The American Humanist Association’s bid to have the Bladensburg Peace Cross war memorial torn down (or its cross member sawn off) continued this month with oral arguments at the Fourth Circuit court of appeals. The AHA lost their case last year and appealed in December 2015.
The First Liberty Institute, which is defending the cross, accurately Read more
Update: The creator of the monument explained the reason for his design here:
Al Larsen intended the small Latin cross in each silhouette to mark a grave — like the rows of white crosses at the Normandy American Cemetery in France, where more than 9,000 American World War II troops are buried.
“This is what it means to me,” Larsen said in an interview Wednesday. “It don’t mean no church thing.”
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State claims otherwise.
Todd Starnes at FoxNews highlights an effort by the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State to have a war memorial removed from a park in Knoxville, Iowa:
“It was clear to us it was a memorial to fallen veterans,” Mayor Brian Hatch told me. But it wasn’t clear to everyone.
About a month ago a citizen filed an anonymous complaint — arguing that the memorial was promoting Christianity and therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Mayor Hatch told me the city council ignored the complaint.
“We didn’t take any action because it (the memorial) did not have any religious ties to us at all,” he said. “I only see it as a memorial to the veterans and it shocked me that someone could see it otherwise.”
The offended party apparently called the AU, and the fight was on.
Americans United has since published a snarky reply, noting Read more
The Bladensburg Cross, ca 1920-1950.
In what is presumably an effort to prove that it is not “anti-Christian,” Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF has joined a lawsuit (PDF) with the American Humanist Association demanding the removal of the Bladensburg, MD, “Peace Cross.” The Peace Cross was erected in 1925 by the American Legion. Weinstein says (PDF)
The Bladensburg Cross is a Christian symbol on government property…
Because the Bladensburg Cross is a Christian symbol, it sends a message to all of our non-Christian MRFF clients that they are outsiders and unwelcome in the Town of Bladensburg. This message is particularly harmful in the context of a war memorial. It sends Read more
An atheist thinks this is an illegal “Christian shrine.”
Multiple military war memorials are now under attack by atheists who consider the presence of a Christian cross offensive.
Former soldier and current atheist Jason Torpy, the one-man association of military atheists (MAAF), has previously lodged complaints with the US Marines over the Camp Pendleton cross (which has yet to be resolved). He is opposed to the cross in Arlington National Cemetery for the same reason.
This follows the national trend of several activist organizations that have been threatening cities and towns with lawsuits if they fail to remove memorials which contain Read more
Jason Torpy, the former Army soldier and atheist vicariously offended when he saw the Camp Pendleton cross on the internet, may have another target.
As noted previously, crosses are used frequently in US military memorials around the world. Torpy has already demanded that the Argonne Cross be removed from Arlington National Cemetery, and that the US Marine Corps remove locally raised crosses on Camp Pendleton — something he only knew about because he read a local (positive) news article.
Now, another memorial may face the same atheist anger. Four US Army Ranger trainees lost their lives in a training incident nearly 20 years ago, and their fellow soldiers remember them:
On Feb. 16, 1995, four young men training to become a part of the elite military force died of hypothermia after a river rose rapidly and flooded a swamp they were training in during a mission.
A modest wooden cross marks the spot…
Photo credit: DEVON RAVINE \ Daily News
Rangers make an annual trek to the location: Read more
Local Albuquerque papers noted that a Buddhist stupa was going to be removed from New Mexico’s Petroglyph National Monument because it was unconstitutional:
The National Park Service said Monday that park service will remove the ten-foot structure containing Buddhist relics from the park this week after getting an opinion from the Department of Interior’s solicitor general. The solicitor general ruled last month that keeping the Buddhist stupa violates the Constitution on established religion.
The story of the stupa is somewhat complex, as the NPS “bought” the stupa when it gained possession of the land from the original owners (after a legal battle) in the 1990s. The Park Service didn’t raise the monument, nor does it Read more
A few recent articles highlight the service of US military chaplains around the globe, doing far more than the stereotypical Sunday morning chapel service:
As the Army begins to open certain career fields to women, chaplains are affected: The 101st Airborne just received its first female chaplain in Chaplain (Capt) Delana Small. In so doing, she became a part of the “legendary Band of Brothers.” Her assignment was a result of the Department of Defense “Women in the Service Review.” The DoD article is full of praise for the new chaplain.
In Africa, US chaplains met with their military counterparts from nine East African nations for the “third annual…African Military Chaplain Conference” in Djibouti.
While Africa isn’t in the news too much, save a few isolated mentions, it is noteworthy that US military chaplains are engaging at the rate they have.
Another article covers the touching, yet surprising, story of the service of military chaplains at Arlington National Cemetery:
Led by senior chaplains Read more
Atheist Jason Torpy tilted the irony meter recently when he touted his recent visit to Arlington National Cemetery.
The event provided the opportunity to remember the service of all those hundreds of thousands at Arlington Cemetery, our nation’s most sacred shrine.
The atheist considers Arlington so “sacred,” in fact, he thinks the government should yank the crosses out of it — something even the ACLU doesn’t advocate.