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ACLU wants to tear down 75-year-old war Memorial

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Chee-to, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Mods, this should probably be in the "off topic" section.

    http://otd.oyez.org/articles/2009/02/23/justices-agree-hear-mojave-desert-cross-case-feb-23-2009

    Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case of World War I Memorial in Mojave Desert

    The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether an 8-foot cross in the Mojave National Preserve is an unconstitutional governmental endorsement of religion.

    The cross was first erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1934 and has been maintained as a war memorial by the National Park Service.

    The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in 2001 on behalf of former park service Frank Buono, a Roman Catholic who alleged that the cross violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The suit also noted that the park service had denied a request to have a Buddhist shrine erected near the cross.

    U.S District Court Judge Robert J. Timlin of the Central District of California agreed with Buono, and ruled in 2002 that the “primary effect of the presence of the cross” was to “advance religion.”

    Congress responded in 2004 by passing legislation directing the Department of the Interior to transfer about an acre of land to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in exchange for a privately owned plot nearby.

    On Sept. 6, 2007, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court ruling and invalidated the land transfer, noting that “carving out a tiny parcel of property in the midst of this vast preserve — like a donut hole with the cross atop it — will do nothing to minimize the impermissible governmental endorsement” of the religious symbol.

    Last fall, the Bush administration appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the “seriously misguided decision” will require the government “to tear down a cross that has stood without incident for 70 years as a memorial to fallen service members.” The government also questioned whether Bruno had standing to challenge the cross, since he lives in Oregon and suffers no specific harm because of the cross.

    In a friend-of-the-court brief, the VFW, the American Legion and other veterans said the appeals court ruling could trigger legal challenges to the display of crosses at Arlington National Cemetery and elsewhere.

    "It is disheartening and distressing to think that Arlington Cemetery must be gutted because there are those who are offended by the religious imagery," the groups wrote. "And under the Ninth Circuit’s approach, no memorial may be preserved by conveying it to a veterans organization, probably the very organization that paid for the memorial in the first place."

    On Feb. 23, the Supreme Court accepted the case for review. The court will hear oral arguments in the fall.

    Question presented: Whether an individual has Article III standing to bring an Establishment Clause suit challenging the display of a religious symbol on government land and if an Act of Congress directing the land be transferred to a private entity is a permissible accommodation.
     
  2. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    Article 1 US Constitution: "Congress shall make NO law regarding an establishment of religion or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXCERSIZE THEREOF." (emphassis added) You will note that this clause ONLY RESTRICTS CONGRESS FROM PASSING LAWS RELATED TO RELIGION. It DOES NOT RESTRICT CITIZENS! So, why are we so severely restricted from the FREE Excersize of our religious freedoms??? Does it protect people FROM religion??
     
  3. PosterGuy

    PosterGuy Hillsboro Member

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    The key here is that they denied the Buhdist request. You can't approve one religions display, and disapprove another (within reason).
     
  4. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    This is a WW I war Memorial that has stood for 75 years, way off the beaten path in the middle of the Mojave desert, only a very few even knew of it's existence. Go to Arlington National Cemetery, which is public land, and count the Buddhas then count the crosses..........:(
     
  5. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    :angry:
     
  6. PosterGuy

    PosterGuy Hillsboro Member

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    I'm not saying it should be taken down. But...you can't approve one religion's display and deny another religion's display (within reason). If the Buhdist display is tasteful then it should be allowed also.

    You have the gall to bring up the national cemetary. Have you ever been there? Do you know how many religions are represented? Do you know how many of each religion has given their lives for this country? Get back to me on that one sir...

    By the way, I am 100% Christian and 100% freedom loving American. It takes all types to give their lives for this country, and don't you forget it.
     
  7. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    The OP brought up the Arlington Cemetary question.
     
  8. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Lets try this again real S L O W this is a 75 year old WWI monument they want to remove, do you really think it was WWI Buddhists vets who wanted to put a monument out there ? Why do you think someone wanted a Buddhist war memorial out in the middle of the desert...Hmmmmmm

    Yes sir I have been there, the point is "IF" you can eliminate a war memorial on public land because it's a "cross" you can eliminate it anywhere on public land ...Try reading the original post.

