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(USA Today)   Cross atop San Diego mountain ruled unconstitutional. On your mom's lower back just tacky   (content.usatoday.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, San Diego, mountain top, war memorials, your mom, San Diego mountain, mountain ruled, United States courts of appeals  
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6180 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jan 2011 at 6:30 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-01-04 11:47:00 PM  
I've always thought that a cross was a better tattoo for the front. You know, so the top of the T protrudes just onto the upper belly and that the soft little pucker of the navel is right where Jesus' head would have been. The base of the cross dipping suggestively into the waistline, a promise of what might take root. The lower back is more a place for fanciful departures, wings or flaming hearts or perhaps a cute fleshy panda with soft pouting lips.
 
2011-01-04 11:57:15 PM  
Sickening. Thank you 9th jerk-it.
 
2011-01-04 11:57:17 PM  
1913: A cross made of redwood is placed atop Mount Soledad.

1916: The San Diego City Council dedicates Mount Soledad as a public park.

June 1989: Two atheists and the Society of Separationists sue in U.S. District Court, saying the cross on city property violates the U.S. and California constitutions.

June 1992: San Diego voters approve selling the cross and surrounding park to the memorial association.

September 1998: The council votes to sell the land and cross to the memorial association for $106,000, the highest bid from a group that will keep it as a war memorial.

June 2002: An appeals court panel votes 7-4 that the sale of the cross violates the state constitution because the city gave an edge to the veterans group.

July 2005: San Diego voters in a special election approve a measure to have the city donate the cross and the land around the display to the U.S. Interior Department as a national veterans memorial.

August 2006: President George W. Bush signs into law a bill that transfers the cross to the U.S. Defense Department as a war memorial.

July 2008: Federal Judge Larry Burns rules the law Bush signed is constitutional because the cross has become part of a war memorial and its secular message outweighs any religious meaning.

January 2011: A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses Burns' ruling.


Can we have a law that says War Memorials that have existed for at least 20 years SHALL BE LEFT ALONE?
 
2011-01-04 11:57:37 PM  
FTA:The case was filed by the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

The Jews had their chance at killing off Christianity, and they screwed it up. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson.
 
2011-01-05 12:05:49 AM  
Bevets:

Just because something has been done improperly for 20 years doesn't mean it should continue that way, don't you agree?
 
2011-01-05 12:18:28 AM  
As an atheist I have to say I really have no strong feelings on this one way or the other.
 
2011-01-05 12:22:20 AM  

fusillade762: As an atheist I have to say I really have no strong feelings on this one way or the other.


I have strong feelings for your mom.
 
2011-01-05 12:33:48 AM  
Guess what, Bevets? It is not actually the case that voters can violate the constitution just by voting to.

Sorry.
 
2011-01-05 01:01:21 AM  

Bevets: Can we have a law that says War Memorials that have existed for at least 20 years SHALL BE LEFT ALONE?


farm6.static.flickr.com

How about we go back to segregation? Lynch mobs? Witch trials? Oooh, the inquisition! Those all have a much longer history than 20 yrs.
 
2011-01-05 01:02:01 AM  

fusillade762: As an atheist I have to say I really have no strong feelings on this one way or the other.


What makes a man turn neutral ... Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?
 
2011-01-05 01:02:25 AM  
It was there BEFORE it was public land.

Anal atheists give the normal ones a very bad name.
 
2011-01-05 01:16:45 AM  
Bevets:

Can we have a law that says War Memorials that have existed for at least 20 years SHALL BE LEFT ALONE?

TheOnion:

Just because something has been done improperly for 20 years doesn't mean it should continue that way, don't you agree?

Hollie Maea:

It is not actually the case that voters can violate the constitution just by voting to.

You have asserted that it is wrong. You have not explained why it is wrong. If the SCOTUS decides that the memorial is constitutionally acceptable, will it still be wrong? How about if the SCOTUS issues this ruling every year for the next five hundred years and they are joined by 98% of the voters -- still wrong? Please explain.
 
2011-01-05 01:21:04 AM  

fusillade762: As an atheist I have to say I really have no strong feelings on this one way or the other.


It's a very meh issue, but I can see why it needs defending.

Bevets: Can we have a law that says War Memorials that have existed for at least 20 years SHALL BE LEFT ALONE?


Why do you want to create special exemptions to the Constitution of the United States?
 
