Supreme Court Asked To Hear Md. Cross Case.

PositionIN THE CAPITAL

A dispute over the display of a 40-foot cross in Bladensburg, Md., may reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The so-called "Peace Cross" was erected in 1925 by the American Legion and people who lived in the area on what was then private land as a memorial to residents of Prince George's County who died in World War I. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission took possession of the land in 1961 and currently owns the cross and maintains the site where it is displayed along a busy intersection in the Washington, D.C., suburb.

Representing local plaintiffs, the American Humanist Association (AHA) sued over the religious symbol's display. The group argued that government ownership and maintenance of a sectarian symbol violates separation of church and state. It also pointed out that the cross, as the predominant symbol of the Christian faith, can't memorialize all war dead.

"The government can't prefer one religion over another, and it...

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