Is a cross a violation of religious freedom? According to a 2011 U.S. Circuit Court, it is. The 9th Circuit ruled in 2011 that a 29-foot Latin cross at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial is unconstitutional. The cross has been a target of the ACLU for 20 years, but has stood at the site since 1954, a symbol of the sacrifice of the nation’s military.
However, there are crosses all across the country which are used to remember the sacrifices that military men and women make on a daily basis. Arlington National Cemetery is full of crosses, as well as a Jewish symbol, the Star of David. How can the use of a Jewish symbol on the grave of a Jewish soldier be alright when the cross at the memorial of a Christian soldier faces so much controversy?
In addition to arguing against the use of a cross at a memorial, the ACLU has requested that the party responsible for the memorial (that is the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association) not be included in the legal proceedings with respect to the Constitutionality of the cross at their own site. The ACLU is claiming that the cross at a national site violates the U.S. Constitution with regards to freedom of religion. But in reality, how many people feel that a cross violates their own personal religious rights? Would it not be more unconstitutional to force the removal of a cross, which is a sign of the religious beliefs of those at the particular site?
How can a group claim to stand for the rights of the people in the United States, when that group tramples the rights of a particular organization by denying that organization the right to make its case for religious freedom? The ACLU may have the intention of religious freedom at the core of their case, but they are denying freedom of religion to people who do not agree with the ACLU-view of what religious freedom is.