Skip to comments.Ruling may mean end of Mojave cross "Separation of Church & State again"
Posted on 07/26/2002 6:36:18 PM PDT by gitmo
A 6-foot cross in the Mojave National Preserve must go, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union argued the cross violated the Constitution because it was a religious symbol on public land, and U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Timlin of Riverside ruled in their favor.
The cross atop an outcropping 11 miles south of Interstate 15 between Barstow and Las Vegas dates to 1934.
A prospector, John "Riley" Bembry, raised a cross to honor World War I veterans and asked a friend, almost as a dying wish, to make sure it remained there.
After the ACLU filed its March 2001 lawsuit against the National Park Service, Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, got a bill through the House making the cross a national landmark. CBS Morning News featured the cross and its supporters.
"Unless the government is willing to open up the land to everyone, in a come one, come all manner, then the government has no business allowing one symbol," said Peter Eliasberg, staff attorney of the ACLU's Southern California chapter.
The Press-Enterprise The cross, constructed from pipes painted white and cemented to outcropping, is off Cima Road in the Mojave National Preserve.
The U.S. Department of Justice represented the National Park Service. It was uncertain if Timlin's ruling would be appealed, said Justice Department spokeswoman Dana Perino.
"We haven't had a chance to review the opinion yet," Perino said.
Timlin's 21-page ruling was filed about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Timlin cited a 1996 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in the Separation of Church and State Committee vs. the city of Eugene, Ore.
"The presence of the cross on federal land conveys a message of endorsement of religion," Timlin wrote.
An appeal would be heard in the 9th Circuit court.
Pipes painted white and cemented to the outcropping next to Cima Road formed the latest version of the cross, put there by Henry Sandoz, a former state transportation worker who lives on the preserve's edge in a spot off Interstate 15 called Mountain Pass. The prospector asked Sandoz to look after the cross before his death in 1984.
Sandoz said Wednesday he was surprised by the judge's decision.
"I figured it was over, and I figured it would maintain," said Sandoz, 63, who has hunted deer in the preserve for years.
Sandoz, his wife, Wanda, and roughly 50 other people have held Easter services at the cross, atop a pile of boulders locals call Sunrise Rock.
"We're devastated," said Wanda, 58, who has baked cinnamon rolls for those Easter-morning services. "But I still don't think it will go. Maybe I'm hard-headed or something. I really can't believe it will come down."
Although the Sandozes say they have religious convictions, the couple said Bembry wasn't much of a religious man.
"He didn't put it there with any religious significance whatsoever," Wanda Sandoz said. "To him, it was there strictly to honor veterans."
The ACLU argued the cross is clearly recognized as an important symbol of Christianity.
"One thing important to remember is the government has no more business putting up a sign saying 'God is dead,' " Eliasberg said. "And another thing, this is not an anti-veterans lawsuit. There are many veterans of this country who are not Christians."
And we certainly can't have any of that, can we ?
Since the Cross was there before the land was federalized wouldn't the US taking over land with a cross on it be a violation of Church/State in itself?
Keep this bozo away from federal property like the American Cemetery above Omaha beach.
Second, sell the little spot of land under the cross for one dollar to a memorial society for the man who put it up.
NOW DOES EVERYONE SEE WHY THE JUDICIAL NOMINEES ARE BEING HELD UP BY THE RATS?
NOW DOES EVERYONE SEE WHY YOU DON'T THROW YOUR VOTE AWAY TO THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY?
THE GORE NOMINEES WOULD BE THE COPY OF THIS IDIOT, THE BUSH NOMINEES HAVE BEEN VERY GOOD SO FAR, BUT THE SENATE WILL NOT CONFIRM THEM.
WE MUST WIN THE SENATE BACK IN NOVEMBER. IT IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE HOUSE.
[Justice Sandra Day] O'Connor:
" ... sends a message to non-adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community."
A perfect example of a statement issued by a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, which is not lawful, it is not Constitutional; you do not have to be a judge to know this; furthermore, her statement is not enforceable.
