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Thread: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Translation: "I have no real basis for this non-point so I don't want to be forced to defend it."

    Look, Christians, you don't have the right to government sponsorship of your religion. Get over it.
    as an atheist I really don't have issue with already established memorials maintaining their current character and often find such issues as the above tend to make atheists look like whiny ****s

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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Yes, I agree. It's just a way of honoring our war dead. I don't think this particular cross was over anyone's dead body but of course the family of any dead soldier could change a cross to whatever symbol they felt was more appropriate, as has been done many times in the past. The Jews use the Star Of David.
    Rather a philosophical question here, but do you think the dead actually care about a cross on a hill 'honoring' them?

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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    What we did in San Francisco was to sell the small parcel of land the cross sat on, and allowed the cross to stay. Not government land, no problem.

    Mount Davidson (California) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Thinking tactically here: In order to promote atheism one must strike at the symbols of religion wherever they are and argue for their removal. That's what happening here - this isn't about a separation of church and state, it's not about the people who died (though it should be) which inspired the cross to be erected, it's about dismantling a belief system and the power that system has over people. Let people believe what they want - in Mother Earth, God, Allah, the Sun god Ra --- who cares? The cross on that piece of ground does no harm to anyone yet it now under court order must be removed. Stupid.
    You do realize that the case was brought up by JEWISH veterans not atheists. Right?
    " May you live as long as you wish, and love as long as you live"
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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    EDIT: My bad. The land IS owned by the government, so the first question remains. Is the cross there really an endorsement of a religion or not? I believe it's not, and therefore disagree with the decision.
    This particular cross has a sordid legal history. In a nutshell, a Christian group lied to the State and the taxpayers, claiming they were building and maintaining a war memorial. They were bilking the State for a war memorial that didn't exist. This cross and the surrounding area were basically being used as an outdoor church and it was always advertised as an "Easter Cross" with no signage, flags, or even plaques indicating that it was a war memorial until they were, rightfully, sued. This place isn't a war memorial, it isn't treated as one, and the tax payers shouldn't have to either pay for it or look at it IMO.

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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Why do you think the government should promote Christianity and not Islam?
    The United States is based on the teachings of the Old and New Testaments, as have most of the successful democracies, and have done very well as a result. Those which were based on the teaches of Muhammed - not so much. In fact we can say the same for almost every ciuntry everywhere.

    Americans do owe their life style to the teaching of Chrst rather than Muhammed but there seems to be some Americans who don;t yet know that, which saysa lot aout the education system today.

    The man behind this effort to remove the cross said after the trial, ""This is a victory for religious liberty," said Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's program on freedom of religion and belief who argued the matter for the plaintiffs in a hearing before Burns on Thursday."We firmly support the government's efforts to honor the service of those who fought and died for this country, but there are many ways to do that without playing favorites with religion," Mach said.

    I'd be interested to hear how Mr. Mach intends to honor any war dead and what sort symbol he maight ave in mind and how the removal of this cross enhanced his religious liberty the day after the trial moreso than the day before.

    The USA is rapidly becoming a nation of pouty adolescents who have no idea of their history or, seemingly, their future.

    Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past- George Orwell

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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    Rather a philosophical question here, but do you think the dead actually care about a cross on a hill 'honoring' them?
    Visit any cemetery and you will see all sorts of crosses in remembrance of those who are gone. Some graves are without crosses or any religious symbols. Why is that?

    It is because people want to preserve a place in their memory, to pause for a moment in thought for those who had an effect on their lives, families, friends or, in this case, those who died representing their country. The cross is just another way of sharing common remembrances. A large Star of David honoring Jewish War dead would serve the same purpose, though the atheists would probably want that down also for 'promoting religion'.

    Atheists stand for nothing and that's what they will use to support their nihilism. They seem very bitter against those who feel their is more in life than their nothingness.

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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    This particular cross has a sordid legal history. In a nutshell, a Christian group lied to the State and the taxpayers, claiming they were building and maintaining a war memorial. They were bilking the State for a war memorial that didn't exist. This cross and the surrounding area were basically being used as an outdoor church and it was always advertised as an "Easter Cross" with no signage, flags, or even plaques indicating that it was a war memorial until they were, rightfully, sued. This place isn't a war memorial, it isn't treated as one, and the tax payers shouldn't have to either pay for it or look at it IMO.

    I was involved on another board regarding the Mt. Soledad cross some years ago when it was a big story because the "slight of hand" shuffle was in the works to turn the land over from the City to DOD. I actually read the court documents and garnished some facts about it's history.

    Basically the whole "war memorial" things was a sham to dodge it's original purpose once the original suit was filed in 1989.