2011-01-05 01:23:04 AM  

Bevets: If the SCOTUS decides that the memorial is constitutionally acceptable, will it still be wrong?


Why do you want to create special exemptions to the Constitution?
 
2011-01-05 01:35:56 AM  

ninjakirby: Why do you want to create special exemptions to the Constitution of the United States?


The Constitution should be read in the original manner. Except where it was supposed to say that marriage is between a man and a woman. And where it should say we're a Christian Nation. And where it should say mosques aren't allowed near certain parts of Manhattan (unless they are already there). And where it should say flag burning is a crime. And where it should recognize the government's right to dictate how women employ their womb for the glory of the state. And apparently that it's okay to have religious symbolism on public monuments when it's Christian symbolism.
 
2011-01-05 01:37:51 AM  

GraphicAddiction: It was there BEFORE it was public land. Anal atheists give the normal ones a very bad name.


They do, eh? Well its a good thing that "the case was filed by the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America" then.
 
2011-01-05 01:38:41 AM  

Bevets: You have asserted that it is wrong. You have not explained why it is wrong. If the SCOTUS decides that the memorial is constitutionally acceptable, will it still be wrong? How about if the SCOTUS issues this ruling every year for the next five hundred years and they are joined by 98% of the voters -- still wrong? Please explain.


SCOTUS won't rule it acceptable because of the First Amendment, you farkwit.
 
2011-01-05 01:43:46 AM  

Bevets: Can we have a law that says War Memorials that have existed for at least 20 years SHALL BE LEFT ALONE?


The Constitution of the United States has been in force since 1788. And we've always had a framework for changing (amending) it when the public deemed necessary. Why would a small memorial park in CA somehow outrank that?

/I actually don't think the cross should be taken down
//Its a historically significant cultural artifact itself by this time.
 
2011-01-05 01:45:40 AM  

GraphicAddiction: Anal atheists give the normal ones a very bad name.


I believe this is an objection from a Jewish group.

GraphicAddiction: It was there BEFORE it was public land.


It became a public park in 1916. The cross that stands there now dates to the 1950s. There was an earlier one that was built in 1913, but that one is gone.

And it has been known as the Mt Soledad Easter Cross for a very long time; only after legal objections to its existence in the late 80s did it get suddenly transformed into a war memorial.

The cross doesn't have to be taken down. Other options include moving it (there is a very close church that has indicated willingness to take the cross) or selling the land to the highest bidder. None of those compromises are acceptable to those who wish to keep the cross.

Veterans are insulted that the memorial seems to honour one faith and a huge cross stands in the middle of a public park. Personally, I don't give a flying f*ck, but I can see how some people might be upset. Not just atheists, but RELIGIOUS people.
 
2011-01-05 01:48:45 AM  
A federal appeals court has ruled that a mountaintop cross in San Diego is unconstitutional but that it might be possible to modify the landmark to keep it part of a war memorial.

god dammit usa today, you are so bad at journalism that you almost nullify the first amendment. what modifications would allow it to remain constitutional?
 
2011-01-05 01:49:11 AM  

Somacandra: //Its a historically significant cultural artifact itself by this time.


I'm all for preserving history and culture, but it's really only 50-odd years old and ugly as hell. I think they should move it to the nearby church. That way it's preserved, on sacred ground, not on public property and not part of a war memorial.
 
2011-01-05 01:49:17 AM  

Bevets: Can we have a law that says War Memorials that have existed for at least 20 years SHALL BE LEFT ALONE?


Which ones?
 
2011-01-05 01:49:23 AM  

thomps: A federal appeals court has ruled that a mountaintop cross in San Diego is unconstitutional but that it might be possible to modify the landmark to keep it part of a war memorial.

god dammit usa today, you are so bad at journalism that you almost nullify the first amendment. what modifications would allow it to remain constitutional?


Sell the land to a private entity or move it.
 
2011-01-05 01:50:34 AM  
Wikipedia (new window): The American Civil Liberties Union proposed ways to resolve the situation:

* The cross may be dismantled.

* The cross may be sold to a third party and physically transferred off the public land. An Episcopal church, located within a few hundred feet from the present location of the cross, has agreed to place it on its property.

* The government may hold an auction and sell the parcel of the land with the cross to the highest bidder. However, the government is not allowed to give any preference to those buyers who are interested in preserving the cross. An auction such as this was the subject of Proposition K in 2004, which failed 40% to 59%.


