Men secure a cross honoring fallen Marines. A legal scholar says that since… (Rick Loomis, Los Angeles…)
Cross to bear?
Re "Dispute spotlights fallen Marines," Jan. 3
In one of his last of many comments on the relationship between church and state, James Madison, principal author of the 1st Amendment, wrote, "It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points."
It is my hope that the present dispute over the cross at Camp Pendleton will be recognized as one of those "unessential points," and that the state will not interfere with the efforts of Marines to honor their comrades as they see fit.
Your article implies that removing a cross from government ground dishonors the memory of courageous, dedicated, patriotic warriors. Nothing could be further from the truth.
These men deserve all the honors their friends, family and fellow Marines choose to bestow, but Marines of other faiths or no faith at all also serve at Camp Pendleton. Heroes who share other beliefs or none at all have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. A religious symbol for them is inappropriate.
The idea that crosses carry no religious meaning if "only" seen from Camp Pendleton is ridiculous, not to mention demeaning to the beliefs of other
Honor the fallen heroes by mounting their pictures or their names. Better yet, honor them with the globe, eagle and anchor symbol of the Marine Corps.
After seeing a picture in The Times in November of the $80,000 "church" for pagans built at the U.S. Air Force Academy, you have to wonder why no protest was made against that as an issue of separation of state and church. But erecting a cross in memory of fallen Marines in a secluded area at no taxpayer expense draws a backlash?
When you see a cross along a road on state property, do you not reflect on the likelihood that someone lost a loved one at this site instead of it possibly violating the separation of church and state?
Obama's efforts aren't rewarded
Re "Ohio's working class reflects a challenge confronting Obama," Jan. 3
How does this country stand a chance when a large portion of the electorate can believe things like the falsehood that President Obama is responsible for the bailouts? Or that they don't like taxes even though they are paying historically low rates, and they don't make the connection between deficits and low taxes?
Obama is not responsible for the wars that fueled much of the deficit, but he is still getting the blame. The actions he has taken to help solve our problems have been thwarted by Congress, where the Republicans' agenda is to make Obama a one-term president, the needs of the American people be damned.
So some voters think the solution in to put back in office the same party that got us in this hole? Where are they getting these brilliant ideas?
In 2008, Obama lost white working-class voters in Ohio by 10 percentage points. The axiom that voters vote their values was certainly in play then.
Despite the Republican blitzkrieg on the middle class and unions, far too many of them still hold on to the same beliefs.
Rancho Palos Verdes
Re "The recusal question," Editorial, Jan. 3
In discussing rules on recusal, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that his fellow Supreme Court justices are "jurists of exceptional integrity and experience.... I know that they each give careful consideration to any recusal questions that arise in the course of their judicial duties."
Justice Clarence Thomas neglected to disclose the hundreds of thousands of dollars his wife was paid by a far-right organization.
Roberts doesn't think Congress should dictate ethics rules for the Supreme Court. I've got news for Roberts: The United States is a democracy, not a monarchy.
Have some class
Re "Small legal cases can pay big," Jan. 2
In focusing on a handful of class-action cases decreed to be petty, the article failed to tell the more important story of how class actions have benefited our nation. Cases construed as frivolous are the exception.
Class actions have been at the forefront of positive change since the days of racial desegregation. Last year, a team of lawyers in Northern California used a class-action lawsuit to successfully confront a major nursing home chain that was undercutting legal staffing levels. That case prompted nursing homes nationwide to re-
examine their obligation to our seniors.
Oil and insurance companies may rue a system that allows citizens to collectively challenge them, but America would not be the great nation it is today without the stalwart plaintiffs and lawyers who fight for what is right.
The writer is president of Consumer Attorneys of California.
Re "The wolf at the door," Editorial, Jan. 2