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Is a cross a "Christian" symbol only, or does a cross honor all people, regardless of their religious beliefs?

StarrGazerr 2009/10/29 13:08:11
It's a Christian symbol only.
It honors all people.
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{{The following editorial is not mine, nor do I necessarily agree with the writer's position on this issue. However, it raises an interesting question, and I am interested in the civil opinions of all sides. The question is this: Is a cross a "Christian" symbol only, or does a cross honor all people, regardless of their religious beliefs? -- SG}}

In oral arguments this month in the case of Salazar v. Buono,, which concerns the constitutionality of a 5-foot cross on federal government land in the Mojave National Preserve, Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that the cross is a universal, rather than a Christian, symbol. When American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Peter Eliasberg suggested that a less controversial World War I memorial might consist of “a statue of a soldier which would honor all of the people who fought for America in World War I,” Scalia asked, “The cross doesn’t honor non-Christians who fought in the war?” Eliasberg replied, “A cross is the predominant symbol of Christianity, and it signifies that Jesus is the son of God and died to redeem mankind for our sins.” Scalia, a devoutly conservative Roman Catholic replied indignantly, “It’s erected as a war memorial! I assume it is erected in honor of all of the war dead. The cross is the most common symbol of…of…of the resting places of the dead.” Uh, not exactly. It is not the most common symbol of the resting places of the dead in Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu countries. It never appears in Jewish cemeteries—a piece of information that Scalia seemed stunned to hear. “I don’t think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead the cross honors are the Christian war dead,” Scalia said in an outraged tone. How did this man ever get a reputation as an intellectually respectable conservative judge?

What this bizarre exchange lays bare is the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the argument that Christian symbols and rituals in public places do not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. It is utterly astounding that a right-wing Christian is willing to pretend that the cross is not a Christian symbol—in service to an ideology that really wants to force the use of Christian symbols as a representation of America. Where is the outrage one would expect from Christian groups if, say, a judge had issued a ruling that the cross is not a Christian symbol? Baptists in the early republic, who strongly supported the establishment clause of the First Amendment, would have been horrified by the spectacle of a judge pretending that their crucifix had no specifically Christian meaning.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/community/groups/index.h...
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Top Opinion

  • Captain Sticky 2009/10/29 13:46:18
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    Captain Sticky
    +4
    A very poor choice of symbols by Christians. It's the most horrific instrument of torture ever devised. Imaging space aliens landing in Vatican City. They would take a look around and run like hell.

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  • Lotus Flower 2009/10/31 14:52:19
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    Lotus Flower
    It is an interesting symbol for Christianity since Jesus was nailed to a tree.
  • moomoof 2009/10/30 17:12:35
    Undecided
    moomoof
    +1
    Well it isn't christian really they use it but it isn't

    To me it is a false idol really
  • SeniorSkeptik 2009/10/29 20:49:07
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    SeniorSkeptik
    +1
    If it isn't strictly a Christian symbol, does that mean that Christians got all bent out of shape for nothing when the photograph of a plastic Jesus on a cross submerged in a jar of the photographers urine was displayed in 1989. Talk about the shit hitting the fan. The photog's name was Andres Serrano.

    And by the way, when a person enlisted in WWII what religious options was the enlistee given? When I enlisted in 1960 I was allowed only three, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish. "Other" was not an option yet we know thousands of atheists were in the armed services. They simply had no other options available to them at the time.
  • seathan... SeniorS... 2009/10/29 22:57:13
    seathanaich
    +1
    Hi Senior.

    You'll be pleased to know that since at least 1989 when I joined "NRE" for "No Religion" has been an ID-tag option for Canadians. I have two such sets.

