Eternal Soledad Cross Controversy

Tuesday, June 29, 2004, 5:00 —by Joe Crawford
This item was posted in General category and has 1 Comment so far.


As long as I can remember people have carped about the Cross at the top of Mt. Soledad. Here’s The Official Site.

Most people I know think those crazy athiests should just lighten up. I tend to agree, but it *was* public property.

There’s no doubt that it is one of the most beautiful spots in San Diego, with excellent views north, east, and south from Mt. Soledad, which separates La Jolla from Pacific Beach.

The latest buzz is they want to put it to a vote. Well, a vote will pretty much guarantee that the cross will stay. Of course, it’s just an attempt to short-circuit the existing, interminable legal process. Then again, the addition of the plaques honoring American servicemen and women is an attempt to hijack the site as well. In any case, the site should stay as a great lookout, regardless.

The local media is buzzing like crazy with this story:

kfmb.com; thesandiegochannel.com; nbcsandiego.com; kpbs

Here’s a release from the ACLU in April about the case. I didn’t see anything new on the ACLU San Diego site that was current. Hey, does the ACLU need help with their website? Call me.

The official Mt Soledad Memorial site has a page about the dedication of the monument in 1954. Also, Jewish groups also have some reason to object to the cross.

SignOnSanDiego has a nice wrap up here

The Cross
What’s up with that cross, you ask? It’s a story dating back to 1913, when Pacific Beach residents built one out of redwood and erected it atop the mountain. Thieves allegedly removed it 10 years later, and its replacement, created in 1934, was felled by high winds in 1952. Soon after, the Mount Soledad Memorial Association erected the current cross to commemorate soldiers of the Korean and two world wars.

The cross has been the subject of controversy, but the problem appeared to be solved when, in the late 1990s, the San Diego City Council sold the cross and the half-acre of land surrounding it to the Memorial Association. In 2002, mini-walls were installed to honor veterans underneath the cross, though they have fueled more controversy from groups and folks who feel the towering symbol highlights Christian veterans over others.

It’s a prickly situation, to be sure. But don’t you worry a thing about all that. Take a look at some of the many men and women who have served the country and enjoy the view.

In high school I used to go up there and draw — while playing hooky. I have a great hope that whatever the outcome of the cross situation, C-students in San Diego will have the chance to go to the cross and hang out and draw the beautiful views, or perhaps take photos from this San Diego landmark.

UPDATE: Just today in the SDUT: A new idea for Mt. Soledad – leave decision to a new buyer

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One Response to “Eternal Soledad Cross Controversy”

  1. TAPKAE said on Wednesday, July 28, 2004, 0:39

    I think the church/state issue is way out of proportion here. I think the cross should stay because it is a trusted landmark and symbol in SD. I live in Clairemont and see that cross and think, “there is La Jolla.” If we want to go stripping SD of its Christian underpinnings, then lets change the city name too. Saint Diego should now be “East Pacific City” or some equally absurd name. Oh, then we should rename Mission Beach, Mission Valley, and any of a number of names that speak of our Christian roots.

    But really… people are all wound up about a CROSS? A symbol of a 2000 years dead man who taught that we should love each other? Can I ask what the redeeming value of billboards, bus stop posters (and indeed the buses in the vinyl ads wrapped like a skin), and all the other paraphernalia that is a celebration of the new and far more destructive and insidious religion we know as… capitalism? Why is no one crying out for what a fuggin’ eyesore all of Mission Valley is, a total abortion of a civic design? Or how about the suburban disaster that is all of Linda Vista? The symbols of corporations, greed, and profits-at-any-cost are the ones that offend me, but the city rolls over in the face of all that. But then, so do perhaps 99% of the citizens, for whom there is no issue. Hey, at least Jesus has a historical significance, but pray tell, what is the significance of all the McDogfood’s and Wal Marts and ARCOs? When did any of these entities ever espouse anything remotely like Jesus? Why do their symbols get to run wild all over this town, and every other one in the nation, while the ACLU gets called in to put its muscle behind a cross in question? I am a card carrying member of the ACLU, but this is small potatoes compared to the damage that the apparent LACK of separation between corporation and state has done. The church is pretty innocuous these days. Keep your eye on the real force of civil rights being trampled upon–the power of the corporations to come and go at will, contribute as little as possible, and do absolutely anything they want, almost never in the interest of the very locale which plays host to it.

    Thank you.

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