Congress Approves Federal Control of Cross
WASHINGTON — The Senate passed legislation Aug. 1 to transfer ownership of Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego to the federal government, the latest twist in an escalating battle over the legality of a publicly displayed cross.
The House previously passed the
bill; the measure now awaits a signature from President Bush, whose
administration has supported it. “The people of
The 29-foot cross currently sits on city property as part of a veteran’s memorial. The bill passed by Congress would transfer control of the property to the federal government. The battle over the towering cross has lasted more than 15 years after an atheist Vietnam War veteran, Philip Paulson, filed a lawsuit that said the cross’s placement violated the separation of Church and state.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in the case, which suspended a lower court decision that would have forced the city to remove the cross from public land or risk a $5,000-per-day fine.
“We take this complaint very seriously,” said Deacon Larry Weber, executive director of the conference, the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops. “However, we believe strongly that we didn’t violate the IRS code or regulations,” Deacon Weber said. “We’re only seeking to provide information and clarify who is taking funding from supporters of embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning. People are known by the company they keep.”
Deacon Weber said discrepancies in
campaign finance disclosure reports filed by officeholders and by a political
action committee, Supporters of Health Research and Treatments, prompted the
conference to write letters in April to each state lawmaker asking if he or she
had received a contribution from the committee and intended to return it. “The
MCC is committed to informing
Bush Names New Head of Faith-based Office
Hein also is vice president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for American Renewal, a charity that provides grants and other support to community-based organizations.
Prior to his leadership of the Sagamore Institute, Hein was executive director of Civil
Society Programs at the Hudson Institute, now based in
“Jay has long been a leading voice for compassionate conservatism and a champion of faith and community-based organizations,” President Bush said in an Aug. 3 statement. “By joining my administration, he will help ensure that these organizations receive a warm welcome as government’s partner in serving our American neighbors in need.”