    • The first cross was erected in 1913, prior to WWI, WWII, or the Korean War.

    • The cross was replaced multiple times between 1913 and 1954

    • The Mt. Soledad Association itself said the purpose of the 1954 cross was to replace the previous crosses (The crosses were to commemorate wars that hadn’t occurred yet?)

    • The Mt. Soledad Association itself in it’s dedication bulletin noted that the cross was dedicated to ““Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” not to war veterans.

    • Only one news article between April 17, 1954 and the 1989 lawsuit described the cross as a war memorial. No other references to it as a war memorial were found.

    • There is no evidence that the City planed the cross as a war memorial prior to its construction

    • Construction and dedication were planned and did occur to allow the dedication to be conducted on Easter Sunday, 1954. Not Memorial Day, not Veterans Day, or any other day to honor veterans.

    • Every year between 1954 and 1989, when the lawsuit was filed, the Mt. Soledad Association sponsored religious Easter sunrise services.

    • Not once between 1954 and 1989, when the lawsuit was filed, did the Mt. Soledad Assc. or any other organization sponsor ceremony's to honor war dead on Memorial Day.

    • Not once between 1954 and 1989, when the lawsuit was filed, did the Mt. Soledad Assc. or any other organization sponsor ceremony's to honor war dead on Veterans Day.

    • No plaque or sign was ever in existence at the cross between 1954 and 1989, when the lawsuit was filed, indicating that the cross was a memorial to war dead.

    • Regarding the Mt. Soledad Assc. – “Its own bylaws describe its purpose as the promotion of “community interest in the development of the public facilities of the Mt. Soledad park area.” The bylaws make no reference to the commemoration of war dead.”

    • No one plague, not one sign, not one brick in the present "war memorial" wall now surrounding the cross was placed until after the City lost the suit.

    • Prior to the lawsuit travel guides, maps, phone directories, and even government publications referred to the cross as the “Soledad Easter Cross”.


    To be continued...

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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    If you would like to read the History of the Cross of the case decision, it can be found in: Paulson V. San Diego, Civ. No. 89-020 GT

    [FROM COURT DOCUMENTS]D. The Mt. Soledad Cross

    The Latin cross displayed atop Mt. Soledad is subject to the same constitutional infirmities to which the Latin cross displayed atop Mt. Helix is subject. Like its Mt. Helix counterpart, the Mt. Soledad cross is a powerful sectarian symbol, the religious effect of which is evidenced by the uses to which it has been put as the backdrop of Christian sectarian events, such as weddings, baptisms and Easter sunrise services. Its commanding presence and nightly illumination at the very summit of Mt. Soledad render it the focal point of the public park in which it stands – so much so that it may be said, as between the Latin cross and the park, it is not clear which is meant to adorn which. No comparable symbols of other religions are present to moderate the cross’ sectarian message. Nor is the cross’ sectarian significance mitigated by its history. In fact, to the contrary, history belies and reinforces the sectarian significance of the Latin cross displayed atop Mt. Soledad.

    The City contends that is permits the cross to stand in order to commemorate the lives and sacrifices of fallen soldiers. “It is obvious,” asserts counsel for the City, “that a cross used as a war memorial has lots its religious symbolization and has become resymbolized to take on a new commemorative secular meaning.” Defendant’s Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Summary Judgement, November 13, 1990, at 11. Obvious though this may seem to counsel for the City, however, it is equally obvious to this court that “even if one strains to view the [cross] in the context of a war memorial, [its] primary effect is to give the impression that only Christians . . . are being honored.” Eckels, 589 F.Supp. at 235. See also Declaration of Rabbi Michael Sternfield; Libin, above n. 26.

    More troubling that the City’s characterization of the Mt. Soledad cross as a secular memorial, however, is its characterization of the Mt. Soledad cross as a memorial at all. Whereas Cyrus Yawkey’s deed corroborates the genuineness of the commemorative objective attending the cross on Mt. Helix, no corresponding evidence corroborates the genuineness of the alleged commemorative objective which the City advances in support of the cross on Mt. Soledad. In fact to the contrary, the evidence indicates that the city’s purported commemorative objective is a pretext.

    The numerous declarations, news articles, book excerpts, and other exhibits submitted by the parties reveal only one occasion between the erection of the cross on Mt. Soledad and the filing of this lawsuit on which the cross site has ever been recognized as a war memorial. That occasion was the cross’ dedication on April 17, 1954, when the San Diego Union reported that the cross “is meant to be a lasting memorial to the dead of the two world was and the Korean fighting.” With the exception of this single newspaper report, there is no evidence that prior to this lawsuit the City intended the cross to serve as a memorial.

