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Bill passes in House to allow religious symbols on war memorials.

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posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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This bill passed the Republican-controlled House but, probably won't get far in the Democrat-controlled Senate. It is a response to a Judge ruling that a huge cross must come down from a San Diego war memorial.


House passes bill to allow religious symbols on war memorials

The House on Tuesday approved a measure that seeks to permit religious symbols on federal war memorials; a response to a court ruling that declared a cross atop a San Diego memorial violated the Constitution.

"Our Constitution protects the freedom of religion, not freedom from it," Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Carlsbad), a bill co-sponsor, told his colleagues. "This issue is one that has gone so far that we're actually talking about tearing crosses down over war memorials."

But Dena Sher, legislative counsel in the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington legislative office, called the bill "a misguided attempt to sanction government promotion of religion."

"When a religious symbol is included in a war memorial favoring one religion over others, it's simply unconstitutional," she said. "Congress cannot legislate around the Constitution, nor should it be using religion to score political points."

LA Times

It seems to me that, if the Atheists get their way, this could cause a lot of expensive renovations at existing war memorials.

Imagine if someone had to go around removing all the crosses and stars of David from all the headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. IMO, religious symbols help the families of deceased soldiers to deal with the grief of losing their loved ones, allowing them to believe that fallen soldiers have gone on to a better place.

Also, disallowing references to religion creates gaps in the historical record as shown by the fight against Roosevelt's D-Day prayer being put in the WW II memorial. That prayer inspired the nation and the soldiers who were to give their lives for their country that day. Leaving it out of any official government memorial does a disservice to history.

I don't believe that allowing religious symbols at memorials is a government "endorsement" of any particular religion. If anyone is free to put up their own religious symbols within the memorial, how is one symbol showing any more favoritism than any other?

I could never understand the Atheist mentality that causes them to fight against symbols which bring solace to the families of war veterans. Why is it that they feel so threatened by the presence of a cross on government property? Isn't the denial of religious symbols a form of "establishment of religion" in the form of endorsing Atheism?

By denying the people the right to have religious symbols in their war memorials, we may end up discouraging men and women from serving in the armed forces. If one does not believe they are serving a higher power or that their sacrifice for their country is not compatible with their religious beliefs, they will be less likely to be willing to put their lives on the line for a country that repudiates their religious beliefs.

Having said that, I think this legislation is unwise. The government should not have to weigh in on such matters, especially when any such law will definitely find itself facing a court challenge before the same judges who have already decided against religious symbology. Their time would be better served defining what is and what is not a government endorsement of religion instead of passing laws which deal with the matter in a piecemeal fashion.

Until there is one standard which defines what a government endorsement of religion is, the courts will continue to be inconstant on these matters and the legal battles will rage on, wasting taxpayer dollars and valuable court time.




posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 08:36 AM
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I was denied the right to put a pentagram on my future tombstone...

There is no freedom of religion in America... only freedom for christianity/jews.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 08:38 AM
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Originally posted by YouAreLiedTo
I was denied the right to put a pentagram on my future tombstone...

There is no freedom of religion in America... only freedom for christianity/jews.


Who denied you the pentagram?
There are Pagan cemetery's in the US, go to one of those.
edit on 26-1-2012 by borntowatch because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 08:39 AM
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The fact we ever needed the House of Representatives to discuss this issue, let alone pass a bill, is the best statement I can imagine for pointing out how far our nation has fallen and how far from our roots we have drifted.

One need do nothing more than read the preamble to our most precious of national documents to see how those who made our nation felt about God as a general concept and how they surely would have felt about a small symbol toward Faith being included on the graves of the men who gave everything they had to offer for the freedom of the nation who just had to discuss this issue...and pass a bill about it.

edit on 26-1-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: spacing change



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by borntowatch

Originally posted by YouAreLiedTo
I was denied the right to put a pentagram on my future tombstone...

There is no freedom of religion in America... only freedom for christianity/jews.


Who denied you the pentagram?
There are Pagan cemetery's in the US, go to one of those.
edit on 26-1-2012 by borntowatch because: (no reason given)


When I was in the military back in the early 2000's we had a huge debate over this when one of my friends died and his family requested a pentagram on his tombstone due to his religion.

