Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Is a Katrina Memorial Illegal? --
Via the LA Times: "A proposed memorial to victims of Hurricane Katrina from St. Bernard's Parish that includes a cross bearing a depiction of Jesus has spurred a conflict between parish officials and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU says incorporating a cross in the memorial is unconstitutional because local government officials were part of the committee that conceived the idea and because the group thinks the site where it will be erected is public land.

But parish officials insist that the land where the memorial will be placed is private, though it is near a public waterway. And they argue that parish employees, who are members of the memorial committee, are volunteers who worked on the project on their own time, using private funding.

The proposed memorial is scheduled to be erected Aug. 29, the storm's one-year anniversary. It is a 13-foot-high, 7-foot-wide gold-painted, stainless steel cross bearing a silver artistic rendering of Jesus' face. An accompanying stone monument will be inscribed with the names of the parish's storm dead and the 20 who were never found."
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