to an official “endorsement of religion” in violation of the 1st Amendment, the judges said in a 3-0 ruling.

If the justices take up the case later this year — which is likely — it could force them to finally resolve whether religious symbols, such as a cross or the Ten Commandments, can be prominently displayed on public land.

more at link

54 replies, 4189 views

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Arrow 54 replies Author Time Post
Reply White House asks Supreme Court to allow cross on Mt. Soledad (Original post)
cbayer Mar 2012 OP
sharp_stick Mar 2012 #1
Turbineguy Mar 2012 #2
msongs Mar 2012 #3
man4allcats Mar 2012 #4
gopiscrap Mar 2012 #5
humblebum Mar 2012 #6
Humanist_Activist Mar 2012 #7
humblebum Mar 2012 #8
Silent3 Mar 2012 #11
humblebum Mar 2012 #14
Humanist_Activist Mar 2012 #27
Silent3 Mar 2012 #34
cleanhippie Mar 2012 #9
humblebum Mar 2012 #10
cleanhippie Mar 2012 #20
man4allcats Mar 2012 #12
humblebum Mar 2012 #15
man4allcats Mar 2012 #16
humblebum Mar 2012 #17
man4allcats Mar 2012 #18
humblebum Mar 2012 #19
man4allcats Mar 2012 #21
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #24
humblebum Mar 2012 #28
AlbertCat Mar 2012 #46
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #23
humblebum Mar 2012 #29
humblebum Mar 2012 #32
SATIRical Mar 2012 #22
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #25
humblebum Mar 2012 #30
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #36
humblebum Mar 2012 #38
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #41
AlbertCat Mar 2012 #50
SATIRical Mar 2012 #33
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #35
SATIRical Mar 2012 #43
cbayer Mar 2012 #42
AlbertCat Mar 2012 #48
SATIRical Mar 2012 #52
AlbertCat Mar 2012 #53
SATIRical Mar 2012 #54
AlbertCat Mar 2012 #47
Silent3 Mar 2012 #13
AlbertCat Mar 2012 #49
Silent3 Mar 2012 #51
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #26
moobu2 Mar 2012 #31
edhopper Mar 2012 #37
cbayer Mar 2012 #39
edhopper Mar 2012 #40
trotsky Mar 2012 #44
AlbertCat Mar 2012 #45

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 01:44 PM

1. As an avowed atheist

I've got to say... I really don't give a shit whether the cross is there or not.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 01:45 PM

2. But.....

How will that fit in with Obama's carefully groomed rep as a communist and a Muslim?

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 01:51 PM

3. meanwhile, drones are murdering women and kids - gotta love the 9 commandments nt

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 01:53 PM

4. This atheist says

take it down and put something secular in its place. It's not so much that, after 58 years, it really matters much at that particular location, but allowing it to remain would set a precedent for endorsement of religion via display of religious symbols on public land.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 02:47 PM

5. Thank you

I happen to have worked in the Church (Roman Catholic, ELCA Lutheran and now United Methodist) first as cantor, then youth director and now a member of the Pastoral Staff at a UMC congregation. I have always believed that there should be NO religious symbol on public lands whatsoever. Just because it's been for 58 years doesn't make it right. Slavery had been a part of the fabric for 100+ years when the civil war broke out, it doesn't make slavery right.

If we allow one religion put up there symbol, then we must allow alll others (and aesthetically, that would be unpleasing) if we allow a Christian symbol such as the cross, why not the UMC symbol of the cross with the Holy Spirits flame running through it? Why not a Roman Catholic crucifix? Why not a chalice, the symbol of the Disciples of Christ? Why not nothing at all as in a Society of Frinds, Brethern or Amish worship setting?
What about the symbols of a Mennonite Agape Feast? The possibilities go on and on.

I have long believed in speration of Church and State. I came from Europe and was raised with the history behind me of how the Church first divided and conquered and then dictated with collusion of the state. That is one of the attributes of the USA that impressed me the most when arriving here in August of 1971. Just IMHO.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:03 PM

6. By that reasoning they would have to chisel all the religious symbols of all veteran headstones.

 

At no time in this country's history has there been any ABSOLUTE separation between Church and State. And especially when it comes to veterans' memorials - hands off. However, they should erect symbols for veterans of other faiths. Easy to do.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:22 PM

7. Huh?

Do you understand the difference between a common memorial(that's supposed to represent all veterans) and headstones(which represent the veteran buried in that plot)?

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:28 PM

8. So how do you distinguish between allowing one form of religious symbol on government property

 

and not another? When you are talking absolute separation ... . Simple rule: veterans' memorials off limits.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:39 PM

11. Common vs. individual

That's a simple distinction. Pretty straightforward. No government endorsement when the individual or individual's family decides what they want for an individual memorial.

