Watchwoman on the Wall

Watchwoman on the Wall

Momentous victory: Cross Stays at Mojave Vet’s Memorial (ACLU looses)

Court: Mojave Cross Can Stay


by Karla Dial

Mojave Desert Cross Saved

Religious freedom advocates won a momentous victory this week, when a federal judge signed a settlement allowing a contested cross to stand on a one-acre spit of land in the middle of the Mojave Desert.


The court battle over the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, first erected in the 1930s, has been going on for 11 years. Atheists, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, complained in 2001 that the “religious symbol” stood on government property maintained by the National Park Service. They said that violates the separation of church and state.

But on Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Timlin authorized a land transfer deal, essentially allowing the government to cede the land to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Congress authorized the land transfer in 2003, but the ACLU has been fighting to block it ever since.

“This is a great victory because there are literally hundreds of veterans memorials across the country with religious imagery,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, a religious-liberties law firm that worked on the case. “If this memorial had been struck down as unconstitutional then all those other memorials would be in peril, especially the World War I memorials which are uniquely, almost exclusively in the shape of a cross all over the world.”


The legal wranglings over the cross went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 2010 that it is not an unconstitutional instance of the government endorsing religion. The land transfer was sent back to the lower court for review at that time.

The cross has suffered along the way: At one point, a court ordered it to be covered with a box until the case was resolved. After the Supreme Court ruled in its favor, vandals tore the eight-foot cross from its base atop Sunrise Rock.

The VFW plans to restore it, as it is the only memorial to veterans of World War I designated as a national monument by Congress.

After all the steps of the settlement are complete, the National Park Service will gain five acres in the area, and the VFW post in Barstow, Calif., will own the acre around the cross. The trade should be complete later this year; afterward, the Park Service will fence the area around the cross and install signs noting that it is private property.


Mt. Soledad Cross, San Diego

The Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial isn’t the only one to face such challenges. The case of a cross at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial in  has been appealed to the Supreme Court, and Marines at nearby Camp Pendleton faced challenges this month from atheists who want two crosses to memorialize service members lost in Afghanistan and Iraq removed.


Learn more about the history of the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial.

Download a song to help raise money to defend the memorials.

Learn more about the Liberty Institute.

Related content:

  1. House Passes Two War Memorial Bills
  2. Utah Highway Crosses Modified
  3. Federal Court Orders New York City to Back Off Policy
  4. Churches Win Major Victory at Supreme Court
  5. Bronx Household of Faith Turned Away by High Court

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Posted by Donna Calvin — Thursday, April 26, 2012


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Comments read comments(3)
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posted September 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm

What i do not understood is actually how you are now not really a lot more smartly-favored than you may be now. You are so intelligent. You realize thus considerably in relation to this subject, made me in my view believe it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women aren’t interested until it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs great. All the time maintain it up!

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posted April 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Our Constitution deals with God given liberties that are to be upheld by the government.

Civil liberties and liberties that are given to us by the state, can also be taken away by the state.
The ACLU wants to control what liberties (if any) we have.

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posted April 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

ACLU was born out of a conscientious objector’s hate of everything American back in the early 1900’s. These were supposed “Elite of the Elite’s.” Harvard, Yale and hobnobbing with Morgans and Rothchilds.

As if that wasn’t enough, these ACLU embryonic types dabbled in marxism and European style communism. Voila! Presto! Born was the ACLU. Destruction of America’s:1)Religion, 2)Education, 3) Financial (capitalism), and 4) governance (US Constitution, Bill of Rights) was (and is) their stated objective. This is proof positive there is nothing “American” in “American Civil Liberty Union” American…it is outright marxist/leninist far left philosophy bent on destroying everything American. ACLU’s untimely demise, would be a welcome eradication of a parasitic blight in America’s legal profession. God Bless America.Amen.

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