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A case was brought before the Supreme Court this week about a cross that was erected on public property. The law states that religious symbols can not be displayed on public land.
A 5-foot cross was placed on federal government land in the Mojave National Preserve to honor soldiers who died during WW1.
An article in Slate provides the following review of the interchange between Justice Scalia and Peter Eliasberg—the ACLU lawyer whose client objects to crosses on government land.
Eliasberg “suggests partway through the morning that perhaps a less controversial World War I memorial might consist of “a statue of a soldier which would honor all of the people who fought for America in World War I and not just the Christians.”
“The cross doesn’t honor non-Christians who fought in the war?” Scalia asks, stunned.
“A cross is the predominant symbol of Christianity, and it signifies that Jesus is the son of God and died to redeem mankind for our sins,” replies Eliasberg, whose father and grandfather are both Jewish war veterans.
“It’s erected as a war memorial!” replies Scalia. “I assume it is erected in honor of all of the war dead. The cross is the most common symbol of … of … of the resting place of the dead.”
Eliasberg dares to correct him: “The cross is the most common symbol of the resting place of Christians. I have been in Jewish cemeteries. There is never a cross on a tombstone of a Jew.”
“I don’t think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead the cross honors are the Christian war dead,” thunders Scalia. “I think that’s an outrageousconclusion!”
I think it is time for Scalia to hang it up. The man is senile. How is it possible that a Supreme Court judge does not understand religion? The bigger issue is that Scalia seems to miss the point of this case.