I’ve mentioned here before that each Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day, sometimes Thanksgiving Day as well, I make my way to the huge, beautiful Veterans’ Cemetery in Westwood. I walk among the tens of thousands of markers and monuments, read the names and dates on many of them – out loud – and thank them for giving their very lives in the service of our country. I thank them for sacrificing their dreams, families and lives, so that we all might live ours.
The vast majority of those monuments are crosses.
Yes, there are quite a few with Jewish stars on them. I’ve seen a few Muslim symbols and even one Buddhist circular one, very pretty.
I’ve seen no atheist markers.
Since our colonial days, and through all our wars, the great majority of our fighting men and women marched into battle beneath our American flag and, whether it was visibly displayed or not, under a cross. It was, and is, a symbol of faith in God, a prayer for His protection and blessing and a fervent hope that He will somehow work on their behalf, to bring them home to their loved ones again.
Most did come home, some wounded, some maimed for life, but still alive. Too many did not. But those who lost their lives fighting for our country, and for our cherished freedoms, died believing that the loving God symbolized by that cross would welcome them into eternal habitations. Their families were comforted in that same belief, and if the body was returned home, it was lovingly laid to rest – under a cross.
I suspect that the young Jewish men and women in our military have had similar experiences, encouraged and strengthened, and finally comforted by the Star of David. Perhaps Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus as well, by their symbols. I have no idea what atheists do in these circumstances. There is obviously no religious symbol to feed hope or comfort loss. There is no expectation of reunion, or afterlife, or anything. There is only death – and nothing.
Perhaps that’s why a growing number of atheists and the atheist-driven ACLU are so militantly and vehemently trying to remove all crosses from public life, off public buildings, out of sight and out of mind.
They have no God; they have no faith in anything except poor, fallible mankind, no intimation of another life beyond this short one. Really, they have only themselves, some transient experiences and a yawning grave ahead. And it makes them furious. Why should all those poor duped, ignorant people be able to smile through their tears, believe through their sacrifice and loss, even somehow be proud that the sadness had a “greater purpose”? Why should people who believe in “fairy tales and fantasy,” as Bill Maher describes faith, be happy, when atheists aren’t?
These days, they’re becoming rabid, unreasoning, desperate. They’re driven by their fury into despicable actions, trying to drive believers into silence, into hiding and intimidated acquiescence.
Ironically, they’re marching under the same cross – but their goal is not to honor the faith it represents, but to destroy it. It has become the symbol of their quest, their obsession. Whenever they see a cross, they are encouraged … to tear it down. To defame it. To declare that they are offended and that their “rights” are being limited or deprived. That the cross in public view – on government property or anywhere they can see it – is a violation of the First Amendment.
But wait. The same amendment that declares “Congress shall make no law respecting [concerning] an establishment of religion” immediately goes on “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof“! What about that part of the amendment? It’s clearly saying “Congress, don’t even think about making one religion a state religion – let each citizen proclaim his own faith as he will, without denying another the same privilege!”
Astounding as it would be to our Founding Fathers, our courts, from the local all the way to the Supreme, are being bombarded with attempts by atheists to remove the cross and any religious symbols, mainly Christian and some Jewish, from any public display.
The rabid ACLU often acts unilaterally, not waiting for a citizen even to raise an objection. Currently, their lawyers are even trying – in the Supreme Court – to have a war memorial cross in the Mojave National Preserve, far removed from the highway, taken down. It couldn’t possibly “offend” anybody but a passing motorist, and it was erected 74 years ago as a memorial to young Americans who had given their lives to defend the very freedom the ACLU wants to abolish.
Since 1989, this same anti-religion group has brought suit after suit against a 29-foot war memorial cross on Mount Soledad in La Jolla, Calif. The case is now before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; that’s the same misguided gaggle of black-robed miscreants who sided with atheist Michael Newdow in declaring “under God” in our hallowed Pledge of Allegiance “unconstitutional.”
Very interestingly, Peter Eliasberg, arguing before the Supreme Court to remove the Mojave cross, actually said, “A cross is the predominant symbol of Christianity, and it signifies that Jesus is the Son of God and died to redeem mankind.” And this is his argument against it! This is what offends him, though nobody makes him affirm or even recognize it. Just the fact that somebody else believes it, and wants to symbolize that faith, repels him. He wants the Supreme Court, sworn to uphold the Constitution, to disallow the very freedom of expression the Constitution mandates – because he is offended by that expression.
It escapes him, and almost every atheist, that his atheism is a faith system, based on a belief there is no God, which he cannot prove – versus a belief in a Creator God (mentioned in our Declaration of Independence), for which evidence is everywhere. And he is determined that his faith system shall be ratified by the courts as if established by Congress – in effect, that Congress shall make a law respecting an establishment of religion!
It’s an abominable crusade, and atheists are using the cross for their own twisted purpose, as the chosen focal point for their hatred of faith and their anger at people of faith.
Winston Churchill said it long ago: “Whether you believe or disbelieve – it is a wicked thing to take away a man’s hope.”