The demand by Jason Torpy, speaking for the one-man Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, that the US Marine Corps remove its “Christian privilege” (the crosses on Camp Pendleton‘s ridge on Camp Horno) has spurred a “wider review” of similar memorials around the world:
Capt. Greg Wolf at the Pentagon headquarters of the Marine Corps said Thursday that an “operational planning team” is conducting Read more
The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal association which “trains, funds, and litigates” on behalf of religious freedom, has offered to defend the Camp Pendleton cross free of charge.
The Alliance Defense Fund [is] offering our services free of charge to the Camp to defend the rights of its Marines to prepare themselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, as they prepare themselves to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Legal counsel Joel Oster notes the ‘clause of unlimited liability’ nature of military service encourages troops to “come to grips with their emotional and spiritual [selves].”
That is why militaries have chaplains. It is simply a Read more
FoxNews recently updated the Camp Pendleton cross controversy with an interview of one of the widows whose husband helped raise the original cross.
“It’s not a religious spot at all, it’s a place for the Marines to grieve and to grow to let go of their burdens of what they had in their soul, so they can go back down that hill and back into battle and put their own lives on the line,” says Marine widow Karen Mendoza.
It also quotes Col Nicholas Marano, the Camp Pendleton commander who retired at the beginning of the month:
Retired Marine Colonel Nick Marano tells us, “This wasn’t intended to be a religious memorial, it was just intended to be able to provide a fitting and a dignified memorial to their fallen comrades and frankly controversy was the very last thing on their minds.”
Jason Torpy has decried the memorial, which is located on the internally named Camp Horno portion of Camp Pendleton, as an example of “Christian Read more
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 Read more
A follow-up article to last week’s conflagration over the memorial cross raised by Marines on Camp Pendleton indicates the Marine base had no idea the ruckus that was about to ensue.
Which, of course, they didn’t, because the Marines were acting on their own, not on the part of the Corps or the government. (Of course, local attorney Randall Halmud said the group was still culpable: “When they erected their cross on that hilltop, they violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution…”)
Public supporters of the cross, many from the Marine base itself, have swarmed news sites with comments. The people themselves varied from atheist to religious, military to civilian.
A Facebook site has appeared entitled Keep the Camp Pendleton Cross. The page highlights some history of the memorial — a site which contains more than the cross. Notably, the memorial was rebuilt by more than 100 Marines from RCT-1, has been visited by entire units, and was even the subject of a prior Public Affairs news piece.
A few supporters of the memorial seem to have found MAAF Jason Torpy’s website, leaving messages of their Read more