Thursday, March 10, 2005

First Amendment Stupidity

An incomprehensible story regarding the removal of an historically significant Cross.

As you read this article, you will likely be infuriated by the legal knot into which the ACLU and others have tied us.

Example of Idiocy Point One:

The symbol was ordered removed in 1991 by a federal judge.

Why? Simply because the Cross exists on San Diego City parkland.

Example of Idiocy Point Two:

In 1998, the city sold the cross and a half-acre of surrounding land for $106,000 to the nonprofit Mount Soledad Memorial Association, the highest bidder and the same agency that has maintained the cross since 1952 when it was city owned. Opponents say the sale created an illegal endorsement of religion, while supporters say the towering cross is a tribute to war veterans.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year refused without comment to review the city’s appeal of a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the sale was designed to favor a buyer who would keep the cross. A federal court also voided a 1994 sale.

The city attorney issued a legal opinion last week saying the donation would be for a religious purpose and therefore infringe on state law.

Example of Idiocy Point Three:

Some council members also suggested that turning over the property wouldn’t clear up the legal problems.

“For us to transfer our cross from city ownership to federal ownership leaves us in the same constitutional position,” said Councilman Scott Peters, who proposed a motion against the transfer.

Mayor Dick Murphy supported the donation.

“The Mount Soledad Memorial cross is a very important historic symbol,” he said. “This city council ... needs to exhaust every possible effort to preserve the cross.”

I'd vote for Dick Murphy. He comes across as the only reasonable player in this farce.

Example of Lousy AP Reporting:

In November, voters rejected a ballot measure to let the city resell the land to the highest bidder.

What does this mean? What is the context?

Exasperating story for two reasons:

First, the entire story reads like a legal brief and is confusing and non-sensical. To give away the property would be an endorsement of religion? Who will be forced to go to church as a result of this? Whose children will be forced to pray in school as a result of this? The obvious answer is: Nobody. Pure, unadulterated nonsense.

Second, lousy AP reporting provides no context. Could it because context would show the anti-Cross folks to be the lunatics they appear to be?