September 07, 2007

Constitution 1 - Religion 0

Religion took another blow at the hands of an appeals court and the American constitution lately, And rightly so, When the court ruled that the government were unable to turn a small area of public land containing a cross over to private ownership so that the cross could remain in place in the Mojave National Preserve in southern California.

The reason for this decision is the constitutions clause that states government can not favour any one religion. So when a Buddhist man asked for permission to build a Buddhist shrine near the cross and was denied permission in 1999 it started a long legal battle.

"A grave constitutional injury already exists," Judge Margaret McKeown wrote for a three-judge panel that upheld a lower court ruling. "The permitting display of the Sunrise Rock cross in the Preserve is an impermissible governmental endorsement of religion.

"The government's long-standing efforts to preserve and maintain the cross atop Sunrise Rock lead us to the undeniable conclusion that the government's purpose in this case is to evade the injunction and keep the cross in place," the judge said. "Carving out a tiny parcel of property in the midst of this vast Preserve - like a donut hole with the cross atop it - will do nothing to minimize the impermissible governmental endorsement."

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