I realize how important it is for you to have an absolutely extremist, irrationally inflexible atheist straw man to rail against, then confuse that straw man with any atheist who doesn't just roll over and let all violations of separation slip by, so I don't expect a simple distinction that isn't enraging enough for you to sink in.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:56 PM

14. Your straw man argument is a straw man argument. The term "absolute" is

 

quite straight forward. And, as far as being extremist... well ... I consider your viewpoint as such.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #14)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 07:26 PM

27. Seriously, so allowing individuals to practice their right to free expression without government...

interference or endorsement is the extremist position to you?

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Response to humblebum (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 01:09 AM

34. "Triangle" is pretty straightforward too...

...as long as you're now going to list words that seem straightforward to you for no apparent reason. I didn't realize the straight-forwardness of "absolute" was under discussion.

And what viewpoint which is supposedly mine do you consider "extremist"? I doubt you'll spell that out or make it clear, when a flip remark or a random grievance or other evasive distraction would be more your style at this point, but what the hell? It doesn't hurt to ask.

At any rate, I rather doubt that my actual viewpoint and whatever windmill you're tilting at are much the same.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:29 PM

9. Oh, he understands the difference. He is just being intentionally obtuse.

Again.

It looks like yet another attempt to hijack the thread.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:31 PM

10. Any opinion that differs from your own you consider to be hijacking nt

 

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Response to humblebum (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 04:47 PM

20. Oh, yes, that's it exactly!



You just keep telling yourself that, ok? You will surely convince yourself eventually.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:46 PM

12. Anyone can wear a religious symbol (such as a cross or Star of David) while present on public lands.

That is not a violation of separation of church and state. The tombstones of dead soldiers are all that is left of those people in terms of any kind of personal statement about their lives. If the families of those dead soldiers are comfortable with the display of a religious symbol on those soldiers' tombstones, that is just as acceptable as if the soldiers themselves were alive and walking through the cemetery or on any public lands while wearing a religious symbol. In my view religion is irrational, but in this country people have the right to believe in all manner of irrational ideas and further to proclaim those maniacal beliefs. They do not, however, have the right to attempt to speak on behalf of the entire country by raising monuments to their delusions on public lands. And so I say again, take it down and replace it with something secular. Easy to do.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 04:01 PM

15. Secular Humanism has also been declared as a religion by the courts, so making the site

 

secular would , in effect, be recognizing secularism.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 04:15 PM

16. And you listen to what a bunch of lawyers tell you rather than think for yourself?

No wonder this country is in such a mess. Furthermore, I used the term "secular." I never made any mention of secular humanism. That is you attempting, rather badly I might add, to rewrite my post.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 04:29 PM

17. You mean if I think like you, then I'd be thinking for myself? Funny how

 

that works. I have no doubt that it is more than just a bunch of lawyers who espouse that opinion. I'll keep thinking the same as I always have thank you. Hands off veterans' memorials, except to add symbols.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 04:40 PM

18. As I said earlier,

you have the right in this country to think anything you wish no matter how bizarre it may be. I may disagree with your hackneyed, demented wisdom, but I will defend to the death your right to look foolish by proposing it. Just keep it off the public lands.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 04:47 PM

19. I guarantee I am not alone in my "hackneyed, demented wisdom" but I would

 

fight for your opinion also. And also to leave the memorial as is.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 04:49 PM

21. Then we half agree.

I say take the damned thing down.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 06:31 PM

24. *SIGH*

And we've been through this, too. The SCOTUS has ruled that those that are atheist/secular humanists can't be discriminated against because of their lack of religion and are protected on freedom of religion grounds. They HAVE NOT said/declared atheism a religion.

Quit it with the right-wing talking points already. You sound like Sean Hannity.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 11:07 PM

28. Um?

 

U.S. Supreme Court
TORCASO v. WATKINS, 367 U.S. 488 (1961)

"Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others."

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=367&invol=488

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Response to humblebum (Reply #15)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:28 PM

46. Secular Humanism has also been declared as a religion by the courts

No one is proposing to put a Secular Humanist symbol there instead.

You know perfectly well that Secular Humanism is a specific thing, just like Christianity or Islam. It does not stand in for "secular" in any way shape or form.


Your contrary BS is showing...

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Response to humblebum (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 06:29 PM

23. You've been over this at least 2 times on DU2

Why do you continue to say that? You know it's different. The individual veterans get to pick the symbol that is on their headstone. They have Native American religious symbols, Buddhist ones, all kinds. This is a cross. Which is Christian. Not all veterans are Christians so it doesn't honor all veterans.

I'm sure the other symbols would be just as big, too. How many undies would get in a bunch when the Muslim star and crescent went up? Or the atheist symbol?

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #23)


Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #23)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 12:57 AM

32. Well, I'm sure you have covered several topics more than a few times, too.

 

Regardless, it is what it is.

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Response to man4allcats (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 05:52 PM

22. No other words needed

 

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Response to SATIRical (Reply #22)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 06:32 PM

25. You're being sarcastic, right?

You do realize the difference, right? The OP is about a cross. Which is just Christian. The mural (or whatever it's called when in marble) shows "historic" lawgivers from many, many different cultures.

