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Opinion

Readers React: It’s simply unacceptable to honor all war dead with a Christian cross

Constitutionality Of Memorial Cross For WWI Military Fallen In Maryland Debated
A 40-foot cross that honors 49 fallen World War I soldiers from Prince Georges County stands at a busy intersection in Bladensberg, Md.
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

To the editor: The symbolic messages of monuments erected on public land, like language itself, do not remain static through passing time. (“The Supreme Court shouldn’t bless a giant cross on public property,” editorial, Feb. 28)

Statues honoring Robert E. Lee were erected, at least ostensibly, to honor the Confederate leader’s courage in defending romanticized southern traditions; but lately historical analysis has lain bare the racism that permeated emplacement of Lee’s statues, thus compelling their removal from public land.

Erection of a Christian cross on public land to honor local men killed in war was once deemed fitting irrespective of individual faiths of the fallen and their survivors. But now the role of an overbearing religious majority in erecting such crosses has become apparent.

The L.A. Times editorial board has it right: The U.S. Supreme Court should rule to remove the Bladensburg, Md., cross from public property.

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Edgar M. Martinez, Santa Maria

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To the editor: While I support strict separation of church and state, I’m troubled by those who would take down the nearly 100-year-old cross in Maryland honoring a town’s World War I dead because it’s on government property.

What about all those crosses in Arlington National Cemetery and other veterans’ cemeteries on government-owned land? Some reasonable discretion seems appropriate.

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Tom Eichhorn, Newport Beach

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To the editor: No matter what action the Supreme Court takes, the 1st Amendment’s ban on the “establishment” of religion in government ceased when “In God we trust” appeared on our money and the phrase “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

The only argument now is over whose religion. The “establishment” ship has long since sailed.

John Sherwood, Topanga

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