Saturday, October 08, 2005

Voters outweighed by a judge, again

Smash reports on the ongoing effort to eradicate the existance of any publicy-viewable symbol of religion - specifically when it's Christian symbol. At issue is the Mt. Soledad War Memorial. The memorial honors veterans and features 6 concentric walls adorned with plagues commemorating the life and service of individual soldiers. It was originally dedicated to veterans of the Korean War but the mission of the memorial was expanded. At the center of the memorial is a large "latin" cross. The memorial is a local landmark, well known by the locals.

So, of course, it was a target of a lawsuit by a man who thinks the presence of the cross is an unconstitutional advocacy of religion by the government.

In an effort to preserve the memorial as it is, the voters of San Diego - that would be the citizens of the US who are most "at risk" of the horrible contamination the cross represents - passed a referendum to transfer the property to the National Parks Service. As a national park memorial, the memorial would be kept as is. The referendum passed by a 75% margin. That's a huge margin and everyone who's been the slightest bit aware of politics over the past decade knows it.

As soon as the referendum passed, the original plaintiff in the case filed another lawsuit seeking to rule the referendum invalid and unconstitutional. The judge in the case has now ruled in his favor, invalidating the clear will of the people. Smash is right to ask, what's next?

As much as people like this plaintiff would like to think otherwise, the Christian religion was very, very much at the forefront of the lives and culture of the founders of this country. From cemetaries to buildings intended for public use to memorials like Mt. Soledad, symbols of religious faith were considered very appropriate. Are we now, all of us, expected to aggressively erase any hint of religious life from the edifices of our forefathers because a small, small percentage of our population is so insecure in themselves that they can't bear the sight of them? And this expectation remains in the face of overwhelming public opposition to any such action?

This judge is only validating the concept of "minority rules" so often espoused by people outside the mainstream of society. In the past, that kind of attitude was either rightly smothered out of existance or required the people who stood against the societal norm to actually convince people of the correctness of their claims. Such people today don't feel they have to bother with that and judge like this one are only feeding the problem by enabling them to force the rest of us to adopt atheism.