1. Post #1
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    CIMA, California -- Driving along a pockmarked road amid rocks and Joshua trees in a lonely southern California desert, religious controversy might be the last thing you'd expect to encounter.

    And if you don't look too closely, you're likely to zip right past the focus of a hotly contested Supreme Court battle.

    A federal judge has ordered the Mojave Cross, a war memorial erected by a veterans group 75 years ago, to be covered. It's boxed in plywood.

    The issue is less about what the cross symbolizes and more about where it sits: In the middle of the Mojave National Preserve, which is government land.

    The high court on Wednesday will consider whether the display violates the First Amendment's provision for a separation of church and state.

    More specifically, does an individual who protests the cross have legal standing to take the case to court? Do congressional efforts to minimize the appearance of a constitutional violation carry any weight?

    "Religion is always very hard fought in the Supreme Court, and this is no exception," said Thomas Goldstein, a Washington appellate attorney and co-founder of scotusblog.com.

    "A single cross on a single plot of land has given rise to this huge constitutional controversy. The court will look at whether Congress, with a kind of wink and a nod, (can) say that this governmental cross is now on private land or are we (going to) say, no this is a governmental war monument and it has a religious symbol on it."

    Riley Bembry, who served as a medic in World War I, helped erect the cross in 1934. It sits on a 4,000-foot plateau and was a place of reflection for many vets who retreated to the desert in part to recover from severe lung diseases caused by mustard gas attacks during the Great War. An annual Easter service is held there, but until recently only locals knew about it. The site is not on any maps.
    Bembry never got permission from the government to erect the cross, but for decades nobody seemed to care. He was the caretaker of the memorial for five decades until he died in 1984.

    In 1994, 1.6 million acres of desert -- including the land with the cross on it -- was transferred to the National Park Service. A few years later, a resident wanted to put up a Buddhist shrine near the cross. The request was denied.

    Frank Buono, a former deputy superintendent of the preserve, filed a lawsuit with the help of the ACLU, claiming federal officials were acting unfairly.

    "He thinks that the government is in effect misappropriating this sacred symbol and trying to give it just a secular meaning," said Peter Eliasberg, managing attorney of the ACLU of Southern California.

    "It strikes me as sort of odd that it just happens to be in that shape," Eliasberg said. "If what they really wanted to do was have a war memorial, there are hundreds of other shapes that it could be in. ... Mr. Buono does not have an objection to the government having a war memorial there that's in the shape of a soldier, or that's in the shape of the Vietnam memorial."

    A federal court ordered the cross removed earlier this decade. A judge ruled that until the dispute is settled the cross had to be covered.

    In 2001 Congress got involved. Lawmakers prohibited the Park Service from spending federal dollars to remove the display. A year later, they designated the site a national memorial similar to the Washington Monument and Mount Rushmore.

    More importantly, the Republican-led Congress agreed to transfer one acre of land around the cross in exchange for five private acres inside the preserve. A San Francisco, California-based appeals court turned that offer down, saying it failed to satisfy Constitutional concerns.

    The land swap "would leave a little donut hole of land with a cross in the midst of a vast federal preserve" the court said.

    The Supreme Court has traditionally taken a case-by-case approach to similar First Amendment cases. Among other things, it has upheld tax exemptions for churches and the mention of "God" on U.S. currency.

    At the same time, it has banned government-sponsored school prayer and imposed limits on public aid to parochial schools.

    In 2005, a Ten Commandments monument on the Texas Statehouse grounds was allowed to stand because it was surrounded by historical markers. But the same day, the placement of Ten Commandment parchments in two Kentucky county courthouses was ruled unconstitutional. The high court called them "a governmental effort substantially to promote religion."

    Earlier this year, the justices ruled that a small religious group could not erect a granite monument in a Utah park next to an existing Ten Commandments display.

    This time, the Obama administration will argue in favor of keeping the cross and allowing the land transfer.