    Correspondence between the City and the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, which the city authorized to build and maintain the cross, together with newspaper accounts from 1954 indicated that the cross was intended to replace predecessor crosses which had once been the scene of Easter sunrise services but had since been vandalized or fallen into disrepair. Clearly these predecessor crosses, which date as far back as 1913, could not have been erected as memorials to the dead of two world wars and the Korean fighting, all of which occurred after 1913. Nevertheless, the fact that non-commemorative crosses once stood on a site where citizens subsequently chose to erect a new cross should not by itself defeat the genuineness of the new cross’ purported commemorative purpose.

    News accounts reveal further indications of a religious purpose. Several such accounts indicate, for example, that a ceremony dedicating the cross occurred, as planned, on Easter Sunday 1954. Although Memorial Day occurs just 6 weeks after Easter, the Memorial Association evidently preferred to schedule the cross’ completion and dedication for the day of the Resurrection. Although it could have selected any of innumerable different symbols, including many different types of crosses, in order to commemorate fallen soldiers of all faiths, the Memorial Association selected the configuration of the Latin cross, the type of cross on which biblical and historical accounts indicate that Jesus Christ, on the morning marked by Easter, was crucified.

    City records, correspondence and news articles indicate, moreover, that every Easter without fail since 1954, the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association has sponsored an Easter sunrise service at the site of the cross. There is no record of the Association, the City or any other organization having sponsored a memorial service or ceremony at the site of the cross on Memorial Day, Veterans Day or any other day between Easter Sunday 1954 and the day on which this suit was filed. Also during the period between Easter Sunday 1954 and the day on which this suit was filed, no plaque or sign existed to indicate to visitors that the cross was intended to commemorate our country’s war dead. As plaintiffs observe, there was “no way for a visitor to know that on April 18, 1954, someone stood beside the Cross and described it as a veterans memorial.”

    In light of this evidence, it is not surprising that numerous travel guides, road maps, the Yellow Pages telephone directory and even the federal government publications refer to the structure atop Mt. Soledad as the “Soledad Easter Cross.” Eveb the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association itself appears to have lost sight of the purported purpose for which it erected the cross. Its own bylaws describe its purpose as the promoton of “community interest in the development of the public facilities of the Mt. Soledad park area.” The bylaws make no reference to the commemoration of war dead.

    Faced with this battery of evidence, it is difficult to conclude that the commemorative objective advanced by the City is anything other than pretext. The court, therefore, finds that insofar as the disposition of the Mt. Soledad Latin cross, the City has impermissibly exhibited (if not exercised) preference. The City’s conduct, consequently, in unconstitutional, and the is directed that, if it truly wishes to honor the war dead, then it should do so other than with the Latin cross which iit has permitted to stand atop Mt. Soledad. Cf. Eckels, 589 F.Supp. at 234 (“because the county can effectively recognize its war dead without resourt to the use of these religious symbols, it must do so”).

    >>>>

    Paulson V. San Diego, Civ. No. 89-020 GT
    Murphy v. Bilbray, US District Court, CIV NO 90-0134
    Philip K. Paulson v. City of San Diego, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 00-55406
    Jewish War Veterans v. Rumsfeld, US District Court Complaint Dtd 8/24/2006
    Paulson v. Abdulnour, Superior Court of California, Dtd 10/7/2005

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    Re: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

    Quote Originally Posted by WorldWatcher View Post
    If you would like to read the History of the Cross of the case decision, it can be found in: Paulson V. San Diego, Civ. No. 89-020 GT

    [FROM COURT DOCUMENTS]D. The Mt. Soledad Cross

    The Latin cross displayed atop Mt. Soledad is subject to the same constitutional infirmities to which the Latin cross displayed atop Mt. Helix is subject. Like its Mt. Helix counterpart, the Mt. Soledad cross is a powerful sectarian symbol, the religious effect of which is evidenced by the uses to which it has been put as the backdrop of Christian sectarian events, such as weddings, baptisms and Easter sunrise services. Its commanding presence and nightly illumination at the very summit of Mt. Soledad render it the focal point of the public park in which it stands – so much so that it may be said, as between the Latin cross and the park, it is not clear which is meant to adorn which. No comparable symbols of other religions are present to moderate the cross’ sectarian message. Nor is the cross’ sectarian significance mitigated by its history. In fact, to the contrary, history belies and reinforces the sectarian significance of the Latin cross displayed atop Mt. Soledad.

    The City contends that is permits the cross to stand in order to commemorate the lives and sacrifices of fallen soldiers. “It is obvious,” asserts counsel for the City, “that a cross used as a war memorial has lots its religious symbolization and has become resymbolized to take on a new commemorative secular meaning.” Defendant’s Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Summary Judgement, November 13, 1990, at 11. Obvious though this may seem to counsel for the City, however, it is equally obvious to this court that “even if one strains to view the [cross] in the context of a war memorial, [its] primary effect is to give the impression that only Christians . . . are being honored.” Eckels, 589 F.Supp. at 235. See also Declaration of Rabbi Michael Sternfield; Libin, above n. 26.

