It’s back: Federal court settlement ends national dispute over Mojave Cross memorial.

Image: The cross was erected in 1934. The current caretakers…

Image: The cross was erected in 1934. The current caretakers of the spot were introduced to it by a prospector named John Riley Bembrey, who served as a medic in World War I and was one of the veterans who established the monument.[5] The Mojave Memorial Cross seen boarded-up in March 2006. Stan Shebs/Wikipedia

A federal court has approved an agreement that will allow the return of the Mojave Cross. A pending land swap would allow the cross to sit on private land, not public land, which was called a government endorsement of a religious symbol.

A 7-foot-tall cross-shaped war memorial at the center of a decade-old national dispute will soon return to its perch atop Sunrise Rock east of Baker in the Mojave Desert, following the settlement of a court case that wound its way from California to the Supreme Court and back.

Critics have long argued that the symbol should not be allowed on public land in the Mojave National Preserve. They say the Christian symbol violates the Constitution’s First Amendment, which prohibits the government from endorsing any religion.

Source: Ben Gold and Dug Begley for the Press-Enterprise.

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