It Wasn’t Me

Yes, I went to Las Vegas for a few days.  And yes, the now-famous Mojave Cross is sort of near the I-15 on the road from L.A. to Vegas, a reasonably short drive from the Cima Road exit.  And yes, I think that the Federal government ought to have no business displaying a cross (that’s not on a gravestone) or going out of its way to make sure that a cross it should never have countenanced in the first place stays up through a transparent shuffle. 

And yes, I think that the Supreme Court blew the call, by one vote — I’m looking at you, Justice Kennedy, for selectively (dare I say, “intentionally”?) ignoring the critical issue of how the cross is actually used, as an object of worship and religious veneration rather than as a memorial to war dead, and instead emphasizing the (to me but not to everyone) irrelevant issue of how long the cross has been there.

But that doesn’t mean that I approve of someone stealing the thing.  That’s obnoxious, it’s inflammatory, it does nothing to reconcile the situation, it does nothing to ease hardened feelings on either side of the issue.  The dispute should be resolved in court, not with some idiot armed with bolt cutters.  After all, cross supporters are just going to go back and build a new one, the same as they have for decades there.  And assuming the land swap is permitted to go through, well, the VFW can put up a cross on its own land all it likes.  So this doesn’t solve anything.  It doesn’t help the cause of separating church and state.  It’s not political speech.  It just pisses people off without accomplishing anything thereby.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Yep. Publicly distance yourself while secretly smiling.

  2. Ah, Jinx… Honestly even those who believe it should go have to know that this, as stated, would do nothing more than create even more steadfast insistance to replace it. And worsen the "us vs them" mentality. When it's all done in the courts it's a matter of law.No matter how cynical someone may be, underhanded means are not justified by the ends. Right?

  3. Teacher is correct. As much as I like the idea of separation of church and state, I like the idea of the rule of law even more.

  4. Athiest vs Religious has always been a tricky thing and I'll be honest, it saddens me a bit when either side loses sight of the big picture, which includes things like The Rule of Law as well as basic sensitivity.We'll all get the 'truth' sooner than any of us really want; no need to be snippy at each other while we wait. :)Or at least I've tried not to be snippy…..

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