The Bladensburg Peace Cross can stay! The US Supreme Court ruling Thursday, June 20th said, “that the display does not violate the Constitution’s establishment clause because of its longevity and multiple messages.”
Associate Justice Samuel Alito said, “The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent. A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine, will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion.”
Alito further said, “Where monuments, symbols, and practices with a longstanding history follow in the tradition of the First Congress in respecting and tolerating different views, endeavoring to achieve inclusivity and nondiscrimination, and recognizing the important role religion plays in the lives of many Americans, they are likewise constitutional.”
The Peace Cross
In my first article about the Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland I said, “The American Legion can and should appeal to the Supreme Court.”
The Fourth Circuit Court ordered the cross removal even though it commemorates 49 men from Bladensburg who lost their lives in the First World War. However, Chief Judge Gregory wrote then, “This memorial stands in witness to the valor, endurance, courage, and devotion of the 49 residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland ‘who lost their lives in the Great War for the liberty of the world.’ I cannot agree that a monument so conceived and dedicated and that bears such witness violates the letter or spirit of the very constitution these heroes died to defend.”
US Supreme Court ruling on June 20th was 7-2. Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the dissenters. The majority view was that the cross is a World War I memorial and not an endorsement of Christianity.