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  • #16
    Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

    I think the separation of church and state thing is misused. I believe that the original intention was to prevent the government from establishing an official state religion. I don't think it means that the government should be intollerant of all religions. It just should not establish an official one.
    When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

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    • #17
      Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

      Franki - I am not trying rewrite history. There is a fair amount of debate about the framers religious convictions and how they felt government should interact with those beliefs. I am of the opinion that if you allow one, you must allow all without exception.

      Originally posted by DSurette View Post
      I don't think it means that the government should be intollerant of all religions. It just should not establish an official one.
      Precisely the point. Allowing a religious symbol on public property may seem innocent and in accordance with the majority view. By allowing such a symbol, it is a nothing less than a tacit endorsement of a given religion.

      Again, the land swap wasn't the problem. It was the fact that congress retained an interest in the land they traded to the VFW, which defeats the purpose of the land swap in the first place.

      I've no problem with allowing religious symbols and beliefs to be displayed on public property, so long as no religion is excluded. This means Jainism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Satanism..... should all be allowed to have their symbols and beliefs displayed on public property. If it is an established religious organization, then go ahead. Every parcel of public land should have an area dedicated to display of religious beliefs.
      Last edited by SpiffPeters; 05-12-2010, 11:05 AM.

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      • #18
        Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

        Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
        Franki - I am not trying rewrite history. There is a fair amount of debate about the framers religious convictions and how they felt government should interact with those beliefs. I am of the opinion that if you allow one, you must allow all without exception.



        Precisely the point. Allowing a religious symbol on public property may seem innocent and in accordance with the majority view. By allowing such a symbol, it is a nothing less than a tacit endorsement of a given religion.

        Again, the land swap wasn't the problem. It was the fact that congress retained an interest in the land they traded to the VFW, which defeats the purpose of the land swap in the first place.

        I've no problem with allowing religious symbols and beliefs to be displayed on public property, so long as no religion is excluded. This means Jainism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Satanism..... should all be allowed to have their symbols and beliefs displayed on public property. If it is an established religious organization, then go ahead. Every parcel of public land should have an area dedicated to display of religious beliefs.
        Spiff, I think that when the time comes that those religions represent the sentiment of the time and beliefs of the fallen, then such displays will be equally appropriate. The towns and cities which begin with "St." represent a time when christians held power and made their mark, that can't be changed without altering the truth. That memorial cross is a similar representation of the sentiment of that time. Moving forward, I think it is appropriate to display religious symbols in certain public places that convey the beliefs of the masses in that area or for that special place. If there is a town with a majority of Jews and they want to dedicate a memorial for their fallen heroes, why not display the star of david? That does not mean we have to include every single religion practiced in the USA, and that exclusion equals some sort of disrespect. I think it is a majority and location issue. Would you remove crosses from a cemetary because it is in sight from a puiblic road? Well, the cross although on public land stood for the sentiment of that time and should remain as a time accurate symbol. To take it down, or add every other religion would be inaccurate and inappropriate.

        How far does the effort to remove symbols of religion go? Should we take down signs that give directions to a place of worship if the sign does not include every single place of worship in that local? Do the rights of those who have no religious beliefs over ride those who do? Why does it have to be an all or nothing for you, if that is not the sentiment of the masses?

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        • #19
          Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

          Franki - All I am saying is that the law either needs to be entirely inclusive or entirely exclusive. There should be no litmus test based on popularity or number of practitioners.

          We can not allow our government to allow one religion over another. Many don't don't trust the government we have right now, why would they trust this government in respect to religion?

          But back to the OP. The vandals are a separate matter and should be dealt with in accordance with the law. The judge should through the book at them if they are caught.

          But if congress is going to authorize a land swap then it needs to be a clean, even trade. Congress should have as much say on what the VFW does with that land as the VFW has on the land they traded. But that isn't the arrangement congress made.

