Judge Rules Against Cross on U.S. Land

Yes! Judge Rules Against Cross on U.S. Land – NYTimes.com. (by Ian Lovett)

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge ruled Thursday that a cross on federal land in San Diego violated the First Amendment ban on a government endorsement of religion and ordered it removed within 90 days.

But the quarter-century fight over the 29-foot cross atop Mount Soledad may not be over. The judge said he would stay the order if there was an appeal. The case has wound through the courts since the 1980s, while the cross has become emblematic of the national debate over the place of religion in public life.

I think many people don’t comprehend why I, among many others, am offended by public displays of any religion. It isn’t necessarily that we are non-believers. It is this: the United States is, I believe, the only country that was conscientiously created without a state religion. Anyone who has read history knows that religions — state sanctioned or not — have been one of the two great plagues upon mankind. Pick your method of torture and horror, pick your reasons for war: all OK if they go in the name of god.

Anyone like me, who comes from a culture or religious group that has suffered persecution for belief (and depending on what area of the world you come from that is pretty much anyone), deplores and fears an open display of any religion on public land — especially in this land.

It’s a personal and political threat.

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