Friday, July 21, 2006

Mt. Soledad Cross in Judicial Crosshairs

Evidently the only way to save the concrete cross at Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego is through Congressional legislation. The cross, was has been present at Mt. Soledad for almost 100 years, was slated for destruction by activist judge Gordon Thompson in May. Judge Thompson has been trying for 15 years to get rid of the historical cross.

Mount Soledad is a prominent landmark in San Diego. According to Wikipedia, the 822-foot-tall hill lies between Interstate 5 to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is mostly within the community of La Jolla where the northern and eastern slopes form a sharp escarpment along the Rose Canyon Fault. The community of Pacific Beach is on the gentler southern slope. Commercial aircraft approaching San Diego from the direction of Los Angeles often use Mt. Soledad as their point to start the downwind leg of their approach to San Diego International Airport.

Just east of the summit of Mt. Soledad is the questionable 29-foot-tall cross (43 feet tall, including the base) which was erected in 1954. A cross has been on the site since 1913. Architect Donald Campbell designed the present latin cross in recessed concrete with a twelve-foot arm spread in 1954. In 1998, after the sale of the cross and the land it stands on to the nonprofit Mount Soledad Memorial Association, the cross was transformed into being the centerpiece of a newly erected Korean War Memorial.

Three different shaped Christian crosses have been constructed since 1913 on city government property at the apex of the Mt. Soledad Natural Park in the Village of La Jolla.

The original cross on Mt. Soledad was erected in 1913 by private citizens of La Jolla and Pacific Beach, but was stolen in 1923 and later in the year of 1923 the wooden cross was affixed back in the ground on Mt. Soledad Natural Park only to be burned down by the Ku Klux Klan.

The second cross was erected in 1934 by a private group of Protestant Christians from La Jolla and Pacific Beach. This sturdier, stucco-over-wood frame cross was blown down by blustery winds in 1952.

The third and current 29-feet tall cross on top of a 14-feet tall stepped platform, and was installed in 1954. It still stands today. A windstorm damaged one of the flimsy constructed cross members in 1955 and the concrete structure had to be repaired.

Evidently, 75% of San Diego’s residents support the cross remaining on their city property, but that hasn’t stopped judges from laying siege to “government of the people.”

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the U.S. District Judge, Gordon Thompson Jr., declared that "It is now time, and perhaps long overdue, for this Court to enforce its initial permanent injunction forbidding the presence of the Mount Soledad Cross on City property.” Such a statement shows the arrogance of the judiciary in many respects. Not only can they invent laws from thin air, but according to Judge Thompson, the judiciary also now has the constitutional power to enforce injunction. I always thought that power belonged to the Executive Branch. Will the courts soon be commanding armies?

This case has been as much about the judiciary’s war on the people’s right to rule themselves as it has been about religious bigotry and discrimination. San Diego’s residents have tried numerous ways to retain the cross, while complying with judicial edicts. Yet, nothing short of obliteration of the cross seems to satiate these robed magistrates.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has asked President Bush to exercise the federal government’s right of eminent domain. Yet, the President seems reluctant, so several Representatives introduced federal legislation to protect the citizens of San Diego from judicial tyranny. Wednesday, the House of Representatives intervened, and by an overwhelming and bi-partisan vote of 379-74, they approved a bill that would transfer Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial to the federal government.

The judiciary has a recent, unsatiable appetite for contravening the will of Americans to govern themselves. Their abuses seem to me to be far more grievous than those committed by King George III of England. To paraphrase Judge Thompson’s words, “It is now time, and perhaps long overdue for Americans to enforce their constitutional right to govern themselves, forbidding the presence of unconstitutional rulings from meddling and usurping judges.”

P.S. There are many books on the judiciary’s insane usurpation of their role in American government worth reading. Here’s one by a great Missourian, John Stormer.


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