Over 100 members of Congress have signed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to take up the case of the Peace Cross Memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland. The monument was erected by the community in 1925 to honor the 49 fallen local veterans of World War I. It stood as a cherished local landmark for 90 years, until an atheist group, the American Humanist Association (who I think need some more lessons in humanity) convinced a federal judge to order it removed on grounds that a monument with a religious symbol such as the cross on public land violates the Constitution.
The brief argues to the SCOTUS that this was a gross distortion of the Establishment Clause, and that a monument to the dead with a cross is simply a tradition, and having one on public land doesn’t constitute a government endorsement of Christianity as the state religion. Otherwise, we’d have to remove every cross or Star of David from all the tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery, which will probably be their next crusade. And they’ll want to grab their jackhammers if they learn that the cornerstone of the Memorial Amphitheater laid there in 1915 contains copies of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bible.
This is sadly typical of the confusing, infuriating and politicized decisions about displays of religious symbols in the public square that have been handed down by lower courts and that have wreaked havoc on historic monuments and been allowed to fester because the SCOTUS has never issued a ruling clarifying the issue. This seems like a good time for such a clarification, now that we have a majority of Justices who understand that what matters is not their personal politics or who whines the loudest, but the intent of the Founders as expressed in the Constitution.
Personally, I doubt the Founders, who believed in freedom from government interference in the free exercise of religion so strongly that they went to war over it and put it in the very First Amendment, meant for that Amendment to be cited as grounds to ban crosses that memorialize US military heroes or Christmas trees in city parks or schools holding Easter egg hunts. If the atheists really believe the Founders would have backed them on this, then they need to stop claiming they don't take leaps of faith.