Atheists Fight Marines over Camp Pendleton Cross

Update: Another California paper accuses the LA Times of being “too close” to Camp Pendleton in their failure to get an “obligatory” comment from the ACLU when they first reported on the Camp Horno cross.

An Associated Press article updates the protest by atheist Jason Torpy over the memorials located on Camp Horno, on the Camp Pendleton Marine post in California.  It repeats much of the recent local article, noting a decision isn’t coming until next year, though its title is telling:

Atheists, Marines debate Camp Pendleton crosses

Even if inadvertently, the AP accurately notes it is a ‘battle’ between Torpy and the US Marines, not any other group.

The article also says Torpy is happy for the rest of the memorial to remain, just not the cross.  Ironically, this seems to counter not only the concept of Constitutionally-protected religious freedom, but also Torpy’s own initial objections:

“Would they allow that for anyone else who wanted to put up something for atheists…?,” he said.

Of course, as this article reiterates, there are many items there besides the two crosses, most of which have nothing to do with religion.

The environment, then, wasn’t as sufficient as Torpy implied.  Instead, he wants to the government to target only one item in the memorial for the sole reason of its religious connotation.

Somehow, it doesn’t seem Torpy is insisting the government take a neutral position toward religion.

For its part,  the LA Times’ Tony Perry noted the controversy has highlighted the history of the men whom it memorialized.  Then an LA Times editorial similarly called the cross unconstitutional, saying the secular objects surrounding it are insufficient to, well, secularize it.  Instead, the paper says other religions must be present to balance the Christian cross, apparently even if members of those religions have apparently expressed no interest. 

Oddly, no one has ever asserted other religions were prevented from memorializing the fallen in whatever way they chose.