Are we going to erase all that is noble about our history? That's what one group is gunning to do. The American Humanist Association is trying to remove a veteran's memorial in Maryland--one commemorating the sacrificed lives of 49 men in World War I--because it is in the shape of a cross.
“The Bladensburg cross is an exclusively Christian monument,” the atheist group's spokesperson said. “It venerates Christian soldiers exclusively and excludes non-Christian soldiers.” Just last Friday, the United States Supreme Court (now with a 5-4 conservative majority, thanks to Judge Kavanaugh) has agreed to take on the case.
The Bladensburg Memorial, know as the Peace Cross, has stood for over 80 years in Maryland, not far from the nation's capital. The Supreme Court will decide on the constitutionality of the memorial being in the shape of a cross.
“It [the cross] 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,” Judge Stephanie D. Thacker wrote for the court which sent the case on to SCOTUS. “Therefore, we hold that the purported war memorial breaches the ‘wall of separation between Church and State.’”
So if, hypothetically, SCOTUS rules that it is unconstitutional for the Peace Cross to remain and allows it to be torn down, what stops the atheist group from trying to desecrate Arlington National Cemetery, which is full of religious symbols?
“Where will this end?” asked Jake Hill, a 28 year-old decorated marine. “Will they begin chiseling the crosses and stars of David off gravestones in Arlington [National Cemetery] next?”
"Hill, of Madison, Wisconsin, was awarded the Silver Star during the Afghanistan War for his valor in leading his squad through enemy fire in 2010 to rescue a wounded fellow Marine. He also received a Purple Heart after being wounded in action during his service from 2008 to 2013," shares the Daily Signal.
“Americans of all faith backgrounds should be outraged,” Hill added. Franklin Graham agrees. He took to Facebook to share about the Supreme Court agreeing to take on the very important case regarding religious freedom.
"The Bladensburg World War 1 Veterans Memorial is a cross-shaped monument in Maryland honoring men who died in Prince George’s County in the war," begins Graham's post. "It had stood for 93 years—until the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit claiming it was unconstitutional in 2014—all because of the cross."
"I’m thankful that our Supreme Court has agreed to take this case," continues Graham. "They will be deciding whether to reverse a lower court ruling that the memorial was unconstitutional and should be removed. Let’s pray for wisdom for the Supreme Court as they hear this case and others like it that are so important to religious freedom and the future of this nation. Pray that they will disallow hostility towards faith and uphold historic constitutional protections in our country."
Hostility is right. “I hope that in the future, a revisionist will not take such liberties with my generation’s legacy—or see such a harmless and sincere profession of faith and remembrance as an attack,” said Matthew Collins, another marine veteran.
The country's largest veteran's service association, the American Legion, is in strong defense of the memorial. “The nearly 2 million members of the American Legion are rather bothered by the fact that our opponents want to erase the sacrifices of the 49 brave men who gave up their lives for Prince George’s County, Maryland,” said Jeremy Dys, deputy general counsel for First Liberty Institute, which represents the veterans organization in the case.
“We have to remember what has been done in the past in order to guide us going forward,” Phillip F. Wright, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said. “Those who have fought for our country, whether they survived combat or not, should be honored.”
If the case loses, the memorial stands to be bulldozed. Think how the families of those 49 men, who died to give us our freedom, will feel. Think of what it will do to our nation's moral fabric--to slap those in the face who died for us.
What do you think of the Supreme Court taking on this case? How do you think it will affect other public crosses being torn down or preserved? Share your thoughts in the comments! Thank you!