    More troubling that the City’s characterization of the Mt. Soledad cross as a secular memorial, however, is its characterization of the Mt. Soledad cross as a memorial at all. Whereas Cyrus Yawkey’s deed corroborates the genuineness of the commemorative objective attending the cross on Mt. Helix, no corresponding evidence corroborates the genuineness of the alleged commemorative objective which the City advances in support of the cross on Mt. Soledad. In fact to the contrary, the evidence indicates that the city’s purported commemorative objective is a pretext.

    The numerous declarations, news articles, book excerpts, and other exhibits submitted by the parties reveal only one occasion between the erection of the cross on Mt. Soledad and the filing of this lawsuit on which the cross site has ever been recognized as a war memorial. That occasion was the cross’ dedication on April 17, 1954, when the San Diego Union reported that the cross “is meant to be a lasting memorial to the dead of the two world was and the Korean fighting.” With the exception of this single newspaper report, there is no evidence that prior to this lawsuit the City intended the cross to serve as a memorial.

    Correspondence between the City and the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, which the city authorized to build and maintain the cross, together with newspaper accounts from 1954 indicated that the cross was intended to replace predecessor crosses which had once been the scene of Easter sunrise services but had since been vandalized or fallen into disrepair. Clearly these predecessor crosses, which date as far back as 1913, could not have been erected as memorials to the dead of two world wars and the Korean fighting, all of which occurred after 1913. Nevertheless, the fact that non-commemorative crosses once stood on a site where citizens subsequently chose to erect a new cross should not by itself defeat the genuineness of the new cross’ purported commemorative purpose.

    News accounts reveal further indications of a religious purpose. Several such accounts indicate, for example, that a ceremony dedicating the cross occurred, as planned, on Easter Sunday 1954. Although Memorial Day occurs just 6 weeks after Easter, the Memorial Association evidently preferred to schedule the cross’ completion and dedication for the day of the Resurrection. Although it could have selected any of innumerable different symbols, including many different types of crosses, in order to commemorate fallen soldiers of all faiths, the Memorial Association selected the configuration of the Latin cross, the type of cross on which biblical and historical accounts indicate that Jesus Christ, on the morning marked by Easter, was crucified.

    City records, correspondence and news articles indicate, moreover, that every Easter without fail since 1954, the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association has sponsored an Easter sunrise service at the site of the cross. There is no record of the Association, the City or any other organization having sponsored a memorial service or ceremony at the site of the cross on Memorial Day, Veterans Day or any other day between Easter Sunday 1954 and the day on which this suit was filed. Also during the period between Easter Sunday 1954 and the day on which this suit was filed, no plaque or sign existed to indicate to visitors that the cross was intended to commemorate our country’s war dead. As plaintiffs observe, there was “no way for a visitor to know that on April 18, 1954, someone stood beside the Cross and described it as a veterans memorial.”

    In light of this evidence, it is not surprising that numerous travel guides, road maps, the Yellow Pages telephone directory and even the federal government publications refer to the structure atop Mt. Soledad as the “Soledad Easter Cross.” Eveb the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association itself appears to have lost sight of the purported purpose for which it erected the cross. Its own bylaws describe its purpose as the promoton of “community interest in the development of the public facilities of the Mt. Soledad park area.” The bylaws make no reference to the commemoration of war dead.

    Faced with this battery of evidence, it is difficult to conclude that the commemorative objective advanced by the City is anything other than pretext. The court, therefore, finds that insofar as the disposition of the Mt. Soledad Latin cross, the City has impermissibly exhibited (if not exercised) preference. The City’s conduct, consequently, in unconstitutional, and the is directed that, if it truly wishes to honor the war dead, then it should do so other than with the Latin cross which iit has permitted to stand atop Mt. Soledad. Cf. Eckels, 589 F.Supp. at 234 (“because the county can effectively recognize its war dead without resourt to the use of these religious symbols, it must do so”).

    >>>>

    Paulson V. San Diego, Civ. No. 89-020 GT
    Murphy v. Bilbray, US District Court, CIV NO 90-0134
    Philip K. Paulson v. City of San Diego, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 00-55406
    Jewish War Veterans v. Rumsfeld, US District Court Complaint Dtd 8/24/2006
    Paulson v. Abdulnour, Superior Court of California, Dtd 10/7/2005
    What petty lives some people lead, and then dress it up as though they were performing a public service.

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