If common sense and a reasonable reading of the First Amendment to the Constitution prevailed, there would be little need for federal legislation explicitly spelling out protections for religious liberty and expression in the public square.
But reason and common sense are not always in ample supply. So the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would make it clear that religious symbols may be used at military memorials.
One of the bills passed declares it officially permissible to place religious markers at federally overseen war memorials. Why is that bill necessary? Because a year ago, the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals declared it unconstitutional to leave in place a cross on a government-managed memorial near La Jolla, Calif. The cross was erected 99 years ago and honors all U.S. veterans.
The bill would protect "the inclusion of all symbols of religion and personal faith on war memorials established and under the control of the federal government," according to its sponsor, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.
The second piece of legislation would place at the World War II Memorial in Washington a plaque commemorating President Franklin D. Roosevelt's prayer on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
"With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy," the prayer began. "Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances."
Having passed in the House already, these bills should be approved by the Senate as well, and then be signed into law by President Barack Obama.