Poll: Camp Pendleton Cross -- Stay Up or Take Down?

A 13-foot cross on a hill above Camp Pendleton is stirring controversy. What do you think?

Camp Pendleton commanders are reviewing whether a 13-foot cross erected to replace one burned by a brush fire should remain on a hill above the base, the Los Angeles Times reported this week.

The cross was put up on Veterans Day by a group that included widows of two Marines who were part of the group that erected the original cross.

The cross has generated controversy, with the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers saying it violates the U.S. Constitution and supporters like the American Center for Law & Justice urging the Marines to keep it, the Times reported.

Where do you stand on the issue? Take our poll.

crowepps November 24, 2011 at 10:41 PM
It seems kind of insulting to put up an in-your-face, overlooking the camp memorial to commemorate only the Christian Marines who were lost. I'm not sure whether this is a pointed reminder to the non-Christians that they aren't 'real' Marines unless they convert or whether their existence was just ignored. I'm also not sure which of those motives is more insulting
Deb Irby November 26, 2011 at 05:33 AM
The United States of America was founded upon Christianity. I'm tired of the right to be a christian being stripped away by other religions. If you cannot accept that this country believes in God and has Christian values then leave. We accept your religious beliefs so quit trying to strip away ours.
Mary Ann Ferguson November 26, 2011 at 03:12 PM
The thinking of the average American is so misguided and misinformed today. Most of our 'Greatest Generation' are gone now and slowly everything they fought for is dying with them. The cross is a symbol people.....it doesn't represent Christians exclusively; it is a symbol of unification. For those who don't know what that means, check your dictionary; it means to make united; to combine. That symbol at Camp Pendleton is a beacon to ALL who want to enter in and be comforted.
Muriel Brazeau November 26, 2011 at 09:19 PM
I am "heart-sick" to think that American citizens would stoop so low as to want this cross removed. What must God think about the people of this country? I guess we are destined to end up like all the other countries who have obliterated Him from their lives and society. To many of us, patriotism is becoming only a memory. The people living in America do not seem to have any pride in the things that have made the U.S. the greatest country on earth. Our military is the best in the world, and we should do no less than give them the recognition they deserve. If the people in this country does not change their attitudes (selfish to the max, get all you can get, take from the rich and give to the poor, no work ethic, etc.) soon, we will be just another coal on the ash-heap of history. My heart is saddened for the U.S.A.
Daniel Woolfolk November 28, 2011 at 04:23 AM
If similar memorials were erected for Marines of other religions, would that make the cross okay in your opinion? Or do you believe that no religious symbols is the way to go?
Daniel Woolfolk November 29, 2011 at 02:01 AM
Hi all, Thanks for the insightful comments. I featured them all here http://patch.com/A-pccX Daniel
Betty Clark November 29, 2011 at 03:07 AM
In other words, you want me to vote on whether I think it's suitable for Camp Pendleton to give the appearance of favoring one religion over others.
Daniel Woolfolk November 29, 2011 at 03:52 AM
Hi Betty, I'd like you to vote according to the wording on the poll and I hope you voted. :) It seems you might have more to say. Feel free to send me a letter to the editor at daniel.woolfolk@patch.com. Thank you, Daniel
Daniel Woolfolk November 29, 2011 at 04:14 AM
One reader on active duty status asked me to post this for him. He didn't want his name used to avoid issues at work. ----- As an atheist Officer in the military with more than 14 years of active service, I wholeheartedly endorse the removal of this obvious religious symbol. @Daniel, there are literally thousands of religions that have existed or do exist in the world. To display all their symbols equally would be ludicrous. Not to mention avoiding those without any religious observance. Also, @Deb. You are in serious need of a lesson in American history. John Adams wrote "America is in no way founded upon the Christian religion", Look it up. Additionally, most of our founders were either non-religious or deist (read: did NOT believe in a personal god). Nobody is "taking away" your right to be whatever religion you want to be. It is you who thinks that gives you the right to impose your religious beliefs on others. Would you be equally ok with the erected symbol being a Muslim crescent moon or Jewish star of david? How about a statue of zeus or minerva? The proper answer is to be fair to all servicemembers who paid the ultimate sacrifice so you can have your freedoms: no symbol at all.
