Federal court says World War I memorial must be torn down–because it is a cross

By Jonathon Van Maren

Last summer, I noted that atheists were becoming increasingly mean-spirited in their efforts to purge every sign of America’s Christian heritage from the public square. In that case, the organization Freedom From Religion was asking for the removal of a roadside memorial with a cross that marked the place where a mother had died in a car accident—but the atheists from FFR insisted that it somehow indicated governmental support for Christianity. In my column, I wondered whether the iconoclasts would go after the crosses in military memorials, as well.

It turns out that’s precisely what they plan to do. From FOX News:

Back in 1925, the American Legion erected a memorial in Bladensburg, Md., to honor the memory of 49 men who perished during World War I. The 40-foot tall memorial became known as the “Peace Cross.”

In 2014, the American Humanist Association — a group that believes in “being good without a god” — filed a lawsuit alleging the cross-shaped memorial is unconstitutional and demanding it be demolished, altered, or removed. They alleged the cross carries “an inherently religious message and creates the unmistakable appearance of honoring only Christian servicemen.”

On Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ruled the historic memorial must be torn down — all because the Bladensburg Memorial is in the shape of a cross. The Fourth Circuit said the memorial excessively entangles the government in religion because the cross is the “core symbol of Christianity” and “breaches” the wall separating church and state…

The American Legion could appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

“Today’s decision sets dangerous precedent by completely ignoring history, and it threatens removal and destruction of veterans memorials across America,” First Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser said. 

There are a few things to note here. First, these atheists are aggressively evangelical, which is why they want to purge all reminders of America’s Christian heritage. They confuse freedom of religion with freedom from religion. Secondly, there is a fundamental meanness about them—from roadside memorials commemorating loved ones to suing the American Legion over a war memorial, they are willing to trample and disrupt the lives of others simply to push their own secular dogmas. And third, they have a pitiful understanding of history—to understand what the authors of the Constitution meant and did not mean in regard to religious symbols in public, one only has to look around at the abundance of religious symbols that proliferated while those men lived—often with the explicit endorsement of the government.

Finally, the humanists seem to have forgotten something: At the time those brave soldiers sacrificed their lives in the First World War, America was still a Christian nation. One can only imagine what those soldiers would think of the petty little men trying to tear down the memorial built to commemorate their courage because it was in the shape of the cross—the ultimate symbol of sacrifice.


For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.


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