This may have been diaried here, but it's not been widely reported in the midst of the Supreme Court Decisions released today. Today the court refused to review the 9th circuit ruling that the single 42 foot Christian Cross is to far along the spectrum towards the constitutionally prohibited establishment of religion.
This is now a 23 year old story, with lawsuits, referendums, negotiations and back room pandering, with one of the main actors Rep. Randy Cunningham who is finishing up his eight year term for bribery. I've had this blog on this subject for several years that I just updated with references to today's comment by Alito, along with my own analysis. I welcome all who are interested to visit it.
I'm in touch with the CEO of the Veterans organization that had once agreed to remove the cross to the church down the hill, until certain people realized useful it would be to focus on those atheists who want to "tear down our cross." I'm still trying to reach a larger audience through some friendships in the media to create a different memorial, now mandated by the highest court of the land. I am suggesting going beyond a compromise as described here.
Here's the letter I sent to a columnist friend:
But the CEO of the organization l is right about too many moving parts, meaning the federal government which now owns the land. It is under the direct control of the department of defense, but the Commander in Chief decides on policy, and if there were an agreement within this community, the President, whether one who has a home only miles from the site, or the person who presently holds office, would have the authority to approve any new monument.
This is a time for an alternative, something that celebrates this exceptional country, not one of the many that have merged their national religion with their government. This is exactly what we fear in Egypt at this very moment as the new president is also the leader of the main religious movement there.
In 1989 when Phil Paulson brought his first lawsuit, our national enemy was atheistic communism, with tens of thousand of nuclear weapons facing us. Now, we are in a perpetual war on terror, and the rallying cry of our most fanatic mortal enemies is Allahu Akbar "God is Great" words they utter as they sacrifice their lives to kill us.
There was a logic during the height of the cold war to consolidate our differences with communism in matters of faith ; but now what separates us from our enemies is that for us religion is welcomed and protected, but is not the defining element of our national life. We did have a national motto that expressed this, "E Pluribus Unum" From Many we are One.
San Diego does not have an iconic image, such as the Eiffel Tower or Washington Monument that identifies us to the world. Mount Soledad would be a perfect setting for this, a monument that shows that differences, whether profound or mundane can, by being resolved, form the infrastructure for a just unified society, a model for others countries that face such challenges.
I would bet that those men and women memorialized there may agree.