The majority decision was written by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He elaborated on the important difference between complete exclusion of religion from the public square and proper enforcement of the Establishment Clause.
Kennedy wrote: "The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm. ... The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion's role in society. A relentless and all-pervasive attempt to exclude religion from every aspect of public life could itself become inconsistent with the Constitution."
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. That wasn't an easy theft because the Cross was bolted to its foundation on Sunrise Rock.
The next day, an anonymous letter was delivered to a local newspaper purporting to explain the motive for the theft. The newspaper printed the letter but did not vouch for its authenticity.
The letter-writer falsely claimed that the monument represented "favoritism and exclusion" as well as "discrimination or hatred" against non-Christians. That interpretation was refuted by the majority of the Supreme Court, as well as by the inscription on the cross stating that it honored "the Dead of All Wars."
On May 20, some volunteers installed a near-perfect replica of the original Mojave Cross. The next day, the Park Service removed it, apparently on orders from the Justice Department, and Obama said nothing.
The Mojave Desert cross is only one of dozens of lawsuits by which atheists are trying to get supremacist judges to expunge all crosses and Ten Commandments monuments from sight. A 29-foot cross on San Diego's Mount Soledad, overlooking beautiful La Jolla, has been in litigation since 1989. This appeal is now before a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of two judges appointed by Bill Clinton and a third appointed by Jimmy Carter, all three of whom have previously issued rulings hostile to religion.
The Christian majority in the United States had better wake up to how their religion is under attack by the U.S. executive and judicial branches of the federal government. Only a new legislative branch elected in November can protect the First Amendment from the atheists.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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