Recently, we filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in support of the Mt. Soledad memorial cross located in San Diego, CA. Shortly after the Korean War ended, members of an American Legion Post founded the Mount Soledad Memorial Association to honor the sacrifice of the countless Americans who died during that conflict and the two World Wars. With the permission of the City of San Diego, they constructed a memorial cross to honor the fallen. Congress said of the cross: “[t]he Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial was dedicated on April 18, 1954, as ‘a lasting memorial to the dead of the First and Second World Wars and the Korean conflict’ and now serves as a memorial to American veterans of all wars, including the War on Terrorism.”
Our case rests on the fact that this Memorial was built with a secular purpose in mind – to honor our fallen soldiers and to preserve their memory. In our opinion, a cross is a standard symbol used to honor our heroes.
However, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled that “the record before us does not establish that Latin crosses have a well-established secular meaning as universal symbols of memorialization and remembrance.” In addition, they concluded (erroneously, in our opinion) that the alleged religious or anti-religious motives of private individuals who donate memorials to the government are relevant in determining a law’s primary purpose and effect in Establishment Clause cases.
We believe strongly in the meaning and symbolization of this cross, and we will continue to fight against those that wish to tear it down. Our amicus brief has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court, and we will keep you updated on the progress of this case. Your prayers are appreciated!
This information is provided by Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a non-profit religious law firm dedicated to protecting religious liberty in the courts! To help us in our ongoing battle for religious freedom, click here to donate to Advocates.