Mount Soledad Easter Cross
Fundies complain about how much money they have to spend defending their indefensible positions in church/state separation cases. It’s their own fault. If they’d just accept the courts’ findings (this is especially peculiar, since fundies are used to blindly accepting things that other people tell them) the first time, they could save themselves a lot of money. Here’s a case in point.
The case of the Mount Soledad Easter Cross has been festering in the courts since 1989! I guess the fundies think they can outlast us. I don’t know why. According to their own silly notions, they’re all going to get swept up to heaven and its 72 virgins any day now. After I’m Left Behind, I’m renting a bulldozer, and the Mount Soledad Cross is coming down!
Most of the facts that follow come from the Wikipedia article. The opinions, of course, are always mine.
Mount Soledad is in San Diego county. Atop the hill and in prominent view of all, including the tens of thousands who daily travel upon Interstate 5, stands a 29-foot tall cross. There has been a cross at that location since 1913, although this cross was erected in 1954. This proves that fundies do indeed get erections (especially when they’re forcing their religion upon others). (I know, it was an easy joke. I don’t claim to be a fundie, so I’m allowed to succumb to temptation.)
In 1989, Philip Paulson filed suit to have the cross removed. Every article I see calls Paulson an atheist. I’m sure this is true, but I wonder why it is always necessary to point out that plaintiffs in these cases are atheists. It’s a subtle form of journalistic bias. (“Oh, that explains why he hates America! He’s an atheist!”) I’d like to see every news article that describes somebody doing things influenced in any way by their religion as a Christian (or Jew, Muslim, etc., as the case may be). That won’t happen. Atheists are special people. We have to allow for their idiosyncrasies. The small square bus pulls up in front of their house to take them to the special class.
Paulson won the case, of course. From Wikipedia:
On December 3, 1991, Gordon Thompson, Jr., a judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Philip Paulson, an atheist, noting that the cross was permanently positioned inside a public park and was maintained at taxpayers’ expense. He further noted that it violated Article 1, Section 4 of the California Constitution, which is known as the “No Preference” Clause.
Anyway, what followed was an endless string of feeble attempts by the Religious Blight to appeal and/or circumvent the court’s opinion. This included trying to sell just the land that the cross sits on (a whopping 224 square feet!). Another attempt was to turn the area into a Korean War memorial. This is the current avenue they’re going down, since they’ve put a lot of money and effort into making it look like the cross was added to the memorial, and not the other way around.
As Wikipedia explains:
A key issue was the status of the area as a secular war memorial, given the fact that it was not developed as a memorial until ten years after the first lawsuit. Prior to the lawsuit, no plaque or marker designated or explained the site’s status as a war memorial, and during the fifty years prior to the lawsuit, there were no ceremonies or recognitions of the Korean War or to war veterans at the site, only Easter Sunday services. A 1985 map of the “San Diego Area” identifies the cross as the Mt. Soledad Easter Cross. A court document also refers to several references of the Easter Cross including, “…the U.S. Department of Commerce Coast and Geodetic Survey (indicating ‘Easter Cross’ on chart).”
Further, let’s not forget that the first cross was placed on that site in 1913. I guess the Korean War was mentioned in the Book of Revelation, and the fundies who put the cross there were just being proactive.
Anyway, this waste of the court’s time and taxpayer’s money continues. Both the U.S. and California constitutions are clear on this matter. The government is not a religion.