After being repeatedly called out for decrying one cross and not others, atheist and former Army Captain Jason Torpy, of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, finally addressed the “controversial” issue of Arlington National Cemetery:
Other memorials are biased toward Christianity and ought properly to be removed to private property. The Camp Pendleton cross is just one of many…
The Argonne Cross at Arlington, a 1921 monument erected “In memory of our men in France” also excludes all non-Christians. This cross now memorializes a time when our military had nearly no recognition for anyone not Christian and was segregated by both race and gender…
In deciding to include the Argonne Cross with others “to be removed,” this initially seems like an opportunity to applaud Torpy’s intellectual Read more
Update: FoxNews reports on the “investigation” of the cross. The ACLJ has written a letter to Camp Pendleton explaining the appropriateness — and Constitutionality — of allowing the cross to remain. They, too, highlight the Argonne cross in Arlington mentioned below. In reference to the Utah trooper crosses mentioned below, the Highway Patrol logo has been stripped from the crosses and a disclaimer has been added in a bid to avoid their court-ordered removal.
It didn’t take long: When Jason Torpy of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers saw the LA Times report on the Camp Pendleton cross, he was quick to call it
a “wonderful gesture” in remembrance of the fallen Marines, but said its location on public land “makes us feel like the federal government privileges Christianity over non-Christians like us, makes us feel like second-class citizens…”
[T]heir desire to erect a large cross to honor their memory is perfectly acceptable, so long as it is on church land or their own property, not on federal land.
Further, Torpy claims the Marines’ cross is an intentional effort to by the government to afford preference to Christianity:
Military service is being exploited Read more
As noted last week, Arlington National Cemetery’s Jewish Chaplains’ Memorial was added to Chaplains’ Hill and dedicated yesterday. Despite the claims of some military atheists, speakers at the event noted there are chaplains on the front lines of America’s battles, serving the troops who serve their country:
“The 14 men we honor today were rabbis in uniform,” said Maj. Gen. Cecil Richardson, the Air Force chief of chaplains. “These men did much more than preach sermons. … They walked where warriors walked, and that is what made them military chaplains. Read more
The Jewish Chaplains Memorial that will join the others at Chaplain’s Hill in Arlington will be dedicated in a ceremony next Monday, 24 October.
The memorial is a bronze plaque with the names of the 14 Jewish Chaplains who died while on duty from 1943 to 1974; at the top are two lions bracketing the Jewish chaplains’ insignia, which is two tablets with a Star of David on top.
As a point of trivia, none of the chaplains memorialized Read more
Jews in Green has a picture of the groundbreaking in Arlington for the upcoming installation of the Jewish memorial on Chaplain’s hill.
As previously noted, the 14 Jewish Chaplains who died in the service of their country were the only faith not represented on Arlington’s Chaplains’ Hill.
The bronze plaque that will eventually be mounted on the monument is apparently on a nationwide tour, stopping last week at Pensacola Naval Air Station. In Pensacola, local Jewish leader, Vietnam Vet, and retired Navy Captain Fred Levin noted the value of Chaplains, and the risk they assumed: Read more
The plan to raise a memorial to Jewish US military Chaplains killed in combat — to accompany the memorials already in place for Protestant and Catholic Chaplains — received a boost when the US Senate passed a resolution honoring their service.
The US House was poised to pass the necessary legislation to approve the memorial last week. The legislation would also eliminate the currently required Congressional approval that has delayed the Jewish memorial for several years.
Via ArmyChaplaincy.com and also at ReligionClause.
Three monuments stand on Arlington National Cemetery’s Chaplains Hill (text).
The oldest, standing in the center and installed in 1926, memorializes by name the 23 Chaplains who lost their lives in “the World War.”
To its left, the second monument, installed in 1989, memorializes by name the Catholic Chaplains who lost their lives in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
The final monument, raised in 1981, memorializes by name the 134 Protestant Chaplains who lost their lives in World Wars I and II.
The absence of a monument to the 13 Jewish Chaplains Read more