*facepalm*

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #25)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 11:27 PM

30. And what are those stone tablets the figure is holding? I can't make them out.nt

 

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Response to humblebum (Reply #30)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 09:00 AM

36. And

What's the scroll the Roman guy holdingg. And what's the Asian guy doing there? What's your point?

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #36)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 12:17 PM

38. The point is that they can all be displayed on government property without

 

constituting government endorsement. So put up your Muslim and Atheist symbols. "Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" means what it says. It does not specify only on private property. The term "free" is the key word.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #38)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 02:20 PM

41. Where is the invitation from the government to do so?

And certainly you understand that it is about the purpose of the display. A social studies teacher that is studying the history of laws can put up the 10 commandments as part of a display of the laws of old cultures. An English teacher that is do no such study and is not dealing with them at all cannot put up the same 10 commandments. Such is the point of the carvings on the SCOTUS building. There are there not to promote religion but to look at the history of lawmakers. That isn't really so hard.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #30)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:47 PM

50. And what are those stone tablets the figure is holding? I can't make them out.

Perhaps it's ancient Babylonian cuneiform writing. Writing on tablets is a common practice before paper.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #25)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 01:07 AM

33. The cross is not just Christian

 

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Response to SATIRical (Reply #33)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 08:57 AM

35. so whicb religions

Are represented by the cross in the picture in the OP?

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #35)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 07:43 PM

43. I guess the same ones represented

 

by the red cross on medical units in the military, ambulances, etc.

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Response to SATIRical (Reply #33)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 02:22 PM

42. That was pointed out to me repeatedly when I questioned why a self-described atheist

on DU was using the cross as an avatar.

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Response to SATIRical (Reply #33)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:41 PM

48. The cross is not just Christian

No.... just the majority of them.

Perhaps they meant the "mathematics cross" or the plus sign!

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #48)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 10:25 PM

52. So I guess that means

 

America is a Christian nation then since the majority of Americans are Christian?

You can't have it both ways.

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Response to SATIRical (Reply #52)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 01:35 AM

53. America is a Christian nation then since the majority of Americans are Christian?

What are you talking about?

Are you saying there was a possibility the cross at Mt Soledad was really a plus sign?

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #53)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:26 PM

54. It is a symbol

 

Symbols mean different things to different people. Since it is established that a cross is not just a Christian thing, who cares why they put the symbol there.

The biggest complaint (in this thread) is that it "The OP is about a cross. Which is just Christian. "

And that is false.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #25)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:33 PM

47. The mural (or whatever it's called when in marble)

It's a "frieze".... like on greco-roman buildings.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 03:47 PM

13. I think the cross should go, but...

...I don't blame the Whitehouse for not giving the Fox News crowd even more reason for manufactured outrage in an election year.

It disgusts me that such policital games must be played, but there is some wisdom in picking the timing of your battles. Besides, I don't even know that Obama would be on my side on this issue. In any event, I won't let this one issue dissuade me from supporting Obama, especially considering the theocratic and otherwise detestable alternatives.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:44 PM

49. I think the cross should go, but...

but nothing.

How about a nice work of art.... like a statue of a soldier.... instead of a Christian cross made of cinder blocks.

Does no one care that it's fuckin' ugly?

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #49)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:57 PM

51. I certainly prefer your alternatives...

...but my post was about recognizing political realities.

Given the choice between an Obama who doesn't always have my back as an atheist, and a brief feeling of elation if Obama stood up for atheists followed by four years of Santorum or Romney, I'll grudgingly take the former over the latter.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 06:34 PM

26. Way to throw the atheists and non-Christians under the bus, Obama.

Not to mention the 1st Amendment and the Lemon test. I realize that the whole Santorum thing must have you thinking that this country is Jesus crazy, but you could actually look like a Constitutional scholar on this one, Mr. President.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 12:37 AM

31. I'm fine with President Obama defending it.

The Supreme Court will decide whether it stays or not no matter what President Obama did anyway and it would have just been stupid to pick a fight over this with everything else going on. A lot of them are already convinced he isn't Christian so it would have been a huge gift to the ignoramuses for him to come out as being against it. It's more important to get him elected a second term so he can appoint more federal judges. Call it triangulation or whatever, I just call it smart politics.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 10:07 AM

37. Many of the people who

demand that this overtly religious symbol MUST remain on Public land, are the same people who were outraged that a private religious institution that happened to be Muslim was somewhere in the vicinity of the WTC.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #37)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 12:31 PM

39. Really? The same people? Who are they?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #39)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 12:51 PM

40. I was not referring to people on this Forum

I meant the assholes who where up in arms about the Downtown Islamic Center in Manhattan.
At least half the Republicans in Congress to name a few.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:17 PM

44. So disappointing.

But then, as atheists, we're used to seeing both parties shit on the concept of state-church separation.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:17 PM

45. arguing the cross that has been there since 1954 is not an endorsement of religion.

So.... crosses in 1954 were not religious symbols?.... unlike today? Perhaps in 1954 it wasn't the device used to torture and kill Jesus Christ, but just something to dry laundry on.

Huh.... the things one learns....

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