A lone cross was erected on a remote California mountaintop with the most admirable of intentions – to honor World War I veterans for their bravery and patriotism. Now that cross is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
In 1934, a private organization built an 8-foot Christian cross on top of a mountain in the Mojave National Preserve (public land in California) to honor World War I vets. In 1999, someone asked the National Park Service for permission to build a stupa, a type of Buddhist memorial, beside the cross. The request was denied, under the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause. This seemed unfair. So in 2001, Frank Buono, a retired employee of the National Park Service objected to the cross, saying that it violated the Establishment Clause. Read the rest of this entry »