The military flat-out refused to put any "pagan/wiccan" symbols in a military memorial.

I don't know if it's been changed yet as I've since left the active service, but when I was in, there was no freedom of religion, even if you died for your ****ing country.

Edit: "There are Pagan cemetery's in the US, go to one of those."

If I fought and almost died for this f#cking country, I should have the right to have my dead ass buried in any piece of dirt I see fit, and with the rock above my grave I see fit.

You want me to go to another cemetery even though I went to war for this country like every other vet?

F#ck you and the high horse you rode in on. It's people like you ruining the freedoms in this country.

I don't have the same burial rights as a Christian? Then they shouldn't have begged me to fight for them. I'm sick and tired of Christian and Jews thinking they are entitled to rights that should be looked-over for other religions.



*Mods... do with this post as you will... I needed to vent on that one.

edit on 26-1-2012 by YouAreLiedTo because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-1-2012 by YouAreLiedTo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 09:19 AM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


It's not about symbols on the headstones. It's about the HUGE cross on the central memorial marker.



I personally don't think a cemetery of soldiers of ALL faiths should be marked by one huge symbol of Christianity... What about the faiths of all the other people?

Each headstone should have whatever the family wants, but there should be EITHER no religious symbols or ALL religious symbols on the central memorial marker.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by YouAreLiedTo
 


You are damned right to be pissed off over this. If you put your religion down as "Wiccan" that should entitle you to a Wiccan service and headstone in a government cemetary.

I believe the military finally recognized Wiccans as an official religion recently, so hopefully, they have changed their policy on this. I can see why someone would get so upset for not being able to express their religious views on their headstone after they gave their life for their country. If you don't even have that right, then what the Hell was it you were fighting for?



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by FortAnthem
 


It's not about symbols on the headstones. It's about the HUGE cross on the central memorial marker.

Each headstone should have whatever the family wants, but there should be EITHER no religious symbols or ALL religious symbols on the central memorial marker.


I think the cross is appropriate because the vast majority of those honored in the cemetary were Christians and the cross shows their nation values the values those soldiers were fighting for.

Just as the cross should figure prominently in the center of the memorial, I believe that people should be able to also errect a symbol of other faiths within the same memorial. I don't think they should all be crowded together as if competing with each other but, each faith (or lack thereof) should be able to have their beliefs represented within the memorial so they would have a place to go within the memorial that affirms ther beliefs.

These religious symbols should be sponsored by private funds collected by the faith that wants representation within the memorial, not public funds. However, older, existing memorials should be grandfathered in and not torn down (which is a huge waste of money IMO).

To put up a memorial honoring the dead with no reference to the religious beliefs of those killed is hugely inappropriate IMO.


edit on 1/26/12 by FortAnthem because:
_________ extra DIV



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 09:31 AM
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As an atheist I personally don't care. Cross is already there, is a historical symbol leave it alone. Its pity and stupid thing to fight for and only serves to give those "Theres a war on Religion" people more rhetoric.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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As a Wiccan you can have a Pentacle on a VA headstone, on the VA cemetery site they have all the availaible symbols for them markers posted.

As an Asatruar, I don't have the option of a Thors Hammer yet but it may come in the future, Not to concerned about large crosses at the cemeteries as most folks are Christians and most of the large crosses have been there for decades or longer.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 09:38 AM
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If federal USA is so detatched from religion, how come you still swear an oath to god on the bible when taking office as the POTUS? How come you swear an oath on the bible when giving testimony in court? Yes I know that can be altered to suit religions or beliefs, but that an oath taking by being sworn on a bible is accepted means the state is NOT detached from religion at all



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
I think the cross is appropriate because the vast majority of those honored in the cemetary were Christians


So, as long as the majority are Christians, we can neglect everyone else? It sounds like you're ok with Congress making a law respecting the establishment of the Christian religion...





and the cross shows their nation values the values those soldiers were fighting for.


What values? Equality? Freedom? Truth?

