Friday, December 13, 2013

U.S. Judge Orders Dismantling of Mountaintop Cross

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial, San Diego, CA
  • Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial, San Diego, CA

A familiar debate has erupted in Southern California where a U.S. judge has ordered a cross removed from a mountaintop because it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The order came down Dec. 12 from U.S. district Judge Larry Burns, who has ordered the dismantling of the 43-foot cross atop Mount Soledad in San Diego. The judge has ordered the cross, which was erected in 1954 in honor of Korean War veterans, to be removed within 90 days.

A cross has stood atop Boise's Table Rock for almost as long. The six-story cross was erected in 1956. And in 1999, an Illinois atheist unsuccessfully sought its dismantling. But the suit triggered approximately 10,000 people to march on the Idaho Capitol in support of the cross.

The Table Rock Cross has been maintained and lit by 2,600 LED lamps for years by the Idaho Jaycees Inc. The land was originally owned by the Idaho State Department of Correction, but the 3,080-square-foot parcel became the property of the Jaycees in the 1970s.

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