    The implications of the case could extend beyond the Mojave Cross. Individual gravestones are not at issue, but war memorials have long featured religious imagery.

    "There are 5 million veterans that we represent ... would be quite shocked and horrified to know that those memorials and the symbols chosen by vets 75 years or 100 years ago would suddenly have to be torn down by a bulldozer," said Hiram Sasser, attorney for the Liberty Legal Institute.

    Wanda and Henry Sandoz have been taking care of the memorial since Bembry passed away. They shake their heads over the legal fight that will take them to Washington.

    "I hope it won't be too long before we can look at the cross again without that stupid box," Wanda Sandoz said.

    "Yep, really. We'll repaint it," Henry Sandoz said.

    "I already bought some white paint," Wanda Sandoz said.
    Source: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/10/...oss/index.html

    For crying out loud, it's a war memorial, and it's been there for more than five decades. Just leave it be.
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  2. Post #2
    Seb McMeb's Avatar
    March 2009
    808 Posts
    In short; People suck.
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  3. Post #3
    Gold Member
    cheeseman52's Avatar
    June 2007
    2,186 Posts
    I believe in some aspects of separating church and state but this it just stupid. ITS A FUCKING WAR MEMORIAL NOT THE BIBLE
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  4. Post #4
    aman III's Avatar
    December 2008
    155 Posts
    No war memorials allowed in my AMERICA!!!
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  5. Post #5
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    The orignal idea of the seperation of church and state is to prevent the government from leaning from one religion over another. I don't really believe this is letting one religion dominate another because it's a war memorial, and does not promote religion.
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  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    Bredirish123's Avatar
    October 2006
    9,238 Posts
    I remember seeing this. Nothing bad about it imo.
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  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    Canuhearme?'s Avatar
    April 2008
    16,671 Posts
    What the fuck, only in California would this happen.

    Pinko commie bastards.
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  8. Post #8
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    What the fuck, only in California would this happen.

    Pinko commie bastards.
    Peoples Republic of Kalifornia?
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  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    Used Car Salesman's Avatar
    April 2009
    9,007 Posts
    Religious symbols on government-owned property endorse religion. That's pretty much the end of it, the government can't claim impartiality and allow stuff like that to stand on it's property, regardless of how long it sat there unnoticed.
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  10. Post #10
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    Religious symbols on government-owned property endorse religion. That's pretty much the end of it, the government can't claim impartiality and allow stuff like that to stand on it's property, regardless of how long it sat there unnoticed.
    But this religious symbol is not endorsing religion, only memorializing that war.
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  11. Post #11
    Gold Member
    Saxon's Avatar
    August 2006
    3,994 Posts
    Who cares its a fucking war memorial, honor the people who died for their country and don't tear it down we owe them that much
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  12. Post #12
    HUGE RACIST
    TH89's Avatar
    January 2005
    16,350 Posts
    this religious symbol is not endorsing religion
    :ohdear:
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  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    Used Car Salesman's Avatar
    April 2009
    9,007 Posts
    But this religious symbol is not endorsing religion, only memorializing that war.
    *blink*

    wat
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  14. Post #14
    Bryanrocks01's Avatar
    May 2009
    6,850 Posts
    Seperation of church and state is an idea, not a law.

    The more you know
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  15. Post #15
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    It made more sense in my head....I think I just failed how I worded it.

  16. Post #16
    Gold Member
    Billiam's Avatar
    July 2008
    7,687 Posts
    It made more sense in my head....I think I just failed how I worded it.
    It happens.

  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    Zeke129's Avatar
    July 2007
    41,826 Posts
    I don't think it's a big deal. Along the highways up here people set up little crosses where car accidents have occurred and nobody seems to bitch. (Other than it being unsettling seeing a jagged rock outcropping on the side of the road with twenty crosses on it)

    Still, it's government-funded land and not all taxpayers would like to see their money going towards what could be interpreted as a religious symbol.