    Who the heck do you think you are, telling me what to forget or not ? I'm also a Christian and a Vet fella, I know all about people giving their lives, and nine times outa ten it ain't for their country, it's for their brothers.. So get off your friggin' high horse ! This whole fight is about the brothers who put that cross there, and the reason they did, and it has little to do about religion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  9. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    as far as Im concerned. Its been there longer then the ACLU, and longer then most of the people who are still alive that are of that age.. Of a war that most kids today arent being taught about. And for reasons unknown to me was put out in the middle of BFE.. They should leave it there and alone. Im not even sure if there are any servivers of WWI still alive, and to honor those who fought and died in that war.and for those who have a problem with it, well they can take a long walk off a short pear..
     
  10. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Amen brother!
     
  11. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    Well......if they are going to start removing memorials because of religous aspects, they better tear down 99% of the nations memorials and monuments as somewhere there are references to God. The Washington monument has a small plaque towards the top or at the top (can't remember) with religous statements. I imagine that there are similar items at most sites as our country was founded with religous guidelines. Wonder what our Capital would look like if we eliminated all momuments with religous overtones. But I'm sure there are some already working on the rest of them..........
     
  12. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    The issue here is that this is not a religous symbol but a memorial to men killed in defence of this country.
     
  13. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Man, the brave men that faught in that war would kick the **** out of us if they saw what we've turned this country into.

    I'm going to go kick my own butt.
     
  14. tuckerha

    tuckerha Tucson, Arizona Member

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    This whole court case has been going on for a few years. The memorial is truly in the middle of nowhere. I saw it not too ong ago when I was visiting my parents down in that area. It is currently covered so it doesn't offend someone.

    My dad sent me this back in July:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeuBB_mOFIA
     
  15. Buddhalux

    Buddhalux Hillsboro, Oregon Active Member

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    Tango down!
     
  16. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    I remember one thing that Winston Churchhill said at the beginning of World War 2 (Paraphrasing now): "The fate of Christianity hangs on this battle!" I feel that America is in the same position today!
     
  17. PosterGuy

    PosterGuy Hillsboro Member

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    The sticking point that I see in the argument isn't that there shouldn't be a cross on public land. I think it's great that it's there. If nobody else requested to put anything there, great, no problem. The problem is that one religions request for a memorial was allowed while another religion was denied. It doesn't matter what the motives are. Remember that the Heller case was scouted out and set up by the NRA in a similar manner. It wasn't a bad thing, it was good that people were actively seeking ways to overturn un-Constitutional laws. If another religion wanted to set up a memorial in the same area, let them. Make sure it's tasteful and respectful.

    They wouldn't remove religious symbols from the National Cemetary because all religions are represented. I'm sure you noticed when you were there that the tombstones displayed whatever faith that the fallen soldier followed.

    As for my "high horse." Invoking the imagery of fallen soldiers to prove a political point is something that I can't stand, and I react harshly to it. Most people who have seen friends die in combat feel the same. You also inferred that the fallen Christian soldiers deserve more consideration because they are in greater numbers.
     
  18. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    You've paraphrased your original post, I've replied to that. As far as "invoking imagery of fallen soldiers" Talk to the VFW and American Legion, it's their contention, and I agree with them, AGAIN try reading the original post.

    You seem to be the only one supporting the ACLU, and that's your right, and I respect that. Some people see a Christian icon, many more see it for what it is, a WWI memorial that represents all the Vets, fallen and survivors alike, and not just Christians, it's a symbol of sacrifice.
     
  19. cobra150

    cobra150 beaverton Member

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    I wonder if Frank Buono (aka ACLU puppet head) ever spent 1 day in the service of this country. Or just in service of himself. The stated motivation for this case by this man and the ACLU is selfish and divisive.
    This is not a religious symbol being raised in a new park. It is an Old Historic Monument to Respect those Who DID sacrifice for this country.
    Using the "I'm being denied my religious freedom" angle or "Separation of church and state" argument is pure BS in my opinion. If you can't see that this is nothing but hurtful and disrespectful it doesn't matter anyway. Maybe better to drive around next and pull up all the crosses for accident victims left by their families on public land.

    Stand behind it when you need it. Tear it apart and trash it when you don't! What a mentality.
     
  20. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Roger that...........