A triumph for the Texas Taliban »« Tidying up

Oh now that’s really crafty

This is not good. This is not good at all. News from San Diego:

The U.S. Solicitor General Wednesday joined the appeal of a ruling that declared the Mt. Soledad cross unconstitutional, raising the chances that the U.S. Supreme Court will accept the case.

The appeal of the 9th U.S. Court of Appeal ruling was filed last month by the Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal group specializing in religious rights.

That is to say, a group of lawyers specializing in attempts to frame theocratic power-grabs as “religious rights.”

Check out their front page (and note that the url is freemarket.org, and laugh inwardly at thoughts about Ayn Rand). Check out the big screaming headline

Help Save Our Veterans Memorials Today before they are Gone Tomorrow

and notice that the picture is of a gigantic cross – not a plain ol’ memorial, but a Very Large cross. Ponder the deceptiveness.

Image of Help Save Our Veterans Memorials Today before they are Gone Tomorrow

The ACLU and other atheist groups across the country are working to tear down America’s veterans memorials that contain religious imagery.

The Mt. Soledad Memorial Cross in San Diego is just one of many national tributes to veterans that are under attack. This memorial has been in litigation for more than 20 years because someone is offended that it is in the shape of a cross – a universal symbol of selfless service and sacrifice.

A universal symbol of selfless service and sacrifice – really – so Muslims and Jews and atheists all see the cross as a universal symbol of selfless service and sacrifice? No I don’t think so. I think they and we see it as a symbol of Christianity.

And Obama’s SG is siding with these people against the ACLU.

Why?

Surely not because they think it will win them friends on That Side while not losing them friends on This Side? Surely not because they’re making that stupid “savvy” mistake yet again?

But if that’s not why, then why? Principle? Tell that to Jessica Ahlquist.

I don’t know. It baffles me. It also pisses me off.

Update: Jason Torpy of Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) asked me to include this very useful page on the subject.

Note this passage in particular:

On Mt Soledad in La Jolla, CA (near San Diego, CA, A huge cross was, make no mistake, put up in 1913 as an ‘Easter Cross’ on city land to promote Christianity.  In 1989, foxhole atheist Phil Paulson and others who objected to Christian promotion on public land, filed suit to have the cross removed.  Current plaintiffs include Steve Trunk, Jewish War Veterans of the USA, Inc, Richard A Smith, Mina Sagheb, Judith M Copeland

Christian and veterans organizations started putting up pictures of veterans to suggest the cross should stay.  They have had much success revising history to claim that this huge Christian monument had always been a war memorial.  This is a travesty perpetrated against all those who want their service honored, not re-purposed for as legal distractions for Christian privilege.  in 2005, facing court-ordered removal of the cross for being what it is, a promotion of Christianity on public land, the land immediately under the cross was transferred to federal control.

So it wasn’t originally a war memorial at all; I hadn’t understood that from the channel 10 story. The theocrats are just pretending it’s always been a war memorial. Creeps.

Comments

  1. Brownian says

    Is there any possibility that we can co-opt the cross as a symbol? Not just make it universal, make it universally meaningless?

    So we put crosses on tattoos, rings, T-shirts, necklaces, coffee mugs, toothbrushes, car floor mats, mailboxes, kitty litter boxes, light bulbs, tulip bulbs, turkey baster bulbs, you name it. Be sure to tell everyone what the cross means to you, as long as the meanings are as varied as the people who sport them.

    They want everyone to be buried under crosses? Then let’s help out by burying everyone in crosses. It’s hard to point at a symbol that’s everywhere and simultaneously claim it means something special.

    (I’m being partially facetious, only because I have no idea how to actually carry out such a campaign successfully. But can you imagine?)

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    The Mt Soledad cross is almost entirely hollow, and surrounded by a barbed-wire-topped chain-link fence to keep everybody out: really a rather apropos image for the hyperchristian crusade.

    Perhaps for Barack Obama, too.

  3. says

    Is there any possibility that we can co-opt the cross as a symbol? Not just make it universal, make it universally meaningless?

    See: Lady Gaga.

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