Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 6 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 7 (13 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   6 comments

General News

The Camp Pendleton Cross: The Facts vs. What the "Persecuted" Christians Are Saying

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/1/11

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)


A thirteen foot tall cross atop a mountain near Camp Horno on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base in California has become the source of much controversy over the past few weeks, sparked by a Los Angeles Times article about a group of Marines erecting the cross on Veterans Day.

The cross put up this Veterans Day is actually the third cross to adorn this hill. The original cross, erected by a group of Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment in 2003 was destroyed in 2007 by a brush fire. That cross was then replaced in early 2008 with a second cross. The cross erected earlier this month is a fire-proof replacement of the second cross, which was also made of wood like the original one destroyed by the fire.

In virtually all cases like this -- whether its a Ten Commandments monument in a courthouse or a cross on a military base -- you'll hear the same few talking points coming from those who claim that religious neutrality by the government is somehow tantamount to persecution of Christians. I call these the "Persecuted Christians Myths," and here's how they relate to that thirteen foot tall cross at Camp Pendleton.

Persecuted Christians Myth #1 -- Nobody is being forced to look at it

Well, in the case of the Camp Pendleton cross, this is certainly not true. From postings on message boards from Marines at Pendleton who say that they can see it from their office windows to commanders boasting about its visibility, it is clear that this cross is intended to be seen by everybody, whether they want to look at it or not.

Just read the 2009 article that appeared on the official Marine Corps website, which began:

"Although many Marines may not know where the heart and soul of 1st Marine Regiment is, they have two ways to find it: either look far off behind Camp Horno or run up the hill and see it firsthand.

"'It's the biggest hill around here,' said Sgt. Parker C. Vaculik, a reconnaissance Marine with Company B, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division. 'Really, by coming up here, you are killing two birds with one stone. You're exercising and you're showing your respect to the fallen.'

"'If you look way up to the top of the hill, you will see a cross,' said Col. Daniel J. O'Donohue, the commanding officer of 1st Marine Regiment. 'It is the heart of 1st Marines. It's a monument put up by Marines for Marines.'"


And, it's not just that this cross is visible from various areas of the base. It goes far beyond that. The cross is the destination of many mandatory training hikes, forcing countless Marines of all religions and no religion not only to visit it, but to participate in the rituals that have grown up around it and to listen, often in formation, to Christian prayers and sermons delivered by their superiors.

This completely inappropriate and unconstitutional practice has been going on since the original cross was erected in 2003, and has been well documented in articles on the official Marine Corps website, such as this one from 2005, and this one from 2006.

To fully grasp what occurs during these mandatory hikes, just watch this video from one that took place in 2008.

That's not a chaplain delivering that Christian sermon (beginning at 3:36 in the video); that was the battalion's sergeant major, Jeffrey D. Moses, and the Marine speaking right before him was the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Benjamin T. Watson. Get that? The superiors that a non-Christian or non-religious Marine should be able to go to when they have an issue with being forced to participate in religious exercises are the ones who are leading these forced religious exercises. Is it any wonder that so many service members say that they can't go to their chains of command to resolve these issues and instead come to organizations like the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF)?

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

http://www.liarsforjesus.com

Chris Rodda is the Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), and the author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Michele Bachmann Lies About Her Own Family History To Sound More Iowan

The Camp Pendleton Cross: The Facts vs. What the "Persecuted" Christians Are Saying

Psalm 109 Imprecatory Prayer Case to Go Forward in Texas

Attention Unchurched Military Personnel: They're Coming For Your Children

Writers Cited in Breivik Manifesto Have Spoken at U.S. Military Colleges as Anti-Terrorism Experts

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
6 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

The cross is an instrument of torture, used long b... by molly cruz on Friday, Dec 2, 2011 at 3:34:55 PM
I suspect that if he were here to comment on what ... by Wayne Straight on Saturday, Dec 3, 2011 at 10:15:38 AM
A book titled Real Prophecy Unveiled: Why the Chri... by E. J. N. on Friday, Dec 2, 2011 at 6:21:51 PM
For the entire time that I was in the Air Force (1... by David Braxton on Saturday, Dec 3, 2011 at 2:03:21 PM
I wonder how many of these so-called "persecuted C... by Paul Harris on Sunday, Dec 4, 2011 at 5:12:48 PM
What made this country it once was now being destr... by Kenneth Lawson on Monday, Dec 5, 2011 at 2:45:35 AM