On Wednesday, Feb 27, the United States Supreme Court heard the case the American Legion vs. American Humanist Association. In 1925, the American Legion Post in Bladensburg, MD erected a monument to honor 49 WWI veterans from Bladensburg who lost their lives during the war. The memorial is known as the “Peace Cross” and has been there for 93 years.
The memorial stands on property publicly owned and maintained. The humanists claim that it violates the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. The clause states that the government shall make no laws respecting or establishing a religion. They reason that since the monument is located on public property that somehow the government is respecting or trying to establish a religion.
The case was first brought through the 4th District Court. A group of lawyers known as First Liberty argued the case on behalf of the American Legion. They lost, so the case has moved on to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court rules against the American Legion, the memorial will have to be removed. It also would set a precedent for future cases. What if the American Humanist Association decided to go after Arlington, a federal, publicly-owned and maintained cemetery? Any or all federally owned military cemeteries could be forced to remove crosses, Stars of David or any other symbols that could be considered religious, no matter what the religion.
Since this case has been in the courts for the past five years, pollster George Barna has done a poll, with 84 percent of Americans supporting the American Legion and only two percent favoring the American Humanist Association. How would you vote?
Ron Wilson, Owosso