A memorial to fallen U.S. military personnel is under attack from the nonprofit Military Religious Freedom Foundation, whose mission is to find any trace of Jesus or Christianity in military affairs and burn it out.
The nonprofit is considering a lawsuit against the city of Monument, Colo. over a religious memorial put up by a 16-year-old Eagle Scout, according to local station KRDO. The carved stone slab bears a reference to Jesus Christ that goes against the constitution, says MRFF President Mikey Weinstein.
The memorial at the Monument Cemetery was created in 2020 to honor fallen soldiers, as well as the teen’s father and grandfather, who both served in the military.
The inscription reads: “Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American Soldier; one died for your soul, the other died for your freedom. We honor those who made freedom a reality.”
The marker also has six military branch insignias placed above the phrase. Having them on the same marker with the name Jesus Christ led a small group of local active-duty members and veterans to target the memorial, Weinstein claims.
“It is un-American, it is unconstitutional, it violates the Colorado constitution and it is completely wrong on every possible level,” Weinstein said, explaining that the stone goes against the First Amendment’s Establishment clause that prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” The clause also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another.
Since the memorial was placed on public property, Weinstein argues the City of Monument is favoring one religion over others.
Apparently barring mention of anything but the government is not showing favor.
Weinstein says his foundation isn’t trying to bully the teenager who created the memorial, but maintains that a lawsuit is coming.
Mike Berry with First Liberty Institute, which offered to represent Monument during the controversy, said the city won’t take it down. “The town of Monument has no intention of removing this memorial,” Berry said.