A demonstration was held in front of the Supreme Court building. Watch the video of the speakers here, and WASH president Samantha McGuire speaks at 24:00. The case was based on the idea that the war memorial that is a cross doesn't represent non-Christian soldiers. The cross is large and imposing, it is located on land owned by the State of Maryland, and it doesn't have any obvious or easily seen reference to a war, but rather it just looks like a big cross.
I'd like to add another argument that is actually a defense of Christians. The cross is a symbol of the Christian religion, recognized by both Christians and non-Christians. The argument that a cross can be a secular or historical monument, rather than a symbol of a religion, is a ridiculous, absurd statement. I don't understand why Christians will sit by silently and allow this argument to be made into legal precedents. It is an outrageous insult to Christianity to claim that their symbol is nothing more than a secular marker.
Naturally, non-Christians like Jews, Muslims, and Humanists have more to object to in this memorial than Christians do. It simply doesn't represent non-Christian veterans as a war memorial. Memorials to veterans who sacrificed to fight a war for the country are close to the most honored public art, as a tribute to their patriotism and personal sacrifice for the good of the country. But the United States is based on the idea of cooperation between people of all national backgrounds and faiths, and memorials shouldn't be based on a symbol of only one religion.
The principal is greater than just one memorial. The principal is whether the use of a religious symbol can be justified as a secular or historical marker that is independent of the religion. Why are Christians silently sitting by when the symbol of their religion is being stolen from them and debased? Sometimes politicians want use religion to indicate their personal piety, while at the same time they argue that legally the religious symbol is not really religious. It is hypocritical by politicians who are not doing their job of defending the Constitution, and it is an outrageous way of coopting the religious symbol. For example, Justice Scalia said in Supreme Court oral arguments,
“I don’t think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead,” he said. “I think that’s an outrageous conclusion.”I would respond that his is the outrageous conclusion. Justice Sotomayor said in the oral arguments to the Bladensburg Cross case,
"There is a brief here that says that, to deeply religious Christians, secularizing the cross is blasphemy. Christ died on the cross. He was resurrected from his grave. So those people don't view secularizing the cross as something -- it's not just Jewish people or Hindu people who might be offended. It could be Christians as well."The Christian cross is simply not a secular symbol that can be separated from its religious significance. Any politician or Supreme Court justice who argues that it is should be ashamed of themselves. If atheists must be the ones to stand up and make this defense of the Christian cross for the benefit of Christians, then bring it on!