Apparently the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, has decided that the 8 foot cross which has served as a war memorial for some 75 years on top of Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Preserve doesn’t violate the 1st Amendment.
As I understand the court’s decision, based upon a quick sound byte from NBC news, the conclusion was that sometimes a cross is just a sign of respect for the dead and carries with it no religious significance.
Right, and if it was a crescent you’d be hearing yells of indignation all over the place.
Be that as it may, one needs to consider (1) 75 years of tradition, (2) the VFW donators were most likely Christian and (3) the overwhelming majority of the World War I dead it was intended to memorialize were Christian.
If you consider the three prongs of the Lemon Test, clearly the cross has a secular purpose and just as clearly it doesn’t lead to excessive entanglement of the government with religion. The only real question is does it promote religion?
The conservative majority of the court seemed to think no. Personally I would have erred on the side of caution and declared the cross unconstitutional.