    And you'd like the summary trial I was the Attending Officer for last year. 6 people in total, only 1 "swore" on a Bible. The other 5 of us all did a non-religious "solemn affirmation" for the truth of our testimony. I was pretty encouraged by that. Cheers.
  • SeniorS... seathan... 2009/10/29 23:35:08
    SeniorSkeptik
    Thanks, you guys have been way ahead of us in many, many respects, religious neutrality, health care and many more.
  • seathan... SeniorS... 2009/10/30 16:55:49
    seathanaich
    +1
    No place is perfect, and reducing some problems seems to open new ones. But when I read things like on the internet, I'm very thankful I live somewhere essentially free from religion. That's why I come to places like this, to help where I'm needed. Cheers.
  • den 2009/10/29 19:35:40
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    den
    The cross is wher God accepted His sons' sacrifice for the sin of the world. It has the potential to honer all people but most do not accept it and are enemies of the cross of Christ.
  • socokid 2009/10/29 19:32:29
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    socokid
    I knew Scalia had issues, but this is a tad alarming.

    Sheesh!
  • will 2009/10/29 19:18:57
    It honors all people.
    will
    Christ died for all mankind, we all have crosses to bear and burdens to be lifted.
  • ghjgfjt 2009/10/29 17:40:11
  • I quit!!! 2009/10/29 17:28:00
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    I quit!!!
    It was always intended as the symbol representative of Christians. Nearly every religion has a symbol that is representative of them.
  • Caity 2009/10/29 17:23:24
    Undecided
    Caity
    If a non-christian decides to use the cross as a symbol of their own spirituality or culture, thats fine. But Christians shouldn't say that it can be a symbol for everyone just so they can put their crosses up all over the place.
  • will Caity 2009/10/29 19:21:59
    will
    +1
    Christ died on the cross for everyone, He was a man of God. He is God in the human flesh.
  • Caity will 2009/10/30 00:23:14
    Caity
    What does that mean? Why did he die? I'm actually asking, not being a smart-ass, I promise. :)
  • will Caity 2009/10/30 03:45:48
    will
    To explain further into more detail and not trying to force Christianity upon you, just giving religious beliefs as information. Since God created the Earth and the universes, and humans, and animals, and all other life forces on Earth, God wanted to get closer to mankind so mankind could relate better of God. So He came down to Earth in human form as Jesus, was born, not appeared, and lived like humans do, and because we or the people back then recognized Jesus as the Savior of the world, they followed Him and praised Him, and it was not until His death that they realized that Jesus gave His life for all of mankind, that our sins of the world would be forgiven, even when we continue to do the same ones over again. God as Jesus, or the Son of God, wept in compassion for our souls to be free of evil.

    Now i hope that helps, I did not need to quote scripture and nor did i tempt to redeem you of sin, just be sociably accepting.
  • Lotus F... will 2009/10/31 14:53:42
    Lotus Flower
    He died on a tree.
  • will Lotus F... 2009/10/31 17:43:22
    will
    Regardless of what He died on, He died for u and me ,and all mankind.
  • Lotus F... will 2009/10/31 19:00:03
    Lotus Flower
    Jesus did not die for me.
  • will Lotus F... 2009/11/01 04:03:53
    will
    If you believe in Him, then He died for you. But regardless of belief or no belief Jesus loves all mankind, regardless.
  • Lotus F... will 2009/11/01 09:24:31
    Lotus Flower
    I didn't say Jesus did not love all mankind. Religious figures are know for their compasion for mankind. Jesus died, just as each man and woman will die. I don't believe him to be son of the creator of mankind. He was a man with extrodinary wisdom and compasion.
  • will Lotus F... 2009/11/02 12:56:11
    will
    At what point do you separate Jesus from God and the Holy Spirit, or also known as the Holy Trinity. The Bible mentions in several places of God as the Father, Jesus the son, and Holy Spirit as one and three equal entities. God sent His only begotten son to Earth as a human deity, as the human form of God. To relate and revive the religious faith, basically revamp what God expects of all mankind and to bring forth peace.
  • Lotus F... will 2009/11/02 13:19:22
    Lotus Flower
    Will, the only people who believe three is one are christians. If you actually read the bible and apply critical thinking it will make sense much of what is in the bible could not have happened and is written to control others.
  • will Lotus F... 2009/11/03 13:38:09
    will
    I have read, studied, and read the Bible again. The Bible was written by people for people, but completely inspired by God. Physically we know no one can be three different things at the same time and be in all areas, but we are talking of God. But even if we don't believe in the fantasy realm of the Trinity, the miracles, and all things related of God, one has to take what was written in the Bible for all it's worth. No matter which generation of life on Earth one lives, no matter which race one is bred, no matter which sex one is developed into, or later decides to be, we all were put on this Earth for a reason, and individually we need to find out that reason and make it happen. But keep in mind all generations have the same concept of hope and revelation of what life is, was, and should be. However, free will dictates whether one wants to follow instinct or law, or both.
  • Lotus F... will 2009/11/03 13:53:06
    Lotus Flower
    " but completely inspired by God. Physically we know no one can be three different things at the same time and be in all areas, but we are talking of God. But even if we don't believe in the fantasy realm of the Trinity, the miracles, and all things related of God, one has to take what was written in the Bible for all it's worth."