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          • #20
            Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

            As a disclaimer, I almost feel like the I-15 Corridor through the Mojave Desert is like my backyard. I have made the trip in excess of a 1,000 times on my way to Utah or Las Vegas or back to Los Angeles. I just don't drive the Corridor, I get off and drive the dirt roads out into the desert. My favorite roads are Zzyzx Road (super interesting history), Halloran Springs Road, Rasor Road, Cima Road and Excelsior Mine Road. My travels in the area go back over 35-years when I spent a weekend cleaning guzzlers for small animals.

            I cannot remember the cross not being at Sunrise Rock. When the employee of the Park Service file his complaint I thought it was a joke. However, with the help of the ACLU the cross was on it's way to being removed. The first thing Congress did was to designate the cross a National Monument which seemed to save it. Next the ACLU said the cross was still on public property and needed to be torn down.

            This is where the land swap came in. The Sandoz's had been the caretaker of the cross since their friend, the previous caretaker passed away. They had recently moved from the area and put up their 5-acres to swap the one acre the cross sat on. Since the Feds have been trying to eliminate all privately held property in the preserve this made sense. Because the Sandoz now live 150-miles away, they had the title to the property put into the VFW and Veterans Home name.

            It seems now the way to correct the next hurdle would be for the Feds to designate the monument and let the VFW have full and complete control of the property.

            Mark

            *For reference, I am including the legislation used to put this together in the next two posts.
            Last edited by ToUtahNow; 05-12-2010, 02:56 PM.
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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            • #21
              Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

              SEC. 8137. (a) DESIGNATION OF NATIONAL MEMORIAL.—The fivefoot-
              tall white cross first erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars
              of the United States in 1934 along Cima Road in San Bernardino
              County, California, and now located within the boundary of the
              Mojave National Preserve, as well as a limited amount of adjoining
              Preserve property to be designated by the Secretary of the Interior,
              is hereby designated as a national memorial commemorating United
              States participation in World War I and honoring the American
              veterans of that war.
              (b) LEGAL DESCRIPTION.—The memorial cross referred to in
              subsection (a) is located at latitude 35.316 North and longitude
              115.548 West. The exact acreage and legal description of the property
              to be included by the Secretary of the Interior in the national
              World War I memorial shall be determined by a survey prepared
              by the Secretary.
              (c) REINSTALLATION OF MEMORIAL PLAQUE.—The Secretary of
              the Interior shall use not more than $10,000 of funds available0 Fmt 6580 Sfmt 6581 E:\PUBLAW\PUBL117.107 APPS16 PsN: PUBL117
              for the administration of the Mojave National Preserve to acquire
              a replica of the original memorial plaque and cross placed at the
              national World War I memorial designated by subsection (a) and
              to install the plaque in a suitable location on the grounds of the
              memorial.
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                Mojave Cross Land Exchange
                Section 8121 of P.L. No. 108-87, the Dept of Defense Appropriations Act of 2004 (2003)
                Sponsored by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
                SEC. 8121. (a) EXCHANGE REQUIRED.--In exchange for the private property described in subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior shall convey to the Veterans Home of California--Barstow, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #385E (in this section referred to as the "recipient"), all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to a parcel of real property consisting of approximately one acre in the Mojave National Preserve and designated (by section 8137 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2002 (Public Law 107-117; 115 Stat. 2278)) as a national memorial commemorating United States participation in World War I and honoring the American veterans of that war. Notwithstanding the conveyance of the property under this subsection, the Secretary shall continue to carry out the responsibilities of the Secretary under such section 8137.
                (b) CONSIDERATION.--As consideration for the property to be conveyed by the Secretary under subsection (a), Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sandoz of Mountain Pass, California, have agreed to convey to the Secretary a parcel of real property consisting of approximately five acres, identified as parcel APN 569-051-44, and located in the west 1/2 of the northeast 1/4 of the northwest 1/4 of the northwest 1/4 of section 11, township 14 north, range 15 east, San Bernardino base and meridian.
                (c) EQUAL VALUE EXCHANGE; APPRAISAL.--The values of the properties to be exchanged under this section shall be equal or equalized as provided in subsection (d). The value of the properties shall be determined through an appraisal performed by a qualified appraiser in conformance with the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (Department of Justice, December 2000).
                (d) CASH EQUALIZATION.--Any difference in the value of the properties to be exchanged under this section shall be equalized through the making of a cash equalization payment. The Secretary shall deposit any cash equalization payment received by the Secretary under this subsection in the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
                (e) REVERSIONARY CLAUSE.--The conveyance under subsection (a) shall be subject to the condition that the recipient maintain the conveyed property as a memorial commemorating United States participation in World War I and honoring the American veterans of that war. If the Secretary determines that the conveyed property is no longer being maintained as a war memorial, the property shall revert to the ownership of the United States.
                (f) BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT; ADMINISTRATION OF ACQUIRED LAND.--The boundaries of the Mojave National Preserve shall be adjusted to reflect the land exchange required by this section. The property acquired by the Secretary under this section shall become part of the Mojave National Preserve and be administered in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations generally applicable to the Mojave National Preserve
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                  Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
                  There should be no litmus test based on popularity or number of practitioners.
                  Well why not? We are a Democratic Republic, every law of the nation is determined by overall popularity.


