The Mojave Cross has become famous among veterans and in the law books. The homemade seven-foot-tall cross was erected in a remote spot of the Mojave Desert in 1934 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as a memorial to World War I veterans. For nine years the Cross has been the target of lawsuits by the ACLU representing atheists who claim they are offended by the Cross and want judges to rule that it violates the First Amendment because it is on government property. In order for atheists to claim they are offended by the sight of the Cross, they would have to travel 10 miles from the nearest highway and 30 miles from the nearest town, across a rocky terrain.
In 2001, a federal judge ordered this Cross to be covered until the legal issues were finalized. It was covered by plywood, which looked rather like an unsold billboard. Congress then intervened and transferred to private ownership the small plot of land on which the Cross stood. That should have ended the dispute since obviously a cross can be on private land regardless of how much it annoys the neighbors.
In 2008, a federal court ordered the Cross to be removed anyway. The Supreme Court by 5-to-4 reversed that decision, ruling that “The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion’s role."
That ruling should have allowed the Mojave Cross to stand as it had done for 76 years, but two weeks later the Cross was stolen. Then, some volunteers installed a replica of the original Mojave Cross. But the next day, the Park Service removed it on orders from the U.S. Justice Department. President Obama could easily have told the Justice Department to leave the Cross alone, but he sided with the atheists and with those who sneer at our veterans, and Obama said nothing.
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