    You have no evidence of anything in your statement. You are soley relying on blind faith of the words written on paper.

    We are all this earth for a reason and I don't believe it is to serve a God to get into heaven because we feel guilty of wrong choices made in life.

    I would love to see the scripture stating "free will." According to the bible freewill is limited within the plan of God and what he allows.

    Freewill defined:

    The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.

    What choices have you made without external constraints? Any stituation or event presents you with options----you choose one. Even the choice to believe in God and Jesus presents you with options.
  • will Lotus F... 2009/11/03 14:11:59
    will
    You have no evidence of anything in your statement. You are sole relying on blind faith of the words written on paper.
    And what is wrong with that. As being human, i understand we cannot make the answer to all questions appear, or if being a deity having no need for answers, so it makes sense as a human to want rock solid evidence. But I go beyond human knowledge and belief, to be open minded, by believing in the unknown, but limiting satisfaction to God.

    We are all this earth for a reason and I don't believe it is to serve a God to get into heaven because we feel guilty of wrong choices made in life.
    That is your belief, and your welcome to believe in it.

    Free will as it is presented to me, I choose to be a Christian and follow God as much as I can, and I can choose to not be of God. God does have plans for us, and we may know and follow them early in our lives, but He may also have new plans, that are similar to what originally planned, but altered to benefit mankind and God beyond what is expected, that we expect anyway.
  • Lotus F... will 2009/11/03 15:15:14
    Lotus Flower
    I guess you missed the point about freewill and what that actually means. Nevertheless, you have the right to follow or investigate and make a sound decision on your own accord.
  • will Lotus F... 2009/11/03 17:39:20
    will
    No i actually know what "free will" means, I chose to give an answer of what it means to me. Just like most people venture to live in America for freedom. However, we don't have complete freedom, we must follow law, morality, or nature, otherwise face possible consequences. So therefore we can be of free will, but not total.
  • Lotus F... will 2009/11/03 22:03:10
    Lotus Flower
    "So therefore we can be of free will, but not total. " Is this not equivalent to the definition I gave for limited freewill?


    I also agree we do not live in a free country with freedom of speech, we live within boundaries giving us limited freedom. More than other countries---yet still limted.
  • will Lotus F... 2009/11/04 03:08:37
    will
    Yes and no, but you said I didn't know the definition of free will. In order for this definition to be completely true, one would have to be an entity, moving freely with no restrictions. God would only be of that nature. Again, like American freedom, human free will is limited.
  • Lotus F... will 2009/11/04 13:48:17
    Lotus Flower
    You are trying to have a play on words with me. You are making the same statement I posted.

    God, according to the bible and the definition, is the only one with free will.

