Marines fight to protect crosses at Camp Pendleton
Panel discusses atheists' desire for removal
- Duration 7:37
- Date Apr 13, 2012
Panel discusses atheists' desire for removal
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
I want to go to the next subject though because this is a huge deal.
For a a lot of people in the military Marines at can't metals and are fighting to protect across at a remote area.
That an atheist group wants removed.
The cross was arrested back in 2003 by seven marine's grieving over the lines of all lost in -- war on terror.
This was originally established for -- reflection but is not has now become grounds for controversy.
Now what should they do you how do you decide in -- military situation.
Marines -- across as a way to over memorial alliance the people that they have lost in this theater of war.
-- -- -- -- Well that's a big question.
Personally as veteran myself and I can relate to this issue.
I had friends call -- speaking about this earlier who were from all persuasions in the military atheists and Christians alike and most of them were not this extreme you it really is a matter of antagonism.
I really don't know again going back to the issue of motivation.
The cross itself there's this story might recall recently of the town a small town in Tennessee that was sued by any history of about across the -- -- in public so that.
Mayor of the -- decided to remove one of the arms of the crosses.
And there's really had a defiant -- and it sort of made a point was like look.
You're gonna take away the spirit of what we're doing -- you may win the battle in court.
About that the symbol itself which of course is meaningful.
But what's more meaningful is the spirit behind it really -- what are we talking about here and it I find it just very interest -- that.
They're so intimidated by the symbol of the cross via display I.
Know why I mean I I know why but I don't know why specifically.
Jeff what are you answer this because one of the things that I see -- is that there is safe.
Growing number of -- in the military they've kind of banded together over the last few months is -- the military association of atheists and free thinkers.
-- remember they just -- the the reason for a reason rallied back couple weeks ago in Washington DC so this a growing movement in the military which is before we've not seen this in the military they've been it's been -- been sort of a collective Christian kind of -- Osama.
What do you think is going on here.
However I think it's it's nationwide movement that's growing and maybe just a little bit and it's -- leaking into the military.
And I I think it's a little bit odd you know -- you know I have the different debates and discussions and most of the good natured with some of these hard core atheist I have his friends and I have to say that most of the time they just pick on schoolchildren you know you can't sing god when using the Lee Greenwood song or whatever.
But now that you know how did they decide to go after Marines I mean how many drinks did they have to have to decide that it's a good idea can now go after the Marines.
I think that I think that really gets to the heart of the issue listen.
With these guys are doing is putting up a cross in a remote place that nobody can see because they need to have someplace to go -- be unburdened about.
-- the cost of sacrifice -- the friends they've lost and what brotherhood really means.
And for most people in that situation across even though it is an instrument of torture.
Is a symbol of comfort for them it just seems almost inhuman and -- feeling to need to try to pull the cross down -- turn this into a political issue.
I -- just leave the guys alone.
Does it -- of -- -- church -- state because that's one of the issues.
Carl what does it violate that this is a federal government property.
These Marines belong in the federal government and they are -- across com on public property.
That doesn't belong to them they didn't give permission to do it doesn't violate the -- basic foundations of church resisted -- church against state of -- separated from state.
-- -- the First Amendment doesn't say anything about separating church and state you know it allows for establishment and treatment of expression.
And you know it didn't I was the first person bite into Iraq -- the fall of Saddam to go and work with the our military there and -- whenever they experience.
The trauma and a death in the despair.
You know spiritual -- the spiritual element need to be brought in to that healing process for transformation to understand.
To make sense to deal with that adversity.
And to get over to be able to move forward.
And these people cook.
Other spiritual expression but just a -- gonna put on a hill that -- really most people can't see.
And that's their process to deal with the and commits these kind of goes.
Then -- -- across.
Whether you believe Jesus existed or not.
We all will agree that it's -- -- what -- we actually exist that's historical fact if you want and what went well some people would argue that unfortunately but it -- -- we even he has no other thing that we would all agree that that's that's -- the symbol the maximum symbol of sacrifice.
This situation that's we're -- our military so they look this is.
-- it's something that spiritual that helps them with healing but also representation.
In the the most significant symbolic.
Of the of the sacrifice that some of their they have fallen comrades have had taken in to take it away it is in the separation of church and state we which has separate sure you can't separate spirituality from everything from anything.
It's you know with computers and everything that we -- -- -- and actually well fishing I was thinking about is the symbol across.
Well in military chaplains.
The -- where the symbol of their religion -- Christian chaplains Wear crosses.
As an enlisted man you have to salute every officer that passes by you.
If you are a non Christian and a and a Christian chaplain passes you he's wearing the cross very prominently.
You've saluting him.
Now I'm not suggesting that -- saluting the cross that is an interest thing that is a picture.
That symbol being prominently displayed.
A government property.
Yeah I did and it what is gonna happen with this death because this is something that's not gonna go away.
How do you decide what is proper war.
Of your faith and -- actually the story says the soldiers weren't really building a religious shrine it was really thought about comfort was more about you know a reflection.
-- -- the laws on this are are still in flux right now but basically.
If if they had turned this into a church without permission and they regularly held worship services there.
And other Marines who are nonbelievers were being harmed in the process than there might be a legal case for removing it but as it is.
It is an expression of comfort it is a private thing if I were the marine common dot I think I would just say we're going to grant them and he's mentor what whatever you call -- to just let them have this little space here where they can have this this little place -- they get together and memorial -- their friends.
I mean every everybody of every religion would have to agree I think with -- with Jesus and this that no greater love have command that he lay -- his life for his friends.
And I I -- these Marines they may not even be believers in Jesus Christ but they are still understanding that fundamental principle.
And so I think again I think it's just best to leave them alone to find a way to accommodate them.
You know if it started to spread into massive you know everybody's putting up crosses everywhere all this kind of thing it became this big battle like cross vs your present for whatever else -- I can see how might be a big issue but this is really.
Once again just I think much ado about nothing it's just I think some atheists are being cranky and not some of them -- friends of mine I understand that.
Yeah I think that what they're trying to do but I just don't think it's really a big deal.
Well did -- -- that's gonna make tea and it's gonna make a decision about this in the next few days so.
I'll see what's gonna happen with that -- -- back.