San Francisco (Obama.net)- In the United States of America, it is well known that there is a separation of church and state. The distinction is spelled out in the Constitution itself. Unlike some other nations, in America there is no state religion and thus none of the laws have any religious backing behind them.
Thus is why whenever a religious symbol is erected in public, there is usually at least a minor uproar.
And that is exactly what happened in the La Jolla region of San Diego, California.
For nearly 98 years, a Christian symbol has been in clear view. In 1954, to memorialize those who served in the Korean War, a cross standing at forty-three feet was constructed.
Despite the noble reason for the memorial, it was clear that it was also a religious symbol. The presence of the memorial has been the subject of legal dispute since 1989. The argument being placed is that its presence goes against the “No Preference” clause in the Constitution of the state of California.
In return, those who favor the memorial are taking the stance that the memorial is nothing more than a memorial and that the cross is not to be meant as a religious symbol.
But, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the memorial is not just a memorial, but is a statement of religious affiliation.
The official ruling stated that “the use of such a distinctively Christian symbol to honor all veterans sends a strong message of endorsement and exclusion. It suggests that the government is so connected to a particular religion that it treats that religion’s symbolism as its own, as universal. To many non-Christian veterans, this claim of universality is alienating.”
To further challenge the claim that the site was simply a memorial, the court noted that for the majority of its existence, the location was a gathering site for Easter and was called the “Mount Soledad Easter Cross.” Also, the site only began to serve as a war memorial after the legal dispute began.
Furthermore, no other memorial in the United States features such a noticeable religious symbol as the centerpiece of the site.
It is more than likely that the case will be further appealed until it reaches the United States Supreme Court where the final ruling will be made to determine if the placement of such a large religious symbol on public land is constitutional or not.