                  My defense of such monuments is it does not represent a specific religion. It was designed and created through a democratic process. I think the state can fairly claim the intent is not to endorse any one religion.

                  The extremes the issue of separation of church and state go both ways.

                  To the anti-religious I say the law prevents the government from endorsing religion. It does not protect the people from religion. Religion is part of many peoples lives it is going to continue to be seen throughout our country. I think it is unrealistic to expect the government to shelter those who do not wish to see religion from seeing it. I do not think the government needs to be spending it's time correcting the bad legislative positions of the past. Yes it was a bad idea for the government to allow a religious symbol then.

                  To the religious, our law was very clearly written to prohibit the state from endorsing or recognizing religions. We are not a Christian nation, no matter how many times or ways you say it is that does not make it true. If our founders wanted it to be a Christian nation it would have been so. Instead the only thing they had to say on religion is it should not be included in our laws. If you want the government to represent your religion you are welcome through democratic process to try and change that, but it is completely unreasonable and dishonest to continue to argue as written it already does.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                    [QUOTE=SpiffPeters;296331]Franki - All I am saying is that the law either needs to be entirely inclusive or entirely exclusive. There should be no litmus test based on popularity or number of practitioners.

                    Spiff, we disagree. I believe the display of religious symbols on memorials or public places must have some sound basis reflecting the atmosphere of the time. If you understand what constitutes a religion, and theoretically how many could exist, then you can appreciate the reasoning behind the display of the cross in our history and on that memorial.

                    There does not have to be a blanket inclusion or exclusion simply because it would satisfy your belief or interpretation of the law, or constitution. I believe otherwise, I think such things should be judged on an individual basis. A town that has strong a strong christian following should be able to display certain things on public property to reflect that fact. To include all other religions would be unnecessary in my opinion, and water down the facts about the place and it's people.

                    I find your reasoning similar to how some folks want children's games played, where there is no winner or loser. Life is not like that, the world is not like that. Personally, I don't care for folks who place religion above humanity. I find what were religious holidays are now not much more than commercial opportunities. Regardless of my thoughts on religion, I still feel it is necessary to remain truthful about the period, events and symbols used. We do not have to choose between including all religions to placate those that had nothing to do with the time or people involved, or excuding all religous symbols to placate those who have no faith.

                    There is nothing else I have to say on the subject so, you can have the last word.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                      (e) REVERSIONARY CLAUSE.--The conveyance under subsection (a) shall be subject to the condition that the recipient maintain the conveyed property as a memorial commemorating United States participation in World War I and honoring the American veterans of that war. If the Secretary determines that the conveyed property is no longer being maintained as a war memorial, the property shall revert to the ownership of the United States.
                      So long as the secretary determines the property is being maintained as a war memorial, the recipients retain the property. What if in a generation they add a memorial for other wars? What if 100 years from now it is no longer just a WWI memorial?

