I am responding to George F. Will’s Feb. 24 commentary on Maryland’s 1925 Peace Cross.
Mr. Will, your charge that people who are concerned that the cross violates the Establishment Clause are “cranky, persnickety, hairsplitting secularists” motivated by “hair-trigger rage” is hypocritical to the max. Let me remind you that you are paid to twice weekly ball yourself into a polysyllabic wad in order to provide persnickety, hairsplitting, entertaining, sometimes enlightening commentary. (Note that I haven’t indicted you as secularist.)
We Americans have traditions and mores that are inconsistent with our Constitution and our essential values. We are a civilization in process. Civil rights, women’s rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, statues honoring Civil War traitors, and — God bless your thesaurus — religious rights are still in play.
Those who are concerned about the Peace Cross have a point. Not the only point, but a valid perspective. Those who fought and died in WWI weren’t fighting for the supremacy of the Christian religion but for our nation.
I suggest a compromise. How about letting the cross remain the nucleus of the highway roundabout, but include a plaque explaining how it honors our heroes, how it became an impediment to traffic and a statement explaining and respecting the varying perspectives on its legitimacy?
It’s the American way. Sort of.
Tom Foster, Millcreek