A local Tea Party group in San Diego will be holding a rally to protest the ordered removal of the giant Cross that sits atop Mt. Soledad this coming Saturday (Jan 15, 2010). How can a group which claims to defend the US Constitution have become so turned around? The First Amendment has been interpreted to mean that the Government cannot endorse any religion. That means that religious displays on government property cannot be permitted. It protects everyone from having a religion forced upon them by the government. It protects me from being forced to be Christian just as it protects the Tea Partiers from being forced to follow Sharia law.
The group is painting this as an issue of respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, but they are determined to run roughshod over the very freedoms that many of those servicemen and women gave their lives protecting. I doubt very much that the Tea Party would rise to the defense of a symbol from another religious tradition if it were atop Mt Soledad instead of a cross. By championing this cause, the Tea Party is once again showing that they are not about defending freedom, but rather that they champion the establishment of a pseudo-theocracy, where only the "right" religion is allowed to be endorsed. The US is not a Christian nation any more than it is an Islamic nation, Jewish nation, or Hindu nation. It is a nation where all are free to believe as they choose. If the Tea Party wants to defend freedoms, it needs to start by defending the freedoms it doesn't like rather than trying to invent a freedom to impose their religious beliefs on others. Of course, living in a free country means that the Tea Party is free to be hypocrites, too.