Peace Cross In Peril: The Leftist Attempt To Erase History

A 100 year old monument to lives lost in WWI is in the cross hairs of the Left's attack on history, faith and freedom.

On a three way intersection in Bladensburg, MD, just outside of Washington, DC, a 40 foot cross adorns a small patch of land between the roads. It's the Peace Cross, a memorial to the town's soldiers killed in WWI. Built of concrete and granite, all of the materials are local, dug from the soil, or mined from the rocks of the region. It has stood on the spot since 1925, becoming in that time a historic site, and a beloved monument to locals and visitors alike.

But a few folks don't love the Peace Cross at all. The American Humanist Association, an atheist advocacy group, filed a lawsuit in 2014 to have the cross removed because it was, of course, a cross.

In recent years, there has been an ongoing war against symbols of history and faith. Whether it be Confederate statues, memorial crosses, or even a likeness of Ghandi, the Left has been working hard to remove any history they find offensive, and they seem to find all of it offensive. Their argument is that statues of slave holders promote racism (as does Ghandi, so the SJW crowd claims) and that memorial crosses like the Peace Cross promote Christianity. Since the Peace Cross is on publically owned land, they say, it violates the principle of the "separation of church and state".

I say 'principle', because it is actually a common SJW misconception that there the Constitution demands a "separation" of church and state, and thus no symbols of faith can be displayed on public land. In reality, this is a misreading of the Bill of Rights. The 1st amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" which is often confused to mean that government can not display any religious symbols. It actually refers to prohibiting the Congress from making a religion the law of the land, or choosing (or establishing) a religion to be the official faith of the nation. It was in contrast to the British and their collusion with the "Church of England", the Catholic church.

What the SJWs seem to forget is the very next line in the 1st amendment, which states "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". It is this clause that is most important to understanding what government can and can't do, especially in regard to cases like the Peace Cross. The Left argues that putting a cross on government land is "establishing a religion", yet they forget that public land is actually the land OF THE PEOPLE, our land, and in fact Congress is prohibited explicitly from prohibiting our free exercise of faith on OUR land.

It's not surprising the Left makes this mistake. Their statist ideology of collectivism is a system actually based on ceding all individual liberty to the collective, or the state. It does not compute to them that the land could actually belong to the people individually all at once. All resources are the property of the collective, and thus the agreed upon opinion of the collective is paramount in using these resources. In order to make a collective work, a single line of thought must be established as the rule, lest individual differences start to decay the unity of the collective.

In our system of rule by the people, there is no single line of thought that must be agreed upon. People are naturally allowed to disagree, have different beliefs, ideas and goals. Our Constitution is the system applied to sharing our mutual self governance, through voluntary cooperation, despite those disagreements. Unlike collectivism, under our Constitution every opinion including the unpopular ones are allowed to peacefully coexist. Thus for most of America's years, using symbols commonly associated with the majority Christian faith to memorialize our history was rightly protected by our courts. Both the majority and minority opinion are protected under Constitutionalism.

However, in recent years, the unfortunate re-emergence of collectivist ideology in our culture and academic circles has put these monuments under attack. Collectivists believe in protecting only the view they all agree with, and all other views are to be forcibly rejected to protect the collective unity. As their ideology is a small minority of the population, they are currently focused on protecting ONLY their minority opinion. Thus the SJW crowd seeks out groups that are a minority of the population, like atheists, because by forcing these minority opinions on all Americans, they actually install the power of collectivism into our system of governance. If government protects only the minority opinion, it in effect becomes a collectivist government.

So the Left falsely claims that the Constitution prohibits religious symbols on public land, rejecting the intent of the Constitution to protect all opinions, not merely the minority one. And in doing so, they bend the Constitution to their collective idea of a singular hive mind, and away from the core of individual liberty we were founded on.

The Peace Cross, sitting on city owned land, is the perfect target for their ploy. It wasn't always on public land, for much of it's existance it sat on land owned by the American Legion. When the roads were updated, the land was purchased by the city of Bladensburg, opening up the Peace Cross to this typical Leftist attack.

Just this spring a Federal Appeals Court ruled the cross unconstitutional, and ordered that it must be removed. The long protracted battle for the Peace Cross looks like it will end up in the Supreme Court this fall. Governor Hogan of Maryland, (R), has called the court's ruling "an affront to all veterans" and has directed his state's Attorney General to defend the monument. The state of MD has actually been waiting to do nearly $100,000 in refurbishments to the Cross, but has had to hold off on needed repairs and maintenance due to the ongoing suit.

When I spoke with the American Legion, the defendant in the case, I asked how we citizens can help protect the Peace Cross. I was saddened to hear that previous rallies in support of the Cross had resulted in even more Leftist hate towards the Cross, with the main stream media smearing the defenders of the Peace Cross and the American Legion for defending it. Crowds gathered to support the cross were outnumbered by the bussed in Leftist crowds who came to counter protest. It has left the American Legion understandably disheartened about holding future rallies, and the prevailing legal wisdom is to keep a low profile going into the Supreme Court case to prevent further Leftist control of the MSM narrative and thus public opinion.