You think these are Christian values or limited to the Christian religion? Bah!
It's clear that most Christians don't even BELIEVE in these values.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by PrinceDreamer
If federal USA is so detatched from religion, how come you still swear an oath to god on the bible when taking office as the POTUS?


It doesn't have to be a bible or a book of any kind... It's a matter of individual choice.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by FortAnthem
I think the cross is appropriate because the vast majority of those honored in the cemetary were Christians


So, as long as the majority are Christians, we can neglect everyone else? It sounds like you're ok with Congress making a law respecting the establishment of the Christian religion...



Nice way to cherry pick my quotes there.


The rest of my post agrees that other faiths should have equal opportunity to erect their own symbols in the monument if they choose.




and the cross shows their nation values the values those soldiers were fighting for.


What values? Equality? Freedom? Truth?


If the gubment weren't able to fool its soldiers into thinking that they were fighting for freedom, truth and equality, how would it get them to fight willingly for the cause of corporate greed?

Allowing religious symbols in the memorials gives the perception that the gubment actuall stands for something good.


You think these are Christian values or limited to the Christian religion? Bah!
It's clear that most Christians don't even BELIEVE in these values.


Sure, there are plenty of hypocritical Christians out there, just as there are hypocrits in every facet of life but, to paint all Christians as hypocrits is ignorance IMO. That would be like me saying that all atheists were cold blooded killers because Stalin was an atheist and he killed millions.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 10:25 AM
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from wiki.




Pentacle on United States soldiers' tombstonesAfter a ten year legal battle, the circled pentagram (referred to as a pentacle by applicants and the court case) was added to the list of 38 approved religious symbols to be placed on the tombstones of fallen service members at Arlington National Cemetery on 24 April 2007. The decision was made following 10 applications from families of fallen soldiers who practiced Wicca. The government paid the families $225,000 to settle their pending lawsuits.[19][20]


source



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
The rest of my post agrees that other faiths should have equal opportunity to erect their own symbols in the monument if they choose.


Did the Christian faith erect this cross? Or did the government? If the government erected it, it should also erect something for all other religions represented. Having the government put up the Christian marker and 'allowing' other faiths to put up one if they want, says that the government supports Christianity above the other religions and that is PRECISELY what they are not supposed to do.



If the gubment weren't able to fool its soldiers into thinking that they were fighting for freedom, truth and equality, how would it get them to fight willingly for the cause of corporate greed?


You said:

the cross shows their nation values the values those soldiers were fighting for.


And now. you're saying that value is "corporate greed?


I didn't say Christians were hypocrites. You can't argue with me, so you changed the subject.

You said the cross represented the values that we're fighting for.
I say our values as a country (freedom, equality and truth) are not represented by a cross or any Christian symbol.
If anything, a flag should be central in a government cemetery, not a symbol of ONE of the religions in this country.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by rubbertramp
from wiki.




Pentacle on United States soldiers' tombstonesAfter a ten year legal battle, the circled pentagram (referred to as a pentacle by applicants and the court case) was added to the list of 38 approved religious symbols to be placed on the tombstones of fallen service members at Arlington National Cemetery on 24 April 2007. The decision was made following 10 applications from families of fallen soldiers who practiced Wicca. The government paid the families $225,000 to settle their pending lawsuits.[19][20]


source


I already said it may have been changed by now, I was just giving an account of my own personal experience from 10 years ago.

So to you, because they changed the policy, it's ok that my friend was refused the burial service he requested?

That's like saying 200 years of slavery was ok because it was finally abolished...



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by FortAnthem
The rest of my post agrees that other faiths should have equal opportunity to erect their own symbols in the monument if they choose.


Did the Christian faith erect this cross? Or did the government? If the government erected it, it should also erect something for all other religions represented. Having the government put up the Christian marker and 'allowing' other faiths to put up one if they want, says that the government supports Christianity above the other religions and that is PRECISELY what they are not supposed to do.



According to a Wiki article, the a cross has been in place on that hill since 1913. It has been replaced several times since then as old ones were destroyed or damaged, each time paid for by private individuals or a church. The property only became a war memorial after the land around it was named as such in 1989, at which point the controvercy arose.


