It is sad indeed. They mentioned it was on government land. I wonder if steps are being made to turn it into a natiomal landmark, much like the Missions in California.
Wasn’t the ACLU founded by communists?
A couple founding members were socialists, but the founders and the organization came together around a strong belief in pacifism around WWI (the organization was under a different name, I believe). Helen Keller and the first woman elected to Congress. They initially defended conscientious objectors, but did defend people who were under investigation for communist or socialist inclinations. In the early ‘50s they fired all socialist and communist staff and leadership and discouraged socialists from being members. While the ACLU is often on the left side of a given issue, they have defended prominent people and organizations on the right and have worked in defense of 2nd amendment rights at times.
The cases that gain prominence are generally controversial. From cases like this one which paint the organization as anti-religious to the defense of neo-nazis in Skokie they are defending unpopular viewpoints. They have also defended the right of Fred Phelps and his family (the people who protest about gay people at funerals of service members) to freely express and practice their religion, so for better or worse, they aren’t anti-religion.
I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU and generally support the organization’s actions. BUT…
I am bothered that they took this case. They have discretion in their case selection and should have exercised it in this case. There are people who have legitimate rights issues.
The site is historically, emotionally and religiously significant. Although I am not familiar with the ACLU’s stance on Native American religious sites on government land (like Chimney Rock in Nebraska), a quick google search didn’t turn up anything on either side. Although Chimney Rock is naturally occurring while the cross is a human creation, the fact still stands that both sites have meaning to a group of people.
Gonzo, I like your idea about making the site into a landmark.
(Sorry, that got longer than I imagined it would)