MAY 04, 2006
A 52-year-old cross, dedicated as a war memorial, must be immediately removed from San Diego’s Mount Soledad because a federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional.
The 43-foot cross has for years been at the center of an ugly legal battle pitting city officials and residents who want the cross against an ACLU-represented atheist who has battled to remove it.
U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson handed them a victory, ruling that the cross – located adjacent to an American flag – violates California’s constitution because it sits on city property and, if not removed immediately, the city will be fined $5,000 daily.
Known as the Soledad War Memorial, the cross is located around the center of the nearly 200-acre Mount Soledad Natural Park. Before it was put there in 1954, a redwood cross stood at the site from 1913 to 1924. In 1934 it was replaced by a wood and stucco cross that was destroyed by a storm around 1952. On April 18, 1954, the current cross was dedicated to World War I, World War II and Korean War veterans during an Easter ceremony.
The Thomas More Law Center, a nonprofit that defends the religious freedoms of Christians, is working to get President George W. Bush to make Mount Soledad a national historic landmark in order to preserve the cross. The center is asking supporters to sign a petition because our nation’s veterans, and all Americans who take pride in honoring them with these historic symbols, need your help.
To view colored pictures of the so-called unconstitutional cross, click here.
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