Rebecca November 29, 2011 at 05:37 AM
Hello. Military wife in CA here. Having a large cross monument on base would make me feel that the base specifically favored Christianity above other religions, and in a way Christians above other service men and women. If the group erecting the cross just cared about honoring people, a secular monument could be erected.
Suzane Watkinson November 29, 2011 at 02:18 PM
My father enlisted in the Marines the day after Pearl Harbor and served until August 1945. He had two purple heard, one from Peleliu. He was an atheist, and he said there were many who served with him. This cross would have infuriated him. It may be a symbol of unification to you but I guarantee that no Jew, Hindu, Moslem, Native American, Atheist, or other non christian would see it as such. My father fought for the constitution, uphold the first amendment and remove that cross. Thank you
Chuck Barnes November 30, 2011 at 07:29 PM
The United States of America was founded as a secular country with freedom of religion. The Treaty of Tripoli of 1796 states: "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion". It was unanimously approved by the Senate and signed into law by President John Adams. Non-Christian Americans have every right as Christian Americans to be live here. Your suggestion that they leave if they don't accept unconstitutional Christian dominance is idiotic.
Breanna Ramey Daughtridge December 02, 2011 at 02:57 AM
The poster of this poll seems pretty bias to me, just based on the responses. Lets consider some facts. 1. This was completely unauthorized. They had no permission from the the federal government whom own the land, not the chain of command whom are in charge of it. You dont get to randomly put up memorials where ever you feel like it on public property. My father loved to read...let me go sneak into a library and put up a huge book for him. 2. Based on the photos, they where more then a little drunk while doing it. Least based on all the empty beer bottles around. (for both reasons 1 and 2 had they been caught they would have been arrested...or at least made to stop) 3. This violated the Oath military members take, the Uniform Code of Justice, AND the US constitution. 4. The US is not Christian, the Military is Not Christian, and not everyone killed and harmed in Iraq was Christian. Another Athiest Vet in Socal.
Daniel Woolfolk December 02, 2011 at 06:53 AM
Hi Breanna, thanks for commenting. I'm Daniel. I wrote the poll and can tell you that, even with my journalist hat off, I wouldn't really get upset if it stayed up or was taken down. I was asking for personal opinions, not legal ones. So, if you perceived bias, a slant wasn't my intention. And now that I have your attention, here's something I noticed in the comments. The voices who want it up give personal reasons and few (or any) legal reasons. Those who want it down give the legal and constitutional reasons but few personal reasons. So, when you see the cross, what are some your immediate thoughts? Thanks again, Daniel ps We only have one letter to the editor and that's in favor of keeping it up, so if anyone would like to make a counterpoint, please email it to me at daniel.woolfolk@patch.com.
Daniel Woolfolk December 02, 2011 at 06:57 AM
Hi Rebecca, I just wrote this big long thing under Breanna's comment and hadn't noticed yours yet, but you answered the question I had. If you want to send me a letter to the editor, please do so. My email address is daniel.woolfolk@patch.com. You'd have to use your full name though. Thanks, Daniel
Daniel Woolfolk December 02, 2011 at 06:57 AM
Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm learning a lot from both sides.
Amy Rix December 15, 2011 at 02:29 AM
Oh my gosh! Seriously??? Who is forcing you to be a Christian by placing a cross on a hill in memory of their fallen loved ones??? I am so tired of atheists and other saying the religion is being "forced" on them because Christians let it be known who they are! And how is this a violation of the Constitution? I have read it a few times and I do not see it stated anywhere that anyone has to hide their beliefs. If Jews, Muslims or atheists want to put up a marker to remember their fallen loved ones, by all means go ahead and quit complaining just because some Christians did.
Suzanne Rodriguez April 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
ok so this is 3000 feet up .... a dedication to fallen soldiers who have fought for our freedom and for their families. A place of tears, and pain and grief and honoring, spirit and remembering loved ones. If it is in your face...then get your face out of there.... any other country you want to go to is fine. Please leave this memorial alone for all of those that have hearts to be touched. And for our soldiers honored, of any religion... yes... even Christian ( gasp ) Suzanne Rodriguez


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