For the last few months, controversy has raged over whether or not Confederate monuments belong in public spaces. While leftists that want the monuments taken down claim such markers celebrate slavery, defenders rightfully pointed out that these monuments were part of our shared history.
While the debate over Confederate monuments has received ample press, efforts to take down other historical markers have not often been the subject of national debate. However, statues celebrating the Confederacy are far from the only monuments under attack. In today’s polarizing political climate, virtually any monument could be considered under attack.
Still, many might think that there are some landmarks that would be off limits. Sadly, that has — so far — proven to be wishful thinking. In fact, the most recent monument under attack should put everybody on notice that absolutely nothing is sacred anymore.
From Fox News:
Back in 1925, the American Legion erected a memorial in Bladensburg, Md., to honor the memory of 49 men who perished during World War I.
The 40-foot tall memorial became known as the “Peace Cross.”
In 2014, the American Humanist Association — a group that believes in “being good without a god” — filed a lawsuit alleging the cross-shaped memorial is unconstitutional and demanding it be demolished, altered, or removed.
They alleged the cross carries “an inherently religious message and creates the unmistakable appearance of honoring only Christian servicemen.”
It might be worth noting, of course, that the vast majority of American servicemembers during WWI were indeed Christian. However, don’t bother trying to make that case to the American Humanist Association, as any symbol of Christianity in the public space is fair game to them.
Disturbingly, the AHA was able to find a judge sympathetic to their cause:
On Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ruled the historic memorial must be torn down — all because the Bladensburg Memorial is in the shape of a cross.
The Fourth Circuit said the memorial excessively entangles the government in religion because the cross is the “core symbol of Christianity” and “breaches” the wall separating church and state.
However, the American Legion could appeal directly to the Supreme Court:
“Today’s decision sets dangerous precedent by completely ignoring history, and it threatens removal and destruction of veterans memorials across America,” First Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser said.
First Liberty Institute and the Jones Day law firm are representing the American Legion in their fight.
“This memorial has stood in honor of local veterans for almost 100 years and is lawful under the First Amendment,” Jones Day attorney Michael Carvin said. “To remove it would be a tremendous dishonor to the local men who gave their lives during The Great War.”
If they do proceed with an appeal, the case could end up having nationwide repercussions. In recent years, non-religious organizations have perverted the meaning of the First Amendment, putting monuments all over the country under direct threat of being taken down.
With the help of a federal judge, these organizations could be well on their way to wiping references to religion from public spaces. Unless the Supreme Court steps in to stop it, there’s no telling how far groups like the AHA will go.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]
(Photo Credit: First Liberty Institute)