The Corner

Law & the Courts

Does a War Memorial in the Shape of a Cross Offend the Constitution?

Yes, according to a majority of the Fourth Circuit.

The case involves the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a memorial to area men who died in the First World War. It has stood since 1925 without bothering anyone until in 2014 the American Humanist Association felt that the monument violates the Constitution’s establishment clause.

The district judge tossed the case, holding that the tiny amount of government money that is spent on upkeep does not endorse religion. But the Fourth Circuit, well stuffed with Obama appointees, held 2-1 that this offends the First Amendment. On the petition for rehearing en banc the court declined by 8-6.

I write about the case in my latest Forbes article.

College students try to silence speakers who offend them and groups like the American Humanist Association try to remove monuments that offend them. The intolerant have been empowered.

Unless the Supreme Court takes this case and reverses, the precedent will spark a great many similar suits to expunge every trace of religion from public life. That isn’t what the Founders meant with the establishment clause.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular

White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More
Elections

The 24 Democrats

Every presidential primary ends with one winner and a lot of losers. Some might argue that one or two once-little-known candidates who overperform low expectations get to enjoy a form of moral victory. (Ben Carson and Rick Perry might be happy how the 2016 cycle ended, with both taking roles in Trump’s cabinet. ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More