Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Bladensburg Cross

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Bladensburg Cross

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Bladensburg Cross

The Bladensburg Cross, a World War I memorial to 49 soldiers of Prince Georges County, Maryland, will be allowed to remain standing. The United States Supreme Court issued their ruling this morning.

“The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a 40-foot cross erected as a tribute to war dead may continue to stand on public land in Maryland, rejecting arguments that it was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

The vote was 7 to 2, but the ruling prompted an outpouring of individual opinions as the court struggled to explain what should be done with public displays that feature religious imagery.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the main opinion and said history and tradition must be taken into account when judging modern objections to monuments on public land.

“The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent,” Alito wrote. “For some, that monument is a symbolic resting place for ancestors who never returned home. For others, it is a place for the community to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for our Nation. For others still, it is a historical landmark.

“For many of these people, destroying or defacing the Cross that has stood undisturbed for nearly a century would not be neutral and would not further the ideals of respect and tolerance embodied in the First Amendment.””

The story behind WHY the Bladensburg Cross was designed and built is well worth watching.

Forty nine soldiers, buried in cemeteries in France with crosses marking their graves, and their families left to mourn. The cross was built as not only a memorial but as a grave.

Everything was fine until the Humanist Society decided the cross was a problem and the government (which had owned that tiny stretch of land since 1961) was advocating religion. And once again the fallacies of the church and state issues (that have NO bearing on our 1st Amendment) were being used as a bludgeon in an attempt to destroy a memorial to our war dead.

The United States Supreme Court was having none of that today. With the exception of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, because of course.

RBG had this to say.

“She said the court’s decision to maintain the cross-shaped monument on public land “erodes” the constitutional principle that “demands governmental neutrality.”

By honoring World War I soldiers with a cross-shaped memorial, the state of Maryland, she said, “places Christianity above other faiths” and sends the message to people of other faiths that “they are outsiders.”

“Making a Latin cross a war memorial does not make the cross secular. Quite the contrary, the image of the cross makes the war memorial sectarian. The Peace Cross is no exception,” Ginsburg said.”

No Ruth, a cross does not make a memorial to anyone sectarian. In this case, the cross is a specifically designed memorial to those who fought for us in World War I. A memorial that should never have been dragged into the court. In my opinion the Humanist Society along with the lower courts willfully ignored the significance of the MEMORIAL in favor of pushing the favored religious test narratives.

Of course, many others don’t see it that way and believe that a cross as a memorial is disenfranchising everyone else.

In other words, all religious symbols are ok…as long as none of them are a cross. Good to know.

Justices Gorsuch and Thomas had a perfect response to this lawsuit from the Humanist Society. First of all, both believe this case should never have seen the light of day. Secondly,

For all those who are easily offended, take note. Using lawsuits as a method to keep from being offended is childish and a waste of everyone’s time. Needless to say, those who were hoping SCOTUS would rule otherwise, didn’t get that memo. Yes, I’m looking at you, ACLU.

Between all the justices, there are 87 pages of opinion, which you can read here.

Two additional takeaways from this ruling.

A. Symbols and memorials that are currently in place (some of which have crosses) are presumed to be Constitutional now

B. It seems the Court has signaled strongly that they don’t want to see anymore lawsuits regarding monuments on public lands.

Will there be other lawsuits? I’ve no doubt people will try again. But for today, the good news is SCOTUS has ruled that the Bladensburg Cross is allowed to stand.

Feature Photo Credit: PointofView.net, cropped and modified

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2 Comments
  • GWB says:

    Everything was fine until the Humanist Society
    Pretty much there’s your problem right there. Almost always. (And see below.)

    “erodes” the constitutional principle that “demands governmental neutrality.”
    And THIS is why the Constitution left rights within the states to the states themselves.
    A community ought to be able to decide to put up a cross (or a Star of David or even the crescent and star, or a giant Thinker statue*) on its own land. And that should be under the purview of the Federal gov’t.

    (* Or, a statue of Atlas, shrugging, maybe? Galt Gulch, here I come!)

    No Ruth, a cross does not make a memorial to anyone sectarian.
    I’m going to disagree. But I think a local community ought to be able to make that decision. It’s THEIR people that died. For someone to come along 100 years later and decide THEY don’t like it and it must therefore be removed is a grotesque effrontery to the citizens of that community.

    This was about the right of a community to honor its fallen heroes. (emphasis added)
    Exactly right.

    public symbol honoring ALL veterans
    Well, that’s where you’re wrong, Mr Dis United. It was honoring their veterans from a specific conflict.

    an outdated custom
    This is what it’s all about. The desire to destroy all that has come before with which they disagree, so they can erect their own monuments to their own gods – themselves.

    dismissed for lack of standing
    Correct. Because the plaintiffs weren’t part of the community when that decision was made.

    Using lawsuits as a method to keep from being offended
    Oh, that’s not even remotely what it’s about. Sure, that’s the claim, but O’Hare was never about being offended – she was about crushing those she opposed under her heel until she heard them scream. It wasn’t offense, it was revenge and power. (And, yes, she gave this crap boulder its first significant shove down the hill.)

    This, however, is the fundamental flaw of our Republic: the very premises (Christian tolerance) on which rests its ability for pluralism will be eroded (to use RBG’s term) by that pluralism. The two cannot be sustained in balance without a great deal of effort for any appreciable length of time.

  • Scott says:

    So basically, if the humanist idiots had gotten the ruling they wanted, any time land came into possession of the feds (as this cross was originally on private land, that eventually ended up as federal land), any religious symbols that already existed on that land would need to be destroyed??? Damn the stupid is strong with this crowd…freaking idiots!

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