Governor Fights Back After Controversial Court Decision About Veteran Memorial Cross

faith
October 26, 2017Oct 26, 2017

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is fighting against the removal of a 92-year-old peace cross. The cross was created almost a century ago in order to honor a group of soldiers who fought and died in World War I. But many argue that because it is shaped like a cross, it is “offensive” and not “inclusive” of other religions. 

In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit decided that a cross displayed on a publicly owned suburban Washington roadside was a means for the government to endorse a particular religion. The monument, they say, is unconstitutional because it entangles government and religion. Religious liberty, according to these judges, means that Christian imagery must be effectively removed from the public arena.

“The Latin cross is the core symbol of Christianity,” Judge Stephanie D. Thacker wrote. “And here, it is 40 feet tall; prominently displayed in the center of one of the busiest intersections in Prince George’s County, Maryland; and maintained with thousands of dollars in government funds. Therefore, we hold that the purported war memorial breaches the ‘wall of separation between Church and State.’”

According to Fox News, the American Humanist Association, a group that believes people should "be good without God," was the group who first filed the lawsuit alleging that the monument was unconstitutional and should be demolished. 

Last Wednesday, the court agreed with the American Humanist Association because the monument was formed in the shape of a cross. Many defenders of the monument are consequently furious. 

Now, on Tuesday of this week, LifeSite News reports that Governor Larry Hogan directed his Attorney General Brian Frosh to file a “friend-of-the-court” brief.

On the monument, there is no mention of the government endorsing Christianity, but rather words like "courage" and "devotion" and "endurance." Many argued that the monument is a mere historical landmark, and one that the fallen soldiers would have loved, rather than an overt public endorsement of a particular religion by the government. 

“The conclusion that this memorial honoring veterans violates the Establishment clause offends common sense, is an affront to all veterans, and should not be allowed to stand,”  wrote the Republican governor to his attorney general, according to LifeSite. “I believe, very strongly, that this cherished community memorial does not violate the Constitution. Your office will be Maryland’s legal voice in this important litigation.”

Fox News writes that the removal of this monument marks the success of a militant group of atheists. In particular, a militant group of atheists and agnostics, who want to abolish Christianity in the public sphere, were able to convince the local court that the Constitution requires that Christianity becomes abolished from any public prominence. 

In particular, a militant group of atheists and agnostics, who want to abolish Christianity in the public sphere, were able to convince the local court that the Constitution requires that Christianity is abolished from having any public prominence. Now is the time, writes Fox, for people of faith to stand together to challenge the effort of the secular culture to privatize Christianity.

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