Michael “Mikey” Weinstein maintained his perfect record of zero wins in his years of lawsuits against the American government over religion.
Many may not even be aware he had been part of another lawsuit, but in May of this year Weinstein said he had “join[ed] forces” with the American Humanist Association to try to have the Bladensburg Peace Cross torn down. (Despite innumerable threats, Weinstein hasn’t filed a lawsuit on his own in years.) The Peace Cross is a 90-year old World War I memorial in Maryland.
In a summary judgment, a Federal court just dismissed (PDF) that lawsuit.
Importantly, US District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow’s ruling avoids the semantic gymnastics of other cases by not trying to avoid the fact that a cross is, indeed, a religious symbol. The ruling says that simply being a cross does not inherently mean it is unconstitutional [emphasis added]: 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
It seems atheist Jason Torpy has an Australian ideological doppleganger.
Reports from Australia indicate the commission in charge of the Australian War Memorial had quietly planned to remove the phrase “known unto God” from the tomb of their unknown soldier:
The sandstone war memorial opened in 1941 to commemorate Australians killed in World War I and is among Canberra’s most popular tourist attractions.
[Memorial director Brendan Nelson] had proposed replacing the phrase “known unto God,” attributed to British writer Rudyard Kipling, with the inscription: “We do not know this Australian’s name, we never will.”
While some complained it was an intentional effort to “de-Christianize” Read more
The Old Post Chapel at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall has undergone a substantial renovation and will re-open in the coming month.
While a building renovation may seem insubstantial, the Old Post Chapel is unique: It is where funerals are held for burials at Arlington National Cemetery. As noted at the awkwardly-named Pentagram military paper: Read more
Two days ago, the USS Arlington posted a photo of two Seamen raising a church pennant above the American flag on its Facebook page:
Quartermasters Seaman Rashaun Plowden and 2nd Class Mary Carlton raise a church pennant above the American flag during worship services aboard USS Arlington (LPD 24) on Jan. 13, 2013.
An atheist (who is not in the military) took umbrage, unaware of his self-contradicting outrage. First [ellipses original]: 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