In a victory for secular Americans and the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge in San Diego ruled Thursday that the Christian cross atop Mount Soledad in California is an unconstitutional religious display on government land and must come down.
NBC reports U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the cross must be removed within 90 days. The decision marks the latest development in a long-running legal battle over the 43-foot-tall cross, a local landmark that has stood on top of Mount Soledad since 1954 and is visible for miles.
The original lawsuit was filed in 2006 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Jewish Veterans of the United States of America and several other Southern California residents.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2011 that the cross was unconstitutional. In the 2011 decision Judge M Margaret McKeown wrote "The Memorial, presently configured and as a whole, primarily conveys a message of government endorsement of religion that violates the establishment clause."
About the most recent decision, Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said "We support the government paying tribute to those who served bravely in our country's armed forces. But we should honor all of our heroes under one flag, not just one particular religious symbol."
Secular American and others who respect the U.S. Constitution agree with the ruling. A Christian cross only serves to separate, alienate and ultimately disrespect the many non-Christian soldiers who fought and died for their country. The use of a Christian symbol as part of a war memorial that is supposed to honor all of our country’s veterans is wrong.
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