Originally written :May 5, 2010
It’s a good day at Sunrise Rock. At least for now. The Supreme Court recently decided in favor of The American Legion, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other veteran service organizations in a court battle with the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU was demanding that a memorial cross originally planted by WWI vets atop an outcropping of rock in the Mojave Desert Preserve be removed and destroyed.
Writing the lead opinion in the 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy compared the Mojave Cross to a highway memorial to a fallen state trooper, and pointed out that such displays, “need not be taken as a statement of governmental support for sectarian beliefs.”
He further wrote, “The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public knowledge of religion’s role in society. Rather, it leaves room to accommodate divergent values within a constitutionally permissible framework.”
The controversy over the Mojave Cross Memorial, which has stood on Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Desert Preserve since 1934, is yet another vain attempt by the American Civil Liberties Union to remove any and all symbols and associations of Christianity from America.
The plaintiff in this case, a former National Park Service Assistant Supervisor named Frank Buono, claimed that the sight of the cross “offended him.” Strangely enough, this man was employed at the Mojave Desert Preserve at the time former President Clinton incorporated the memorial into the Preserve in 1994. It was only after Buono retired and moved to Oregon-over 1,000 miles from the Mojave Desert- that he decided, with obvious influence from the ACLU, to raise a stink about the cross.
The ACLU’s argument is that the cross memorial is in violation of the Establishment Clause, or “separation of church and state.“ However, there is no such ‘clause’ written in our Constitution.
. The Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion…” which, simply put, means that the creation of a state-mandated national church is forbidden. “…Or, prohibit the free exercise there of.” which means that the veterans have every right to keep the monument standing in memory of their fallen comrades up on Sunrise Rock! Furthermore, the much abused ACLU mantra of “separation of church and state” was actually lifted from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association:
“… I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of the Mojave Cross is a great victory, not only for our brave veterans, who have fought to preserve our precious freedom, but for all Americans, who cherish their right to worship unhindered, and the right to freely express their faith.