facebook
twitter
search
search

Judge says war memorial violates separation of church and state

March 4, 2014 at 2:09 PM

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif., March 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ruled a planned war memorial for a baseball stadium in Lake Elsinore, Calif., violates the separation of church and state.

The memorial planned for Lake Elsinore Storm's stadium in Riverside County features a soldier kneeling in prayer before a cross and the quote "Freedom Is Never Free," Courthouse News Service reported.

In 2013, the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit against Lake Elsinore, its Mayor Robert Magee and the City Council, alleging that the memorial violated the separation of church and state.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson ruled the design violated the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause and California's Establishment and No Preference clauses.

Local officials "expressed a predominantly religious interest in keeping the cross on the memorial," Wilson wrote in his ruling. The "public comments show that for a majority of the five-person Lake Elsinore City Council, the purpose for including the cross on the memorial was to symbolize their religion and the country's status as a Christian nation. Such comments reflect an abandonment of government neutrality in adopting the cross design."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Chelsea Clinton accidentally calls Bernie 'President Sanders'
Watch every star-studded Super Bowl commercial of 2016
Susan Sarandon responds to Piers Morgan criticizing cleavage
Two Virginia Tech students plotted 13-year-old's death, prosecutors said
Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice got classified email on private accounts