    "In order for this definition to be completely true, one would have to be an entity, moving freely with no restrictions. "



    "human free will is limited.

    "What choices have you made without external constraints? Any stituation or event presents you with options----you choose one. "

    AKA Limited freewill. Again, the point is humans do not have freewill, the will is limited because we are subjected to external constraints.
  • will Lotus F... 2009/11/04 18:14:50
    will
    Yes God and or maybe Satan only have the ability to use free will. Humans do have limited versions of free will. I can make choices of limited free will, but the human mind is the ultimate form of free will thinking.
  • Jim 2009/10/29 17:20:12
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    Jim
    Historically the cross has been a representation in the Christian churches of the death of Christ for sins. In it's true sense it is a Christian only symbol, but like many things today it's meaning has been perverted.

    Today we see all manner of people wearing crosses, people who clearly represent darkness and evil in their appearance and words.

    Today the meaning of a cross, like that of a rainbow has been hijacked to the point that I as a Christian will not wear or display a cross because I do not want to be connected with all that it has come to represent in this twenty-first century.

    When we boil it all down we see that the cross is nothing but an idol anyway, just like a so-called picture of Christ is an idol.

    The fact is that as Christians if we do not want to embrace that which the lukewarm embrace, and do not want to be associated with those dark forces that have adopted the cross, we are better off to stick to pure doctrine to represent our beliefs and practices.

    The world has hijacked the cross, but they can never change what was accomplished there for those who will humble themselves and repent.
  • seathanaich 2009/10/29 17:04:01 (edited)
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    seathanaich
    +2
    Obviously it's a Christian symbol. It's amazing the lying that people are willing to do to pretend otherwise. Isn't lying a "sin" according to their religion? Do they REALLY think, to themselves, that they AREN'T lying? I find that extremely difficult to believe. And all that lying achieves is to, well, make them look like liars. And how does that help ANY cause?

    No symbol can represent everyone, including the non-religious who want no such symbol. So plant trees, put up plaques, build nice fences - and keep religious symbols out.

    85% of Americans (and dropping) believe in various gods. 75% of Americans (and dropping) call themselves Christian. Rather than fighting a rear-guard action that will ultimately be unsuccessful, what American Christians SHOULD be doing is creating a true separation of church and state, so that when they become the minority of the population, they have already safeguarded their ability to practice their faith, and have built up enough goodwill with the non-religious community to ensure it continues to view them positively.
  • Thought-a-Matic 2009/10/29 16:43:14
    Undecided
    Thought-a-Matic
    in the hopes that it will lead them to Christ

    I pray the world wakes up in time before there left with a whole lot of evil and not a whole lot of options undecided hopes lead christ pray world wakes evil options
  • Lotus F... Thought... 2009/10/31 14:55:33
    Lotus Flower
    "I pray the world wakes up in time before there left with a whole lot of evil "

    Isn't this the revelation of John, they world will be consumed with evil? How do you expect to thwart the word of your god?
  • Toasty 2009/10/29 16:38:59
    Undecided
    Toasty
    I know this won't contribute anything into this discussion, but i used to think that the cross was an upside down sword.
  • Caity Toasty 2009/10/29 17:24:45 (edited)
    Caity
    Haha hopefully you found out that it wasn't before you took someone's cross and started play-fighting with it.
  • Toasty Caity 2009/10/29 23:56:59
    Toasty
    Hell, i was a little kid. I thought dragons existed and stuff... maybe they do... ahahha
  • AskingTasha 2009/10/29 16:04:16
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    AskingTasha
    It's a christian symbol. I haven't really seen any non-christians wearing them. That's why they're are other symbols that they probably use symbolically. But then again who am i to say, i dont know if they use it or not i guess
  • Unmistakably Liz 2009/10/29 15:56:54
    It's a Christian symbol only.
    Unmistakably Liz
    It's a cross! It could only be a christian symbol.

    http://LoverQuarrel.etsy.com

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