For John, BLUF: Unforced error. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Of course it is Breitbart bringing us this news about a latin cross on a Veterans Memorial.
This was a feed off a web report from ABC Channel 10 News out of San Diego.
A federal judge in San Diego issued an order from the bench Thursday declaring that the government's display of a 43-foot cross atop Mount Soledad in La Jolla violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.There is a long discussion of the history at Wikipedia. The original cross dates from 1913 and the current cross from 1954. It has been around a while. The war memorial dates from about 1989. The City of San Diego sold the small parcel of land under the cross to some private group, but that didn't end anything. In 2006 the US Congress ordered the Federal Government to take the memorial by eminent domain. This was also not a solution acceptable to the Ninth Circuit Court.♠
The federal display was challenged in a 2006 lawsuit by the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America and several local residents, all of whom were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial counties.
It is unlikely I am ever going to live in San Diego or to visit La Jolla again in my lifetime, so at some level I am indifferent to this long running fight. On the other hand, it is part of the ongoing fight between those who fear all religious symbols on public property and those who fear that the lack of any symbols sends a signal that the Federal Government is hostile to religion, and shows preference for an atheistic secular humanism that is becoming our dominant civil religion.
What I find interesting, and thus the title of this post, is that the current Administration is changing policy by letting this item slip through the cracks. This leads some, who might otherwise be friendly to the Administration, to think that there are unfriendly agendas being pursed. It reminds me of the thesis in the book Deer Hunting With Jesus.
Originally, the U.S. Justice Department defended the cross memorial. However, when President Barack Obama was elected, the government’s defense of the memorial under Attorney General Eric Holder seemed to become lackluster, and the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Association stepped in to bolster the defense.I guess it is important to the Administration.
This will end up before the US Supreme Court.
Regards — Cliff
♠ The Ninth is the biggest in terms of area covered, population covered and number of judges, and is perhaps the most controversial.