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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2009
CONTACT: Phyllis Schlafly, President, (314) 721-1213
Eagle Forum Urges Supreme Court to Uphold 1st Amendment and
Preserve the Mojave Desert Veterans' Memorial Cross
Washington, DC — Eagle Forum, a conservative public policy organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly — author of the book The Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How to Stop It —joined with a group of religious liberty advocacy organizations at a press conference yesterday to voice its position that the First Amendment should be upheld and that California's Mojave Desert Veterans' Memorial Cross should be ruled constitutional in the impending Supreme Court case Salazar v. Buono. Frank Buono, the plaintiff, argues that the 8-foot cross is an unconstitutional governmental endorsement of religion.
Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund submitted an amicus brief in this case, for which the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments today. "American history and tradition is full of government acknowledgment of religion," said Eagle Forum Executive Director Colleen Holmes. "There is no contesting that all three branches of the federal government, as well as our military, have always openly, publicly, and rightly recognized and referenced God."
"Congress opens each legislative session with a prayer, the U.S. Supreme Court starts each day with the phrase 'God save the United States and this Honorable Court,' all public officials swear an oath to uphold the Constitution or 'so help me God,' the president issues proclamations acknowledging God, and until recently, usually ends his speeches with 'God bless America,'" stated Holmes.
"In the amicus brief Eagle Forum filed, we argue that the plaintiff does not even have standing to file suit. Federal law requires that anyone bringing a matter before a federal court must, himself, have suffered injury, but Mr. Buono even admitted that he was not personally offended by the cross," said Holmes. "His motive is to remove God from every area of public life. Even after the state sold the property to a private organization, Mr. Buono continued to insist that the cross be torn down!"
"This lawsuit is really nothing more than one of many selfish attempts by a minority group of atheists in this country trying to remake American into a secular society," concluded Holmes. "They have no regard for wasting millions of taxpayers' dollars or for tying up overburdened federal courts with these cases, all in an effort to totally eliminate public allusions to God in every way, shape, and form."
Eagle Forum's amicus brief calls on the Supreme Court to uphold freedom of speech and religious expression under the First Amendment and to scrap the so-called "endorsement test" often used by Supremacist judges to impose an anti-religious worldview on Americans.