Americans Tell Atheists: Keep Your Hands Off Our War Memorials

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In 1919 mothers who lost their sons in World War I designed a cross-shaped memorial in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The American Legion was tasked with building the cross-shaped memorial and it was dedicated in 1925.

And now, nearly 100 years later, atheists and humanists want to tear down what the American Legion and the mothers of the dead had erected.

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In November the Supreme Court agreed to hear The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, a case that could determine the fate of war memorials across the nation.

The American Humanist Association argues that the memorial violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution because it’s in the shape of a cross and sits on public property.

First Liberty Institute, a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases, is representing The American Legion.




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“For nearly 100 years the families of these 49 sons of Prince George’s County have considered the Bladensburg Veterans Memorial their sons’ gravestone,” First Liberty Institute president Kelly Shackelford said.

A new survey conducted by George Barna of Metaformation indicates that an overwhelming number of Americans, young and old, believe the war memorial should not be torn down.

The survey found that 84 percent of Americans say the American Humanists should leave the memorial alone. Only two percent support tearing down what the locals refer to as the Peace Cross.




The survey also found that 80 percent of Americans believe monuments and memorials honoring the military that include religious symbols should not be purged from society.

“This poll is yet another indication of how important Veterans memorials–and the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial in specific–are to the American people,” First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys told me. “Americans clearly want to preserve memorials that honor the service and sacrifice of those who died defending our freedom.”

Dys said it’s remarkable the breadth of support that the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial receives across the country.

“It’s hard to find anything that 84 percent of Americans agree on any more,” he pointed out.



Ultimately, the only opinions that matters about the Bladensburg Memorial will be the Supreme Court justices.

Dys warned that Supreme Court ruling could impact hundreds of memorials across the nation.“If this gravestone to 49 men from Prince George’s County, Maryland is bulldozed to the ground, it’s only a matter of time before the wrecking ball turns on Arlington National Cemetery and the hundreds of memorials like this one across the country,” he said.

We cannot, and we must not allow that to happen, America.