Back in 1918, this park made a war memorial with a big-ass cross in it. At the time, it was a private park. In 1961 the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission took over that land and everything on it.
This cross racked up big maintenance costs over time, and the Maryland Commission was paying to maintain it. Some non-Christians at the American Humanist Association (I’m atheist, but they sound like the boringest borings that ever bored, don’t they?) were like, “Separation of Church and state, man! This is bullshit.”
So then the American Legion was like, “Listen you atheist assholes. The cross has been used to honor dead people for years. It is often a Christian symbol, sure. But sometimes, it’s secular. So give us a fucking break. Have you ever seen the World War 1 memorial? Crosses are everywhere!”
But American Humanist wasn’t having that bullshit and took them to court. They cited the old Lemon v Kurtzman decision, which sided with atheists that government couldn’t give money to non-secular schools. They were like, “It’s the same god damn thing!”
So as usual, lower courts couldn’t agree, and these peeps found their asses in the sights of SCOTUS.
SCOTUS wasn’t hearing that shit, though. They somehow argued that the cross can indeed have a secular meaning as the American Legion and sided with them accordingly, 7 to 2. Only Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg was like, the cross “is the foremost symbol of the Christian faith…” I’m pretty sure she said, “are you fucking nuts?” But they bleeped it out.
Here’s the deal, this is not government establishing religion, or prohibiting free expression thereof, which is what the constitution actually says, not that there should be a separation of church and state. We’re still arguing over this nonsense because SCOTUS seems to care more about precedent than the constitution’s verbiage. As Scalia once said, “that document is dead.” Meaning it should be interpreted as that shit is written, not what you think they meant. If congress doesn’t like it, amend it.
Again, I’m atheist, but if it isn’t a law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free expression thereof, then it doesn’t violate 1A as it’s written. So amend it, or move on.