In a 33-page opinion, the majority insists that the 40-foot monument “aggrandizes the Latin cross… the core symbol of Christianity.” But amazingly, it’s not the symbol that bothers them — but its size. “Here it is 40 feet tall; prominently displayed in the center of one of the busiest intersections in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and maintained with thousands of dollars in government funds.”
Built in 1925, the cross was meant to honor 49 Prince George’s County residents who died in the first world war. Words like “valor,” “endurance,” “courage,” and “devotion” are chiseled into the monument’s base as a reminder of the sacrifice it takes to defend freedom — the same freedom, ironically, this court is denying. Like a lot of veterans, our friends at First Liberty Institute, who are representing the American Legion, are concerned about what the ruling means for other displays — like the rows of crosses marking soldiers’ graves at Arlington Cemetery.
As usual, the court’s reasoning is completely selective — and subjective. Asked how they could justify this response when Arlington is also federally funded, the judges fumbled around for an answer. “The crosses there,” the majority tried to explain, “are much smaller than the 40-foot tall monolith at issue here. And, significantly, Arlington National Cemetery displays diverse religious symbols, both as monuments and on individual headstones.” Apparently, the judges like their laws like they like their buffets: a la carte.
Really, this is not different from other liberal interpretations. Guns are okay as long as they are flintlocks, and require 30 seconds to reload between rounds. Religion is fine as long as it is confined to churches, and does not inform one’s judgement in secular matters. All living things are deserving of respect. Well, not really tiny human things. Distinctions which were not in the U.S. Constitution seem to pop up every now and then…out of thin air.
A big stone monument is bad, but small ones are fine. Yeah. That’ll work.