Mt Soledad
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Christian Citizenship Council
of San Diego
San Diego
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Prov 29:2)

“Mt. Soledad - A Cross to Bear”

Who’d have thought a 51-year-old, 43 foot high, piece of concrete would be the center of a 16-year city-state-federal court battle?

The culture war heating up in this nation is not just emblematic of different opinions of what’s best, it’s a deep-seated values and spiritual war as well.  Did it surprise anyone that the San Diego city council members opposing the veteran’s memorial land transfer (with the cross) to the Federal government were all Democrats?  Did it surprise anyone that those voting to preserve this memorial (with the cross) were all Republicans?  What do you think the vote would have been if no cross were on Mt. Soledad?  Values gap?  You bet. 

Look beyond the San Diego city council to the state assembly and senate, and the Congress, do you see a pattern?  Who stands up (albeit inconsistently) for our values, who seems to be more concerned about the moral foundation of our society, the Biblical values many (if not most) of us share?  Democrats or Republicans?  Liberals or conservatives?  Left-wingers or right-wingers?  Pick the titles you want, its a values war not just a war between political parties.

Atheists have a thousand hills with nothing on them, why would one cross on one hill be such an offense?  Is it because it’s located in a highly populated area?  You know as well as I do it makes no difference if it was located in the desert with no roads or homes around.  Is it because it’s located on public property (although property status here is unclear)?  Have you been to a National Cemetery lately?  Is it because of a mythical “separation of church and state” principle?  We know this “principle” has no valid historical basis, but is an inverted understanding of the First Amendment to remove public Christian presence.  Think about it, if a person takes offense at the sight of a cross, what of those worn on a necklace?  What of those on top of churches or in store windows?  How about tie tacks, or the cover of a Bible that is lying on a desk?  The list goes on and on.  It’s not the cross, it’s what the cross stands for that makes it intolerable to a select few.  Maybe what we’re really seeing is a form of Christophobia and the opportunity to leverage judicial activism.  Will it stop with this cross?  Of course not.

What does the cross on Mt. Soledad represent for me.  It’s simple.  It acknowledges in a very public way the immense gratitude we should have for the source of our individual freedoms in this incredible nation.  A Biblical worldview, and Christian faith dramatically impacted the foundation for our governmental structures, our system of justice and fairness, and the liberties we still enjoy every day.  The presence of the cross at a veteran’s memorial is particularly appropriate.  It sends a powerful message that the lives remembered there did not serve in vain, but gave themselves to protect and defend the very freedoms that emerged from our founders Christian faith and our nation’s Biblical heritage.  It doesn’t force anyone to be a Christian; it doesn’t imply all those memorialized below it were Christians.  But government hostility to its own history, its own roots, and to the source of the freedoms it was created to defend is not defendable – whether a federal judge agrees or not.  Mt Soledad combines in a unique display the acknowledgement of the source of our enduring national principles and the commitment to protect them forever.

A line has been drawn on this issue.  It’s encouraging to see wide-ranging “people of faith” outraged by the political correctness, ineptness, and overt disdain for the will of the people of five members of the San Diego city council.  It’s also discouraging to see a “religious” facade under gird a legal opinion based on faulty logic and understanding, particularly in the face of overwhelming legal clarity in support of the land and cross transfer.  Since a reasonable solution was available, what conceivable purpose is served to destroy that which is worthy of protection and preservation? 

My personal faith is not dependent upon the continuing presence of the cross on Mt. Soledad.  This fight will eventually be resolved one way or another.  The current referendum approach to bring the land and cross transfer question before the voters of San Diego city is a wonderful opportunity to correct a terrible decision made by the city council.  I encourage all San Diego city registered voters to sign the current petition and place this question on the ballot.  When our elected representatives do not represent those they govern, nor act to clarify and preserve basic values, its time for us to govern.

Frank Kacer
Resident of San Diego

First published as a Guest Commentary in the April 2005 issue of Good News Etc.