A judge has ruled that a cross-shaped World War I monument in Maryland is unconstitutional because it “has the primary effect of endorsing religion and excessively entangles the government in religion.”
According to The Huffington Post, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled 2-1 that the Peace Cross, which has been on display since 1925, should be taken down due to its alleged endorsement of religion.
“The Latin cross is the core symbol of Christianity,” Judge Stephanie D. Thacker wrote in the decision. “And here, it is 40 feet tall; prominently displayed in the center of one of the busiest intersections in Prince George’s County, Maryland; and maintained with thousands of dollars in government funds. Therefore, we hold that the purported war memorial breaches the ‘wall of separation between Church and State.’”
Those who support the cross monument say they will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Many argue that the monument represents history and the “valor,” “endurance,” “courage,” and “devotion” of serviceman rather than explicitly endorsing religion.
The Peace Cross was erected to honor 49 men from the area who gave their lives serving their country in World War I.