                      Frankly I'm fine with the memorial evolving. But what if you get some peacenic, tree hugging, granola chewing, eco terrrorist running the Interior department 100 years from now? He could 'determine' that the memorial no longer satisfies the original terms of the agreement.

                      Regardless this scenario, I'm not sure why congress felt the need to attach strings to this land swap.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                        Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                        There does not have to be a blanket inclusion or exclusion simply because it would satisfy your belief or interpretation of the law, or constitution. I believe otherwise, I think such things should be judged on an individual basis. A town that has strong a strong christian following should be able to display certain things on public property to reflect that fact. To include all other religions would be unnecessary in my opinion, and water down the facts about the place and it's people.
                        I tend to disagree. If a town has a strong christian following they shouldn't be able to use the government or it's resources to display it. Spiff isn't just stating his beliefs or interpretation of the law. The interpretation he comes to is a reasonable and widely held interpretation, how many ways can 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' really be interpreted.
                        To say 'a cross is OK but a Jewish star isn't' is a individual judgment I'm not comfortable with.

                        As I've said they are welcome to change the laws, but I do not consider them reasonable to claim such action is already within the existing law. The courts seem to be coming to the same conclusion consistently. The courts aren't always right but they do tend to be on the side of logic, reason and fact.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                          Originally posted by boytyperanma View Post
                          I tend to disagree. If a town has a strong christian following they shouldn't be able to use the government or it's resources to display it. Spiff isn't just stating his beliefs or interpretation of the law. The interpretation he comes to is a reasonable and widely held interpretation, how many ways can 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' really be interpreted.
                          To say 'a cross is OK but a Jewish star isn't' is a individual judgment I'm not comfortable with.

                          As I've said they are welcome to change the laws, but I do not consider them reasonable to claim such action is already within the existing law. The courts seem to be coming to the same conclusion consistently. The courts aren't always right but they do tend to be on the side of logic, reason and fact.
                          We disagree as well. Towns all across our country allowed the display of "popular" religious symbols around certain holidays for many years. We recognize certain catholic and jewish holidays and exclude other religions. The contradictions are there, and to effectively change either the past or present treatment of religion in our society would require some major changes.

                          I never said a jewish star or any other symbol from any other religion could or should not be publically displayed on public property, but to do so and change the accuracy of history or the sentiment of the masses would be inappropriate in my opinion. Take my opinions out of the equation and go strickly by your opinion regarding interpretation of the law and there can be no federal observance of religious holidays. Keep going, publically funded schools could not show special treatment to children who observe their faith in a way that requires a special time or place, which I believe is currently happening with some muslim children. No more time for silent prayer because it does take place on public property. The question becomes very complicated, and to say spiff, yours or "widely held" interpretation is representative of the American public is debatable.


                          'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' , obviously those words can be interpreted to mean many things.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                            I believe it is important to add history to this. There was a time where the Star of David and the Cross were the only symbols anyone put up as there was not a demand for the others. Today the demand at some level is here and should be taken into consideration. However, the issue is usually not about inclusion it is about removing a symbols to satisfy a small minority.

                            Mark
                            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                              I'm not sure why congress felt the need to attach strings to this land swap.
                              Because they did not want to end up with a Pep Boys, Jack-in-the-Box, or some other "improvement" on this parcel located in the middle of the Mojave Preserve.

                              Tell me where I send my dues to help support maintaining this monument.
                              "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                              John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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                              • #30
                                Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

                                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                                I believe it is important to add history to this. There was a time where the Star of David and the Cross were the only symbols anyone put up as there was not a demand for the others. Today the demand at some level is here and should be taken into consideration. However, the issue is usually not about inclusion it is about removing a symbols to satisfy a small minority.

                                Mark
                                If something was put up in the past I do not think we need to demand it be taken down. It earned it's place in history even if it was a ignorant decision that led to it.

                                For things being put up now I think we've learned our lessons or have at least become less ignorant and going forward inclusion should be the way to go.

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