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Religious Symbols Proposed To Adorn Lake Elsinore Veterans Memorial

The City Council must now decide whether to approve or deny the design featuring the two religious symbols.

Despite the risk of a potential legal challenge, the City of Lake Elsinore is one-step closer to erecting a veterans monument on city property that would display a religious symbol.

Friday, a subcommittee comprised of city officials, local leaders and veterans, agreed to submit to City Council a final design proposal for a granite Veterans Memorial slated to be erected at the entrance of the city-owned Diamond Stadium.

The city gave the go-ahead earlier this year to pay for a memorial, but first asked that a subcommittee be formed to come up with a design and location for the monument.

Coming into Friday’s meeting, the subcommittee had honed in on a design by Sun City Granite Monuments and Memorials that depicted a soldier kneeling in front of a cross, but after discussion it was agreed the Star of David should also be added to the project.

According to Justin Carlson, management analyst for the city, during Friday’s meeting 17 people addressed the subcommittee, with just four rallying for a design modification.

“There was strong support for the design. In addition, a petition was submitted with 75 signatures that support the cross design,” Carlson said.

The City Council must now decide whether to approve or deny the design featuring the two religious symbols. The large-scale monument is expected to cost city taxpayers approximately $46,000.

Legal challenges have been mounted across the country regarding the display of religious symbols in public spaces, which raise questions about the meaning of the First Amendment’s guarantee that government will not endorse or prohibit the practice of religion.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling that found the cross on San Diego’s Mount Soledad is unconstitutional.

Another very recent beef in Maryland involves a veterans monument in the shape of a cross. In that instance, the opposition is questioning whether the religious symbol excludes sacrifices made by non-Christian soldiers.

Lake Elsinore resident John Larsen has followed the local subcommittee’s design progress on the proposed monument and said he supports veterans and believes Lake Elsinore is overdue for a memorial.

But Larsen questioned whether the religious symbolism puts the city at risk financially due to potential legal exposure.

“I feel the monument should be done and I respect the hell out of those who have served,” Larsen said, but he called for the removal of the religious symbols.

“It’s contentious and divided, and it’s going to cost the city money.”

However, Larsen conceded that during Friday’s meeting there was a strong message coming from the veterans who were on hand to support the religious symbolism: “They are willing to defend and die for it.”

A Humanist November 06, 2012 at 07:09 AM
Sorry J.Q this should have been included in my first comment to your post. I unbelievably forgot the primary founding principle of Separation of church and state, but it's late and I have much on my mind with the election. With the founding concept of Separation of Church and State this principle was established to permit folks founding this country to follow their beliefs and leave th e persecution that they suffered in Europe that marked their exodus across the ocean. The principle clearly means the State should not interpose or interfere in the affairs on any religious organization nor should any religious organization should intervene in the affairs of our government.That way we all COEXIST in peace together. For this separation relious organizations have been given a tax exempt status and they have enjoyed it, amassing great fortunes over the years. Abide by the rules of separation and I and millions of others won't fight to take back those tax exemptions. Move the goal posts or ignore the rules and be careful what you risk. Let's all just peacefully respect each others beliefs and coexist in this space on earth together.
A Humanist November 06, 2012 at 07:47 AM
You do know who Paule worked for don't you? Darell Issa! Some things will never change here if you keep Issa's man embedded in the government of our county.
A Humanist November 06, 2012 at 07:50 AM
This is not a majority rules issue. It is a Constitutional question as I discussed in an earlier post on the article specifically about the Veterans memorial. The majority cannot ignore the constitution nor the rights of others.
Vince November 11, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I see DDMH....but the MINORITY can ignore the rights of other's along with The Constitution, and allow Beaner's to slither, run, jump, drive, and in general pile across our U,.S, Border in teeming herds, without anyone who speaks up on the legality of the issue being called a racist...Your priorities are just a tad bass-ackwards in this case, yeah huh? I know!!! Here is a novel idea, why not ask the VETERAN'S, since it is they who put their butts on the line, more so then non-veteran's---or leastways, next time ask the LIVE ones, since the dead one's will most likely be mute on the whole deal...and since I am in the Live One Category, I am one of the one's whut shoulda been asked, along with all my Bro's (and Sister's) who served in combat zones, or otherwise. And ya best believe, I have an answer that needs no debate.

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