Voters Find Cross -- Gasp! -- Harmless

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

And to think this is in blue-state California:

A ballot measure to preserve the Mount Soledad cross on public land in La Jolla easily surpassed the two-thirds support it needed for approval Tuesday night.

Two court dates are scheduled in the next three weeks. A Superior Court judge will examine the ballot measure's constitutionality Aug. 12, and a federal judge will hear cross-related arguments Aug. 15.

The proposition calls for the San Diego City Council to give the 29-foot cross, a concentric set of granite walls and the land around them to the U.S. Interior Department as a national veterans memorial.

The cross has been there since 1954. However, in 1989, an atheist filed a federal lawsuit challenging its constitutionality because it was located on public property.
What's getting the atheists so worked up is that a federal law was created to make the cross a National War Memorial and authorized the federal government to receive a donation of the land on which the cross and memorial stood.

Detractors consider the cross an "established religion" even though in this case it is nothing more than a symbolic memorial. Three out of four voters want to keep the cross where it is, but that didn't phase the lawyer of the client who filed the lawsuit. "It still doesn't mean a damn thing," he said. "Voters should have never voted on it. It's a waste of taxpayers' money."

Of course he doesn't think voters should have a say, because the majority of people aren't offended by a harmless memorial that happens to be in the shape of a cross.

Hat tip: Malkin