    I'm on the fence here.
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  18. Post #18
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    The article said that the land changed from private to public ownership, so does this mean the government is going to tear down every single religions related object or building that's on property they get ahold of, regardless of age or tradition?
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  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    Billiam's Avatar
    July 2008
    7,687 Posts
    The article said that the land changed from private to public ownership, so does this mean the government is going to tear down every single religions related object or building that's on property they get ahold of, regardless of age or tradition?
    They could always find someone who would take the monument in and transfer it.
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  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    Zeke129's Avatar
    July 2007
    41,826 Posts
    The article said that the land changed from private to public ownership, so does this mean the government is going to tear down every single religions related object or building that's on property they get ahold of, regardless of age or tradition?
    It should be up to the taxpayers who are in that area.
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  21. Post #21
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    They could always find someone who would take the monument in and transfer it.
    What if it's a church?

    It should be up to the taxpayers who are in that area.
    I agree.

  22. Post #22
    Gold Member
    Drasnus's Avatar
    October 2007
    3,701 Posts
    I never understood the Christian use of the cross anyway.

    It's like remembering John F Kennedy by hanging a sniper rifle on your wall.
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  23. Post #23
    USER HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY - RETRY CONNECTION IN 5 MINUTES
    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    I understand why it seems bad, but at the same time that doesn't mean the Government shouldn't preserve old churches and other religious buildings and artifacts that are a major part of our culture and history.

    Also, a cross means nothing to me so I don't care as much, if it had a prayer specifically to god on it I would be more pissed.

    Edited:

    I never understood the Christian use of the cross anyway.

    It's like remembering John F Kennedy by hanging a sniper rifle on your wall.
    Because Jesus died on the cross for your sins, the cross is a symbol of that moment.
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  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    Zeke129's Avatar
    July 2007
    41,826 Posts
    Because Jesus died on the cross for your sins, the cross is a symbol of that moment.
    If someone saved my life by jumping on a grenade I wouldn't build a memorial with grenades on it.

    It's kind of like you're mocking the guy.
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  25. Post #25
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
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    If someone saved my life by jumping on a grenade I wouldn't build a memorial with grenades on it.

    It's kind of like you're mocking the guy.
    That someone who jumped on the grenade isn't believed to be the son of God, nor believed of resurrected three days afterwards though.
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  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    Zeke129's Avatar
    July 2007
    41,826 Posts
    That someone who jumped on the grenade isn't believed to be the son of God, nor believed of resurrected three days afterwards though.
    I can believe whatever I want. :colbert:
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  27. Post #27
    USER HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY - RETRY CONNECTION IN 5 MINUTES
    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    If someone saved my life by jumping on a grenade I wouldn't build a memorial with grenades on it.

    It's kind of like you're mocking the guy.
    I might...Hell, it makes sense, keep a grenade as a reminder of what that guy did for you.

  28. Post #28
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    I might...Hell, it makes sense, keep a grenade as a reminder of what that guy did for you.
    But it only saved one individual. In Christianity, Jesus died to save all of humanity.

    Edited:

    I can believe whatever I want. :colbert:
    That's fine, but you don't have a large population believing it.
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  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    gnome's Avatar
    July 2005
    2,874 Posts
    That someone who jumped on the grenade isn't believed to be the son of God, nor believed of resurrected three days afterwards though.
    That doesn't really point to any sense in making a religious icon out of what is essentially a torture device used on Jesus. You think christians would have more statues of the happy Jesus in his modest robes, preaching to people about how awesome life is. Instead every time you walk into a church you see him nailed to a cross dead.
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  30. Post #30
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    That doesn't really point to any sense in making a religious icon out of what is essentially a torture device used on jesus. You think christians would have more statues of the happy jesus in his modest robes, preaching to people about how awesome life is. Instead every time you walk into a church you see him nailed to a cross dead.
    Protestants do have more images of Jesus that way, because they feel it is better to emphasize his teachings during life.

