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  • ToUtahNow
    started a topic Mojave Memorial Cross

    Mojave Memorial Cross

    I don't know how many of you have followed this but there was a 7' cross out in the Mojave Desert which was erected back in 1934 in memory of those lost in WW I. It was on Public Land but had been maintained by volunteers over the last 75+ years. I believe the original cross has been reconstructed at least once but I am not sure.

    The ACLU wanted the cross removed based on a separation of Church and State. The courts ruled in favor of the ACLU and made the volunteers cover the cross while the decision was appealed. Congress found out what was going on and approved a land swap for a parcel owned by the VFW which was of equal value. The ACLU then sued saying Congress should not be allowed to do land exchanges even though they are done all of the time.

    On April 28, 2010 the case was finally decided by the Supreme Court. The court found the land exchange to be legal and the cross can stay for now. Over the weekend some low-life tore the cross down and made off with it. I sincerely hope the vandals are caught and prosecutes to the full extent of the law. I would also like to see the 7' cross replaced with a 70' cross. Not that the 7' cross was not significant enough but to show the losers who stole the cross their efforts were futile.

    Mark

    BTW: For those who travel the 15, this cross is out in the middle of no where off of Cima Road.
    Last edited by ToUtahNow; 05-11-2010, 01:05 PM.

  • toolaholic
    replied
    Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

    Violence works for Me , where are they ?

    Leave a comment:


  • ToUtahNow
    replied
    Re: Mojave Memorial Cross

    Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
    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.

    http://www.donttearmedown.com/

    Leave a comment:


  • boytyperanma
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob D.
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ToUtahNow
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Frankiarmz
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • boytyperanma
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • SpiffPeters
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frankiarmz
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • boytyperanma
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ToUtahNow
    replied
    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

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  • ToUtahNow
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ToUtahNow
    replied
    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.

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  • SpiffPeters
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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