There are still things you can do to help save the Peace Cross. First, you can contact Governor Larry Hogan of MD, and encourage him to stand firm in his defense of the Cross. Secondly, you can visit www.SaveThePeaceCross.com and donate, view a documentary about the Peace Cross, and get further history and information about it.

Third, and perhaps most important, you can get out and vote for Constitutional values. You can oppose the Left, and it's collectivist agenda, most effectively by voting against the Democrats who stand with the Leftists and their unconstitutional, Un-American values. The values of individual liberty are under attack, and we must stand and defend them.

The Peace Cross has stood as a historical memorial to those who died protecting freedom from German aggression and statism. It would be a shame to let the same ideology of statism tear it down, as if we had never won WWI, and liberty had not been defended from tyranny.

It would be as if there were never peace at all, nor ever will be. Peace, history and our precious Constitution will be torn down right along with the concrete and granite of the Peace Cross that has stood for nearly 100 years. I, for one, do not intend to let that happen. I hope you will join me in defending the Peace Cross, and all the freedom it stands for.

Comments (23)
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FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

I'm guessing you mean "supported"? Because other people did the work, but they got paid. Basically, slavery was the foundation of the southern economic system and allowed them to remain marginally competitive with the increasing steam driven north. It also allowed a "lord-of-the-manor" lifestyle for the upper class. Since these people were the ruling class; statesmen, judges, lawyers, etc... they set and made policy. Even though many of these men knew intellectually that slavery was evil, to have publicly acknowledged that all men are created equal, and that the slaves should be freed would have been a rejection of their entire way of life and an admission that they were morally bankrupt. It would have also crippled their economy and made them poor cousins of the north. So as the murmurings for the abolition of slavery grew louder throughout the country the men bent on preserving it did what politicians have done best since the days of Greece: obfuscation and prevarication. Since the majority of the civilized world had already abolished slavery, the statesmen from the South could not object to Abolition on principle for fear of losing face (and money) on the world stage. Instead, to protect their economy and salve their consciences they were obliged to adopt a straw man argument under the guise of "states rights". So yes, I do understand why they supported slavery, and I sympathize with the decisions they had to make. I may have even made the same decisions myself had I been there. Regardless, it's important to keep things in perspective. They made decisions that were not just wrong, but perpetuated evil for personal gain. I'm not saying they weren't hard decisions but they made evil choices and they got men killed. Memorials to fallen soldiers of any creed or nation: yes. Statues to men who recognized evil but chose it anyway: no.

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

Perhaps it's a difference of definition. When I "oppose" something I fight against it. When I "condemn" something I disapprove of it, but don't necessarily fight against it. While Lee might have privately condemned slavery, he chose not to fight what he knew was evil. He recognized it was evil, admitted it was evil, then went to war for the side that wanted to perpetuate that evil. If that qualifies as "opposition" for you... Well, I really don't know what to say.

SuzzanneMonk
SuzzanneMonk

Editor

See, Lee fought to uphold the South and its sovereignty. The North benefited from the raw materials from the South, produced by slaves. Most Northerners didn't oppose the idea of slavery either and in fact returned slaves to their owners. Even Lincoln did not actually oppose slavery until convinced by Frederick Douglas. Again nuance lost in the quest to make a grey history into a black and white, good vs bad revision. ALL the more reason NOT to destroy history's monuments, to prevent losing touch with historical truth. Lest we be doomed to repeat it.

How is demonizing the Confederate army different from demonizing political opponents today? It isnt. We are already repeating the history we've forgotten.

SuzzanneMonk
SuzzanneMonk

Editor

I'm referencing YOUR statement. From your earlier post..." In an 1856 letter to his wife Robert E. Lee wrote "In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country." "

So "opposed" or "felt a moral evil"....semantics.

Im sorry you dont get why we honor history, even unpleasant history. Im sorry you dont get the nuances of the Civil war. Im sorry you keep insisting on belittling lower class "dirt farmers" (wtf even IS that?) who died by the thousands to fight what they believed to be northern oppression.

Maybe we should leave the statues of "bad men" up just so people remember history, and don't over simplify the complexities of the ACTUAL experiences of previous generations.

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

Suzanne, your logic is bizarre. Lee was not "opposed to slavery" as you say. Lee fought to uphold slavery despite recognizing and admitting it was "a moral & political evil in any country". The fact is, Lee was by his own admission, and not two sentences latter in the same letter I mentioned earlier, A SUPPORTER OF SLAVERY. In his own words "The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence". If you've somehow managed to convince yourself that the man who said those things, who fought against his country, and who fought for slavery is worthy of respect, let alone a statue, then I suggest a long look in the mirror. The letter is available widely on the internet, and I believe on wikipedia about general Lee. If not you can find it here: http://fair-use.org/robert-e-lee/letter-to-his-wife-on-slavery The last sentence is particularly germane to the original topic.

SuzzanneMonk
SuzzanneMonk

Editor

Thats why a man opposed to slavery as Lee wrote could lead the south, because the principle of states rights and sovereignty was a founding value of our country. It happened to be slavery that inspired the north and the south to test the principle of states rights. But the south wasnt fighting for slavery, at least not your "dirt farmers". They were fighting against what they saw as northern control.

