The Woonsocket, R.I. Cross was erected in 1921 as a memorial to U.S. servicemen who answered this nation’s call to duty in World War I.
The Mount Soledad Cross in San Diego was erected in 1954 to honor those who gave their lives in defense of the stars and stripes in World War II.
The Big Mountain Jesus statue in Whitefish, Mont. was installed in 1955 in tribute to veterans of the Great War.
How ironic that, on this day on which a grateful nation pays homage to America’s sons and daughters that have fallen in battle, the three aforementioned war memorials are in danger of being removed from the respective sites on which they have stood for more than half a century.
In all three cases, the memorials are under attack by purpose-driven atheists who argue that the presence of Christian icons on publicly-owned land are unconstitutional violations of the First Amendment’s so-called “Establishment Clause,” which declares that “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion.”
Well Congress made no law creating the war memorials at Woonsocket, Mount Soledad and Whitefish. Nor did lawmakers commission the crosses or statue. The memorials, the Christian icons, were all the work of private organizations.
So the atheists make the claim that the Establishment Clause is much broader than written. That allows them to assert than any war memorial on any public land – federal, state or local – must be entirely godless
But the time to make that dubious argument was back in the 1920s, when the Woonsocket Cross was erected, and the 1950s, when the Mount Soledad Cross was erected and Big Mountain Jesus installed. Not 90-something years or 50-something years after the fact.
And just how far are the courts going to let atheist hate groups go?
Like the so-called Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wisconsin, which has threatened legal action against both the city of Woonsocket and the U.S. Forest Service (which leases the land on which Big Mountain Jesus sits to a private ski resort).
As Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Gilmartin said, in defense of the Woonsocket Cross, “Our national cemeteries are filled with grave markers including the cross and the Star of David. Should they be removed also?”
The atheist extremists at Freedom From Religion Foundation – who not only have petitioned the courts to order removal of religious symbols at war memorials, but also to block the annual National Day of Prayer, and to strike the words “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency – would probably answer in the affirmative.
That is why they are unworthy of the freedom for which America’s sons and daughters in uniform have fought and died. For the atheists begrudge our fallen heroes a few acres of public land in places like Woonsocket, Mount Soledad and Whitefish simply because the war memorials there invoke the Son of Man.