Supreme Court to Weigh Fate Of Mojave Cross

September 29, 2009

Author: Adelle Banks

Source: Religion News Service

Does an offended observer who drives by a cross-shaped war memorial in the middle of the desert have a right to call for its removal?

And can that 7-foot cross stand without violating the constitution’s prohibition of government establishment of religion?

The Supreme Court will consider those questions in the case of a cross-shaped World War I memorial that sits in California’s Mojave National Preserve when it hears arguments next Wednesday (Oct. 7).

Church-state separationists are watching closely, along with veterans organizations concerned about how they are represented by memorials—and whether the case could lead to removal of other monuments.

The case has landed in the high court’s hands eight years after Frank Buono, a former assistant superintendent of the preserve, first filed suit, saying he was offended that other religions beyond his own Christian faith were not represented near the memorial site.