a tree in front of a window: Opponents say the massive Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution; supporters say the memorial honors service members and the constitutional ideals they died to defend.

I don’t follow religions, and that includes the religion that teaches there is no God. That said, I don’t begrudge others their faith either. Sadly, there are those who think their beliefs are the only ones that should be allowed to stand. These people come from all religious backgrounds, I know, so don’t get any bad ideas.

So today on my news feed I see that some group of loveless malcontents has decided that our nation (The decreasingly) United States of America, can’t survive unless a monument, in the shape of a cross, erected to honor our fallen soldiers in World War One is removed from its location in Bladensburg, Maryland. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear this case on the 27th of February. The decision of the justices is bound to have a profound and far reaching effect.

It has been my experience in my relationships with atheists, agnostics and secular humanists over the years, that they feel our country is under siege from fundamentalist Christians who seek to turn their religious teachings into the law of the land. In large part I agree with them, but not this part.

I’ll bet we all know people of whatever religion who are, let’s say, not very receptive to new ideas. They’ll wave the flag and talk about freedom but by all indications the only freedom they care about is their own. It’s been that way for as long as there have been Europeans in America and it’s time we stopped.

Two points I think are most salient in this stupid, STUPID argument: 1). If you visit the United Kingdom you can find monuments to Scotsmen, Irishmen and Welshmen who stood against English rule over the centuries, and the English are not offended. These Monuments, as well as those like them here and all over the world, are reminders of the courage and sacrifice of our forebears. Not their religion or their politics, their courage.

2). Even if you don’t believe in Jesus, I’m sure you know his story. He went to the cross, willingly, as a sacrifice for the redemption of all mankind. As I have made clear, I am no Christian, and that’s all right. You don’t have to follow any particular religion to understand the meaning of sacrifice. To me, the cross is a symbol of sacrifice. When I see a place where soldiers died or were buried, I don’t look at or for the religious or political symbology. These places, these pieces of metal and stone, represent people who stood up for something they loved, be it the South, the Fatherland, the British Empire or the Land of the Rising Sun. They don’t exist to oppress anyone or to advocate ethnic or racial genocide, but to honor those who loved their land enough to die for it. That sterling Human quality is worthy of honor, no matter the heart in which it burns. Those I know who have been to war tell me that the blood washes away the idealism and that, in the end, you’re fighting for your friends. I believe that with all my heart, but that makes no difference. One of the truths of Jesus’ teaching, one that extends easily beyond the doctrines and dogma of the church, is found in the gospel of John, chapter 15, verse 13: “Greater love hath no man than this: That a man lay down his life for his friends.”

The assertion that the form of the Peace Cross, as it is known, is an insinuation that all the soldiers who fought in the great war were Christians is nothing more than putting words in other people’s mouths. I say that the days of pandering to the chronically offended must end. There are many far more important things to think about.