Tuesday, May 09, 2006

More Of The Cross In Mt. Soledad Natural Park

I've had lots of comments on my post 'Denying The Cross', which was about the case against the cross that is displayed in Mt.Soledad Natural Park in San Diego, California. I came across a site today with information about the cross.

The history. The current memorial is the third one on the site. The first, made of wood, was put up during WWI. It burned down in the 1920s. A stucco cross replaced it and stood until it blew down in 1952. The present cross was put up in 1952 by the Mount Soledad Memorial Association which was founded by American Legion Post 275 in 1952 to replace the memorial and to maintain it. The plaque reads: "Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross. Dedicated in 1954, as a tribute to all branches of the Armed Forces of U.S.A. servicemen and women. This plaque dedicated November 11, 1989. Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, City Beautiful San Diego."

So far, the courts have agreed with Phil Paulson, the atheist who said that the cross violates the separation of church and state. The city tried selling the parcel of land, 15 x 15 foot, that the cross stands on, to the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association for $14,500. But, the judge struck that down.

Mike Nelson, writer of the article had this to say:

It's a war memorial--and has been for at least 45 years. It's been maintained by a secular organization. It would be impossible to allege the American Legion to be a religious organization. I do not see any church specifically being endorsed by the presence of the cross. I don't see anyone worshipping at the foot except churches who like any other organization can RENT the park for private purposes. I see it for what it is--a memorial to servicemen and women who have served in the US armed forces.

I also disgree with Paulson's contention that the cross be moved to Mt. Soledad Presbyterian Church. It's not their cross and never has been.

Now, the city of San Diego has approximately 90 days to get the cross out of the park, or face a daily fine of $5,000 for each day they do not remove it.

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