For decades, a special monument has stood tall in the community of Taos, New Mexico, honoring New Mexicans who gave their lives for their country in World War II during the Bataan Death March. The monument, like many of its kind, includes a cross.
The cross is not only a religious image but also the ultimate symbol of human love and sacrifice. It is a fitting tribute for the soldiers who
gave their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Yet there are those who want to tear this monument down, and thousands of others like it across America, because they claim such tributes to war heroes who selflessly defend freedom violation the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.
Thousands of miles away, in Wisconsin, a group of activist atheists who call themselves the Freedom From Religion Foundation targeted the people of Taos, and sent a letter to town leaders to intimidate them into removing the monument.
If the Taos case sounds familiar, it is because a petition was recently filed for Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of a World War I monument in Maryland, which includes a 40-foot tall cross.
On behalf of the Town of Taos, Mountain States Legal Foundation urged the Supreme Court to review the Maryland monument case knowing that a favorable ruling will allow the people of Taos to resist the demands of the
Wisconsin group. Of the predominantly Latino New Mexicans who were sent to the Philippines during World War II, nearly half died during the Bataan Death March or in the prison camps in which they were held. MSLF argued that the families should be able to honor their loved ones in the manner they desire.
The people of a small western town should not have to fear the threats and intimidation tactics of angry atheists who live thousands of miles away.
The Constitution is designed to protect religious expression, not to silence it.