    Catholics have more images of Christ on the cross because they emphasize the fact that he died for our sins.
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  31. Post #31
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    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    That doesn't really point to any sense in making a religious icon out of what is essentially a torture device used on Jesus. You think christians would have more statues of the happy Jesus in his modest robes, preaching to people about how awesome life is. Instead every time you walk into a church you see him nailed to a cross dead.
    Jesus' death is considered far more important than his teachings during life.

    Edited:

    But it only saved one individual. In Christianity, Jesus died to save all of humanity.
    Yea, I'm just saying if someone jumped on a grenade to save my I would probably keep a grenade around me all the time.

  32. Post #32
    Gold Member
    gnome's Avatar
    July 2005
    2,874 Posts
    Ahhh, I see. So basically Protestants are more chill.
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  33. Post #33
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts



    Yea, I'm just saying if someone jumped on a grenade to save my I would probably keep a grenade around me all the time.
    I'm not sure if you're making a serious statement, or being sarcastic...

  34. Post #34
    USER HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY - RETRY CONNECTION IN 5 MINUTES
    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    Ahhh, I see. So basically Protestants are more chill.
    I wouldn't say "chill", but they are a bit more laid back about worship and interpretation of the bible than the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

    Edited:

    I'm not sure if you're making a serious statement, or being sarcastic...
    No I am serious. I think it would be a good reminder for me.

  35. Post #35
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    Ahhh, I see. So basically Protestants are more chill.
    I suppose you could see it from that point of view.

    Greek Orthodox, I believe, has very few images of Christ at all.

    Every sect of Christianity has emphasizes not only the meanings behind Jesus' teachings and death, but what parts as well.

  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    gnome's Avatar
    July 2005
    2,874 Posts
    Jesus' death is considered far more important than his teachings during life.
    And that right there just doesn't make sense. How is it more important that he died and came back to life than all the things he taught about living life? That's just sort of morbid, really. I think "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" is more important than Jesus "dying for our sins" (which in my opinion doesn't really make sense).

  37. Post #37
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    No I am serious. I think it would be a good reminder for me.
    Ah, okay. I didn't know if you were being sarcastic because you pretty much stated that you would keep an explosive with you every where you went.

    But going back to the discussion, that grenade would simbolize his saving of your life, but the cross is a simbol of Christ saving the soul of humanity, which has always been percieved as more important than your mere life.

  38. Post #38
    Gold Member
    gnome's Avatar
    July 2005
    2,874 Posts
    Ah, okay. I didn't know if you were being sarcastic because you pretty much stated that you would keep an explosive with you every where you went.

    But going back to the discussion, that grenade would simbolize his saving of your life, but the cross is a simbol of Christ saving the soul of humanity, which has always been percieved as more important than your mere life.
    Makes Christ sound like a selfish cunt when it's put that way.

  39. Post #39
    USER HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY - RETRY CONNECTION IN 5 MINUTES
    Dennab
    February 2006
    22,239 Posts
    I suppose you could see it from that point of view.

    Greek Orthodox, I believe, has very few images of Christ at all.

    Every sect of Christianity has emphasizes not only the meanings behind Jesus' teachings and death, but what parts as well.
    I think it's funny myself that Catholics have historically hated Iconism, which is a main part of Orthodox religion, yet they decorate their cathedrals almost exactly like an Iconic church.(This fits in with what you said because Iconic worship is where you use pictures of Jesus and other religious figures for your prayers and worship).

    Ah, okay. I didn't know if you were being sarcastic because you pretty much stated that you would keep an explosive with you every where you went.
    Well I would disarm it of course. Not every cross worn across someones neck is a real Roman Era execution device.

  40. Post #40
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    25,313 Posts
    Makes Christ sound like a selfish cunt when it's put that way.
    How...?