History of cross prior to 1989

Three differently shaped Christian crosses have been constructed since 1913 on City government property at the apex of Mt. Soledad (Mt. Soledad Natural Park) in the community of La Jolla.

The original wooden cross on Mt. Soledad was erected in 1913 by private citizens living in La Jolla and Pacific Beach, but was stolen in 1923; later that year it was affixed back in the ground in Mt. Soledad Natural Park only to be burned down by the Ku Klux Klan.

The second cross was erected in 1934 by a private group of Protestant Christians from La Jolla and Pacific Beach. This sturdier, stucco-over-wood frame cross was blown down by blustery winds in 1952.

The third cross, 29 feet (9 m) tall on top of a 14-foot (4 m)-tall stepped platform, was installed in 1954. It still stands today. A windstorm damaged one of the flimsily constructed cross members in 1955 and the concrete structure had to be repaired.

Wiki

It seems the cross was in place long before the land became a war memorial and it was deemed to be a good place for that memorial specifically because the cross was already in place. No government money ever went into the construction of the cross and the land it stands on was originally referred to as the "Mt. Soledad Easter Cross" until someone decided to build the war memorial around it.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by YouAreLiedTo

Originally posted by borntowatch

Originally posted by YouAreLiedTo
I was denied the right to put a pentagram on my future tombstone...

There is no freedom of religion in America... only freedom for christianity/jews.


Who denied you the pentagram?
There are Pagan cemetery's in the US, go to one of those.
edit on 26-1-2012 by borntowatch because: (no reason given)


When I was in the military back in the early 2000's we had a huge debate over this when one of my friends died and his family requested a pentagram on his tombstone due to his religion.

The military flat-out refused to put any "pagan/wiccan" symbols in a military memorial.

I don't know if it's been changed yet as I've since left the active service, but when I was in, there was no freedom of religion, even if you died for your ****ing country.

Edit: "There are Pagan cemetery's in the US, go to one of those."

If I fought and almost died for this f#cking country, I should have the right to have my dead ass buried in any piece of dirt I see fit, and with the rock above my grave I see fit.

You want me to go to another cemetery even though I went to war for this country like every other vet?

F#ck you and the high horse you rode in on. It's people like you ruining the freedoms in this country.

I don't have the same burial rights as a Christian? Then they shouldn't have begged me to fight for them. I'm sick and tired of Christian and Jews thinking they are entitled to rights that should be looked-over for other religions.



*Mods... do with this post as you will... I needed to vent on that one.

edit on 26-1-2012 by YouAreLiedTo because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-1-2012 by YouAreLiedTo because: (no reason given)


Well goodonya.
I am not from the US so dont have the warm cuddlys for the military and returned vets you want, or try to elicit from me
Soldiering is just another way to earn a buck where I come from.
Another thing to note.If you dont have the same burial rights as a Christian, should I hold your hand and help you achieve them.
You claim you are fighting for the freedoms of your country, hardly sunshine judging by what you are complaining about.
Dont piss in my pocket, you joined the military. As you should have been aware before joining, the military is not society in general.
If there were enough Pagans running around dying you could be buried anywhere. Minorities dont get a choice like majoritys.
Simple aint it buddy



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 09:52 AM
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I was thinking; since the cross existed long before the government decided to build a war memorial around it, wouldn't it make more sense to remove the war memorial instead?

By the ACLU's logic, the government erred in building the memorial with the intention that the pre-existing cross would serve as a centerpiece for the memorial. The government is at fault for placing their memorial around a religious icon which they intended to be a centerpiece for the memorial. The burden should be on the government to remove their war memorial from a location which seems to give preference to one religion.

Ordering the removal of a cross at the center of a war memorial that was built around the cross doesn't make any sense at all in this matter. The cross has been there almost a century now but the war memorial only about 30 years. It seems to me that the cross has more right to be there than the war memorial.

Of course that would never happen and the ACLU wouldn't DARE cross the official religion of the Uniter States; the worshop of militaristic nationalism through the veneration of our fallen soldiers. If they think they've stirred up a hornet's nest with the Christians, that would be nothing compared to the outcry that would result if they followed the logical course and demanded the government to remove the memorial intentionally built around the cross.



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