Published On: Mon, Mar 3rd, 2014

California judge rules veterans monument with cross is unconstitutional

A federal judge in California has ruled that a Veterans monument which includes a cross is an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity.

California Veterans memorial monument cross unconstitutionalAs previously reported by Christian News, the city council of Lake Elsinore unanimously approved the creation of the monument in November 2012, which was to be erected in Diamond Stadium. The 5-0 vote followed a public hearing where over 100 residents attended to voice their opinion, mainly in support of the display.

In a lawsuit filed by the American Humanist Association (AHA) on behalf of residents Diana Hansen and John Larsen, the organization contended that the crosses on the monument clearly were representative of Christianity and therefore were inappropriate for a public memorial.

“[We are challenging] the constitutionality of the City’s design, approval, funding, construction, ownership, maintenance and prominent display of a monument … depicting a soldier kneeling before a Christian cross as a violation of the separation of church and state,” the complaint outlined.

In July of 2013, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson agreed with the atheist association and issued a temporary injunction against its installment.

Now Wilson issued his final ruling in the matter, finding the monument to be unconstitutional.

“The court concludes that Lake Elsinore’s veterans’ memorial was designed without a predominantly secular purpose, and that its principal effect is to advance religion,” he wrote. “[T]he court concludes that the memorial violates both the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause and California’s Establishment and No Preference Clauses.”

The monument, which declares, “In honor of our brave men and women who by their service give life to our most precious gift — freedom,” also depicts a soldier kneeling before a row of cemetery markers in the shape of a cross. A Star of David is also featured on the display, as well as an American flag and a soaring eagle.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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