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Reward for Stolen Mojave Cross Now $125,000

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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-10 05:08 AM
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Reward for Stolen Mojave Cross Now $125,000
Reward for Stolen Mojave Cross Now $125,000
May 17, 2010
San Bernardino County Sun, Calif.

MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE -- An anonymous donation means there is a $125,000 reward posted for tips leading to the conviction of whoever stole a cross that served as a memorial to Americans who served during World War I.

A decorated military veteran offered $100,000 for the reward, said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel for Liberty Institute. That figure was added to the previous $25,000 offer.

Liberty Institute is a conservative organization based in Plano, Texas, that is defending veterans groups who want the cross to stay in Mojave National Preserve. The cross stood at Sunrise Rock, which is about 15 miles south of the 15 Freeway along Cima Road.

The missing cross was at the center of a prolonged legal fight over the government's relationship with organized religion. Before its theft, the memorial stood on public land, and a former preserve official filed suit in 2001 arguing that the cross represented an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity by the federal government.

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, later backed legislation to transfer the cross site to Veterans of Foreign Wars. The law was intended to end any church-state conflicts, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the transfer in 2007.

unhappycamper comment: /

The folks at the Liberty Institute are certifiably bat-shit crazy. Here's their stance on religious freedom:

Religious Freedom

"Religion in America... must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief." ~Alexis de Tocqueville

About the issue:

From classrooms to businesses and beyond, religious freedom is denied every day. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees American citizens freedom of religion, but gradually, that freedom is being eroded. Some of the most serious threats to religious freedom include the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and hate crimes legislation. These policies, among others, would effectively stifle the free speech of churches and pastors, and would impede the progress of ministries nationwide.

However, a number of policies have been enacted in Texas and nationwide that protect the freedom of religion, including the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), and the Schoolchildren?s Religious Liberties Act. The Texas RFRA was passed in 2000 and ensures that... The RLUIPA was passed in 1994 by Congress as a way to protect churches and religious organizations in their attempt to use property for their ministries. In 2007, the Texas Legislature passed a groundbreaking bill that protects the religious liberties of schoolchildren; other states have passed similar legislation, with more to follow.

What We're Doing:

Liberty Institute believes that the First Amendment protection of religious freedom is one of the greatest things our Founding Fathers could have done in drafting the Constitution and Bill of Rights. That's why Liberty Institute drafted the Hostility to Religious Expression document, which shows how maligned our freedoms really are. In the document, you can find detailed explanations of legal cases nationwide, such as the case of Morgan v Plano Independent School District, where a third grade student was banned from handing candy cane pens with a religious message to classmates as a Christmas gift.

Too many cases like these abound, which is why our work to protect religious freedom is so important. Liberty Institute has helped churches and ministries when they encounter unconstitutional obstacles from cities, and through the Barr v. Sinton case, has received the most important ruling ever issued under the Texas RFRA, thereby protecting the religious freedom of churches all over the state. Liberty Institute also received the most substantial IRS ruling defining the freedom pastors have in their churches to preach on political issues.

Liberty Institute also helped to pass Texas' Schoolchildren's Religious Liberties Bill, and has represented numerous families against school districts which sought to silence students, and also represented school districts against attacks by liberal religion-hating groups.

Additionally, Liberty Institute strongly opposes any efforts to quiet any religious opposition as found in ENDA or hate crimes legislation, and is working to educate everyday Americans about what passing either of those bills would mean for their liberties.

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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-10 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. A sucker is born every minute
This was an inside job. It's a good fund raising tool to fleece money from the flock.
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