The Constitution does not give an absolute right to define what is, nor what was, to a judge; and no Amendment to the Constitution has yet done that dishonor.
Now, to the Justice's statement.
The First Amendment was written by people who knew how to read and write, they worked their documents over and over, to get them close to their original intent.
Why would they do that?
Because the very term, word, expression: "law" meant to them, fixed, adherence, firm, stability.
For example, would that your heirs decide that because you are a "dead old white guy," that original intent of your last will and testament which you labored over to express your perpetual wishes ... be all diluted to meaning - less - ness by your heirs' decision to make of your words what meets their demands, "right now?!"
You would be aghast (but perhaps not, knowing your heirs) to have your meaning spun otherwise.
What was the point of your labors, your sculpting the words to make them a memorial for the ages, when the "contemporary interpretations" of law is that the purpose of writing law, is to put down on paper mere words to be scrabbled into what pleases competiting lawyers in the ring.
Why bother with sentence structure if original intent does not matter; why not just list words?
Rediculous, such a game; no value to law is in it.
For law to have value, it must be respected for its original intent; same for your last will and testatment.
The original intent of the Framers and Founding Fathers, was not that of Thomas Jefferson's 1806 letter alone, wherein he mentioned the "separation of church and state;" the other old dead white guys' combined efforts are vastly more important --- they wrote it, and they approved it for transmission to the new states (which, by the way, had not yet totalled thirteen) ... with the blessing of George Washington.
The original intent of the Framers and Founding Fathers had nothing to do with "sending a message" to non-believers in man's Creator, that they were members, let alone guaranteed members, of the American political community. The Framers and Founders did not do this, "sending a message," because no such guarantee was required.
In fact, for all who bother to notice, in the body of the Constitution (that's the part prior to reading the Bill of Rights), is the matter of there not being a religious test for government office:
Article VI, Section III:
" ... no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
That's right; the Justice has her history incorrect and has improperly applied her solution upon the First Amendment where her solution has no standing.
Now some legal scholar may come along and try to be very particular about that Section and its application, but I challenge their attempt to make logical their particulars in the face of their manifest transgressions of the Framers and Founders original intent as well as what they said in their sculpted works, The First Ten Amendments.
Such "legal experts' would have you peer narrowly where they want and wide where they want, and not challenge their corrupt "interpretations" which they dub "living" --- they sound like fascists who'll tell you that "Work makes you free" as they march you off into a controlled state.
Our individual Liberty and our individual responsibility, our duty, require us to exert our authority as the people, to bear down upon judges, lawyers, and "legal experts" who mock the sincere efforts of George Washington and our forebears.
You cannot tell me honestly, that he was a man who believed in a government by judiciary. Thomas Jefferson was his Secretary of State, and he also did not believe in a government by judiciary; same is true for Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury; and true for Knox, Secretary of War --- all men determined to form a new federal government responsive to laws made by the duly elected representatives of the people, sitting as the Congress.
Jefferson was a States Rights advocate, who thereby sought the strength of the democratic-republic structure against what he and his fellow "Republicans" feared could become a purely national American government, sans the individual States.
Yet among the "Republicans" were social democrats, then inflamed by the French Revolution, and they were inclined to point out Thomas Jefferson as their model --- but his conceptions for protection of the people against government, by way of the democratic-republic bode well against a government by judiciary, and against the absolute committee of the French Revolutionaries massacring French citizenry for their political incorrectness.
The French model of social "democracy" headed by supreme committees of social judges was not what Jefferson would promote as a check against tyranny.
And checks against government are the purpose of The First Ten Amendments to the Constitution.
The "test" to apply, is not Justice O'Connor's misconception.
Instead, the test is:
Was the protection from government, which is notably protection affirmed by the very First Amendment, denied the petitioner because Congress made a law respecting an establishment of religion, or Congress made a law prohibiting the free exercise of religion?