The Mount Soledad Cross in California is an unconstitutional religious display on government land and must come down, a liberal federal judge in San Diego ruled late Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the cross, which honors Korean War veterans, must be removed within 90 days — a decision Burns knew could result in the case being sent back to the U.S. Supreme Court. Burns immediately stayed his order pending an expected appeal.
The lawsuit, which was first filed in 2006 by the American Civil Liberties Union, was brought forth on behalf of the Jewish Veterans of the United States of American and several other Southern California residents.
“We support the government paying tribute to those who served bravely in our country’s armed forces,” the ACLU’s Daniel Mach, said in a statement to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. “But we should honor all of our heroes under one flag, not just one particular religious symbol.”
Bruce Bailey, who is the President of the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, expressed disappointment in the ruling.
“It is unfortunate that the Ninth Circuit left the judge no choice but to order the tearing down of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross,” Bailey said. “However, we are grateful for the judge’s stay that gives us an opportunity to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court.”
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, said in a statement to Fox News that they will continue to “fight for this memorial and the selfless sacrifice and service of all the millions of veterans it represents; it is the least we can do for those who gave so much to us all.”
The ruling, which came down the week before Christmas, will no doubt add to the War on Christmas narrative, and flies in the face of the will of the American people. Survey after survey has shown that the vast majority of Americans say that more religion in society will have a positive impact, and think that liberal justices are out of line, being overly aggressive in their made up interpretation of a “separation of church and state.”