View Poll Results: Remove religious headstones from National Cemetery's?

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Thread: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

  1. #11
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    National Cemetery's are federal property. Most National Cemetery's have numerous headstones with crosses or Stars of David on them. Simple question. Seeing as how the National Cemetery's are federal property, should all headstones bearing any sort of religious symbols be removed citing the 1st Amendment?
    The first amendment says the government may not prohibit or respect the establishment of religion.Meaning the government must allow the exercise of religion while at the same time not favoring one religion over another.So as long as no religious symbols are excluded then it is okay for there to be star of Davids and crosses on headstones.
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  2. #12
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    I believe this has already been addressed legally and it is deemed a memorial to the individual, not a government "endorsement", hence it's ok.

    I do not have a link.
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  3. #13
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    I think this is a good illustration that people don't really grasp the separation of church and state issue. It doesn't mean the removal of all religious symbolism from federal property.
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    No. The tombstones are sporting the individual religions of the people that died in the line of duty. Whether or not the tombstone is federal property or not is beyond the point. The government is not forcing a soldier into a certain religion, they are remembering with their religion, which differs from soldier to soldier.
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  5. #15
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post
    Let it go.
    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    It doesn't matter. It isn't a statement being made by the government, nor is a cemetery or a grave stone subject to most of the placement regulations that apply to, say, a government building. Living family is the one making that expression. I am not aware of any clause stating that any remaining physical symbolism of one's religious beliefs must be destroyed upon death, regardless of where they wind up.
    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    True. What do you propose? You want to take the Star of David away from the Jewish boys that are buried in the World War II cemeteries? You could allow everyone to put up whatever they wanted for their beloved. It would look less impressive probably. It also would not totally solve the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    The first amendment says the government may not prohibit or respect the establishment of religion.Meaning the government must allow the exercise of religion while at the same time not favoring one religion over another.So as long as no religious symbols are excluded then it is okay for there to be star of Davids and crosses on headstones.
    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    I believe this has already been addressed legally and it is deemed a memorial to the individual, not a government "endorsement", hence it's ok.

    I do not have a link.
    Quote Originally Posted by WI Crippler View Post
    I think this is a good illustration that people don't really grasp the separation of church and state issue. It doesn't mean the removal of all religious symbolism from federal property.
    Quote Originally Posted by iacardsfan View Post
    No. The tombstones are sporting the individual religions of the people that died in the line of duty. Whether or not the tombstone is federal property or not is beyond the point. The government is not forcing a soldier into a certain religion, they are remembering with their religion, which differs from soldier to soldier.
    To be clear, I agree that the crosses and Stars of David should be left in place. The entire reason I posted this was due to this thread:
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/breaki...aken-down.html
    I wanted to show the line that we are fast approaching with these ridiculous court cases about religious symbols. Religious symbols are just that, religious. They are not an endorsement by the gov't of a particular religion or faith. They are an expression of faith by the individuals that erect the symbol, whatever it may be.
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  6. #16
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    To be clear, I agree that the crosses and Stars of David should be left in place. The entire reason I posted this was due to this thread:
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/breaki...aken-down.html
    I wanted to show the line that we are fast approaching with these ridiculous court cases about religious symbols. Religious symbols are just that, religious. They are not an endorsement by the gov't of a particular religion or faith. They are an expression of faith by the individuals that erect the symbol, whatever it may be.
    Your question isn't comparable to the case linked, at all. In the cases being discussed in this thread, the family decided what to display on the grave site. In the case linked above, the government decided to incorporate religious symbols into a monument that it designed.

    I mean, we can certain debate whether such a memorial is the most important thing someone could be bringing to court, but the difference between these two things is clear.

  7. #17
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    Your question isn't comparable to the case linked, at all. In the cases being discussed in this thread, the family decided what to display on the grave site. In the case linked above, the government decided to incorporate religious symbols into a monument that it designed.

    I mean, we can certain debate whether such a memorial is the most important thing someone could be bringing to court, but the difference between these two things is clear.
    I see the correlation personally. My reasoning behind that is that both are memorials to dead service members. Both were put there by the families of those dead service members. Both are symbols that were chosen to best represent the feelings of the families. I do see your point that one is for an individual and one is for a group of individuals. However, I think they do have some similarities.
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  8. #18
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    What other religions are allowed. I read the Buddhist symbol is. What about Islam?

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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by vasuderatorrent View Post
    In Jacksonville, North Carolina there is a National Cemetery. The front part of the cemetary is not service members. It is for the displaced graves of people who had a final resting place on the property that is currently Camp Lejeune. Some of those graves were of Confederate Soldiers and bear the flag of rebellion. These Confederate flags will probably be removed long before they ever start discussing removing crosses and the star of David. I don't see either of them ever being removed.

    This is an interesting argument but I think as a nation we still have a tradition of showing respect for the dead and not making it out into a political spectacle. Maybe in a few generations this could change and the crosses can be removed. I just don't think this subject is ripe for debate.

    As I said with my first post
    I believe the issue concerning Confederates was those Confederates that died in Union prisoner of war camps, for which later Congress authorized headstones for them since they died in Union/government care and had been uniformed officers.

  10. #20
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    Re: National Cemetery's and the 1st Amendment

    Any individual can express their religious affiliation on their own gravestone, even a dead soldier in a government owned cemetery. But in the case of a soldier who did not express such a preference, the government cannot express some religious affiliation for them. If a soldier does not ask for a religious-oriented symbol in life, or their family does not ask for one on their behalf (which is somewhat sketchy... suppose the family and the soldier have different religious beliefs), then a non-religious grave marker must be the default.
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