SuzzanneMonk
SuzzanneMonk

Editor

Well, since we cant actually put up a statue for every soldier lost, we often honor the men who they served under. We name cities after generals like Washington because we dont have enough cities to honor every dead soldier.

See, those "dirt farmers" you keep talking about werent fighting for slavery. They were fighting for the sovereignty of their states. They were fighting because the south did not want to be ruled by the north. They were fighting for federalism, the idea that each state is its own sovereign state. Hence the term Con (with) federate (federalism)

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

I absolutely support monuments to the soldiers who died for their country and their beliefs. I DO NOT equate a statue of a general with a memorial to the honored dead of any war; nor do I equate a general who knew better with a dirt farmer who showed up to fight alongside his friends, family and state. The Civil War, War Between the States, or War of Northern Aggression, however you like to call it ended on June 2nd 1865. Robert E Lee died 1870, Nathan Bedford Forrest died 1877, George Pickett died 1875, James Longstreet died 1904, P.G.T. Beauregard died 1893, and so on. These men are not "fallen heroes". So yes, I reject your premise when you equate "Confederate statues" with a memorial to the honored dead of WWI

SuzzanneMonk
SuzzanneMonk

Editor

So you are equating the general with every single soldier who fought for the south?

You DO know it isn't the generals who do all the bleeding and dying in war, right? The folks doing the dying are those "dirt farmers" you casually dismiss.

This monument is for the soldiers who died, not generals. But even statues of generals exist to remember those who the statued general led, the soldiers, the war itself: it is REMEMBERED both by memorials like this cross, but also by statues of those who led. A statue of George Washington does not just stand to remind us of one great man, but to remind us of the events that wrote his name in history. And to remind us of those who gave their life serving under him that paid the ultimate sacrifice for the history the statue remembers.

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

I agree history is nuanced, but I'm not talking about your average "Johnny Reb" or dirt farmer that showed up to fight. The men to which statues have typically been erected were not naive pawns. In an 1856 letter to his wife Robert E. Lee wrote "In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country." Yet he went to war for the CSA anyway. So yeah, I think saying that they knowingly fought to uphold institutions they knew, and admitted were reprehensible is accurate, at the very least in the case of Lee.

SuzzanneMonk
SuzzanneMonk

Editor

To suggest that soldiers of the Confederacy "knowingly" fought for "oppression" is counter to the history those men actually lived. They would vlaim they fought against the oppression of the north. History is far more nuanced than the prevailing "wisdom" allows for.

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

Army atheist emblem:

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

The fact the VFW owned it before the government puts a bit of a different tenor on things since it could be preserved as a historical landmark without giving it credence as a religious symbol. However if they choose to preserve it as a memorial, even though the Constitution doesn't guarantee freedom from religion, it should at least give equal weight to all of the religions of the men from that area who served. If this means adding a star of David, a Crescent, or whatnot I'd say thats fair. As far as I'm concerned the atheists can bugger off. Unless of course one or more of the soldiers was an atheist. In that case I'd suggest an obelisk, sphere, or some other suitable non religious symbol to honor their service. The army goes with a sort of Star trek looking, atom style emblem. I'd suggest that the government designates a "universal symbol of respect and honor" (star, eagle, flag whatever) to put all this kind of stuff to bed permanently. I am a bit irritated that the author chose to equate a memorial commemorating the honored dead of WWI with CSA statues honoring men who knowingly fought for oppression, but that's a whole other discussion.

Pat Greer
Pat Greer

Editor

I know that some of the arguments lie in the fact that these monuments are on government property and as government entities they should not endorse a specific religion that provides to all peoples. It's the Lefts version of when the Right say "Do what you want, just not with my tax dollars" basically saying, "Use any monument you want, but not on my lands". Not sure if this statue is on govt property, but I'd imagine it is.

Philip Carino
Philip Carino

Atheists: I am offended by that cross!

--> said no atheist ever!

@Suzzanne this atheist advocacy group may be aren't atheists at all! They're just the left masquerading as atheists. Have you met an atheist this bad? They're atheists because they chose to not subscribe to religion not get offended by it. SMH!

daveelli
daveelli

It is critically important for all American citizens to have a deep understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and how the two are connected. Unfortunately, our educational system does NOT provide that, and this needs to change if we ever hope to avoid such asinine lawsuits and unite our country.

ThreePatriots
ThreePatriots

Editor

Great article @SuzzanneMonk. I was actually thinking about writing a similar one this morning. There is another issue along these same lines in California where a town wants to tear down a monument of the 25th President of the US, William McKinley. The cries from a very vocal, yet very small minority shouldn't direct all policy decisions in this country. And @Saltz said it well, "freedom of religion is NOT freedom from religion".

Jon Saltzman
Jon Saltzman

Editor

For the life of me, I don't understand why folks are worried about a cross being used in a memorial-freedom of religion is NOT freedom from religion. Thanks for this article Suzzanne!



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