===

Interesting. Seems moving it a few hundred feet to the Church would be the most sane and legal option. Maybe set up a plaque where it sits now referencing the cross and its history, and vice versa.
 
2011-01-05 01:51:21 AM  
I was worried they meant this one in Rancho Bernardo. Used to love running up to it, from the grandparents place.
 
2011-01-05 01:51:59 AM  
farm1.static.flickr.com

htmfail
 
2011-01-05 01:53:15 AM  

GraphicAddiction: It was there BEFORE it was public land.

Anal atheists give the normal ones a very bad name.


to be fair this is from the first page of the opinion:

"Much lore surrounds the Cross and its history. But the
record is our guide and, indeed, except for how they charac-
terize the evidence, the parties essentially agree about the his-
tory. A cross was first erected on Mount Soledad in 1913.
That cross was replaced in the 1920s and then blew down in
1952. The present Cross was dedicated in 1954 "as a reminder
of God's promise to man of everlasting life and of those per-
sons who gave their lives for our freedom . . . ." The primary
objective in erecting a Cross on the site was to construct "a
permanent handsome cast concrete cross," but also "to create
a park worthy of this magnificent view, and worthy to be a
setting for the symbol of Christianity." For most of its history,
the Cross served as a site for annual Easter services. Only
after the legal controversy began in the late 1980s was a
plaque added designating the site as a war memorial, along
with substantial physical revisions honoring veterans. It was
not until the late 1990s that veterans' organizations began
holding regular memorial services at the site."

the current cross sounds like nothing more than 1950's red scare jesus-humping. but considering the pledge of allegiance and "in god we trust," i'm not sure that is a viable reason for invoking the establishment clause.
 
2011-01-05 01:54:28 AM  

cameroncrazy1984: thomps: A federal appeals court has ruled that a mountaintop cross in San Diego is unconstitutional but that it might be possible to modify the landmark to keep it part of a war memorial.

god dammit usa today, you are so bad at journalism that you almost nullify the first amendment. what modifications would allow it to remain constitutional?

Sell the land to a private entity or move it.


sounds absolutely reasonable to me, and according to bevets, it looks like it was attempted at least once before. sell it to a church an you don't even have to worry about property taxes.
 
2011-01-05 01:54:40 AM  

jekxrb: I'm all for preserving history and culture, but it's really only 50-odd years old and ugly as hell.


Actually I like the recessed way its designed with open space to move through it. Adds a modernist touch. Architect Donald Campbell designed the present Latin cross in recessed concrete with a twelve-foot arm spread in 1954. (new window) But moving it to the nearby church would seem to be best, I agree. At least no one is proposing to treat it the way that the Taliban treated the Bamiyan Buddhas.
 
2011-01-05 01:58:36 AM  

thomps: "in god we trust,"


How do references to God preference Christianity in the way a cross does?

cameroncrazy1984: thomps: A federal appeals court has ruled that a mountaintop cross in San Diego is unconstitutional but that it might be possible to modify the landmark to keep it part of a war memorial.

god dammit usa today, you are so bad at journalism that you almost nullify the first amendment. what modifications would allow it to remain constitutional?

Sell the land to a private entity or move it.


I think across the centre they should hammer a huge sign that says "There is no God". Then from one arm, they can hang a star of David and from the other arm, a crescent moon. Smaller religions can have small symbols added on.

/Or they could move the cross to a church that wants it. Crazy, I know.
 
2011-01-05 01:59:48 AM  

jekxrb: How do references to God preference Christianity in the way a cross does?


references to god at all are an establishment of a monotheistic deity,no?
 
2011-01-05 02:02:43 AM  

Somacandra: Actually I like the recessed way its designed with open space to move through it. Adds a modernist touch. Architect Donald Campbell designed the present Latin cross in recessed concrete with a twelve-foot arm spread in 1954. (new window) But moving it to the nearby church would seem to be best, I agree. At least no one is proposing to treat it the way that the Taliban treated the Bamiyan Buddhas.


Heh, well, I find it a little too modern; it reminds me of stacked cinder blocks. But that's personal taste and I wouldn't be for the destruction of the cross just because I find it ugly. Moving it seems like the best option to me, too. I'd guess the church would be happy to have it.
 
2011-01-05 02:06:45 AM  
So, I wonder what happened to Bevets.
 
2011-01-05 02:08:45 AM  

cameroncrazy1984: So, I wonder what happened to Bevets.


would you believe that he was raptured with the birds, fish and bees?
 
2011-01-05 02:09:10 AM  

thomps: references to god at all are an establishment of a monotheistic deity,no?


I don't approve of them, but I'm also not American and there have certainly been challenges to both references.

But the cross is even more blatant in that it very obviously preferences ONE specific religion. You were asking what the difference was. I would argue that there isn't one; not that none violate the establishment clause, but that they ALL do.

The reasons for those challenges being struck down seem to be based on the idea that they reference non-specific deism rather than a specific religion per se.
 
2011-01-05 02:09:46 AM  

thomps: would you believe that he was raptured with the birds, fish and bees?


No, but we can hope.
 
2011-01-05 02:13:52 AM  

pizen: fusillade762: As an atheist I have to say I really have no strong feelings on this one way or the other.

What makes a man turn neutral ... Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?


Tell my wife I said "Hello"
 
2011-01-05 02:23:32 AM  
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/funeral_information/authorized_emblems.html
 
2011-01-05 02:31:22 AM  

Bevets: Can we have a law that says War Memorials that have existed for at least 20 years SHALL BE LEFT ALONE?


Why are we glorifying war?
 
2011-01-05 02:33:16 AM  

Bevets: You have asserted that it is wrong. You have not explained why it is wrong. If the SCOTUS decides that the memorial is constitutionally acceptable, will it still be wrong? How about if the SCOTUS issues this ruling every year for the next five hundred years and they are joined by 98% of the voters -- still wrong? Please explain.



As a Christian, I cannot stand by and let you continue. We shall not glorify the killing of God created human beings and to think that you are sitting here defending the killing of God's creatures is despicable. This is not what Jesus came down to earth and died on a cross to tell us.

God's law is higher than the laws of man.
 
2011-01-05 02:35:02 AM  

Somacandra: At least no one is proposing to treat it the way that the Taliban treated the Bamiyan Buddhas.


Is this the same cross that someone cut down a while back?
 
2011-01-05 02:41:34 AM  

Bevets: Can we have a law that says War Memorials that have existed for at least 20 years SHALL BE LEFT ALONE?


So, you hate Jews?
 
2011-01-05 02:54:47 AM  
We'll just see about that...

thechurchofjesuschrist.us
 
2011-01-05 03:00:02 AM  

Somacandra: /I actually don't think the cross should be taken down
//Its a historically significant cultural artifact itself by this time.


I have a pretty simple solution to all of this. I'm not sure if the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places has issued a determination of eligibility, but it obviously has local significance, is over 50 years old, and has no criteria considerations, except that it's commemorative, which shouldn't be enough to exclude it.

Place it on the National Register of Historic Places, and then put the land up for bid. Each bidder is required to provide a legally-binding statement saying whether or not they would preserve the cross. For the highest bidder, run a Section 106. If they cannot or will not preserve the cross, declare that you cannot successfully mitigate the impact on the cross under the NHPA of 1966, terminate the 106 process, and then start again with the next highest bidder. Repeat until you find a bidder who wants to preserve the cross, declare the Section 106 review favorably, and sell them the land.
 
2011-01-05 05:45:27 AM  
It's a bullshait rulling by a bullshait court and with luck will get over turned at the next level. Having the War Memorial there does not demonstrate that the US Government is endorsing a State Religion as if it were going to start hucking people in jail if they don't salute the Cross. The constitution protects THE FREE EXPRESSION OF RELIGION just as it bars the government from MAKING A LAW ENDORSING A RELIGION. The ruling is unconsitutional and is squashing the rights of those who wish the Cross to remain.

Why do atheists hate other peoples rights?
 
2011-01-05 06:36:12 AM  

CanisNoir: Why do atheists hate other peoples rights?


Why do Jews?
 
2011-01-05 06:36:35 AM  
You know you're getting older when you have to think back before saying things like "Funny, that's not what your mom says" to another guy because you actually are in the same age range as his mom and may damn well have ended up at a motel with her 20 years back.
 
2011-01-05 06:38:36 AM  
this thread brought to you pr-derped for your convenience.
 
2011-01-05 06:47:28 AM  
used to booze it up on mt. soledad....
 
2011-01-05 06:49:41 AM  
The cheapest and most efficient idea of all: leave it alone and tell the lawyers to fark off.

/think of all the trees and carbon you'll save by not having a trial!
 
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