« Return to this article

Know the West

Cross lawsuit is not petty

  Dear HCN,

Myles Traphagen, (HCN, 6/24/02:Cross lawsuit divisive, petty), commenting on a May 13 article, "Does desert cross cross the line?" characterizes as "frivolous" and "petty" the American Civil Liberties Union's lawsuit whose object is to have a six-foot metal cross removed from its unlawful installation in California's Mojave National Preserve: "In an age where our public lands are being assaulted by forces much more menacing ..."

Mr. Traphagen misconstrues the ACLU's motivation; the cross threatens no one. It is the refusal to enforce the Constitution which endangers this nation's minorities as well as our public lands. Those who turn a blind eye toward such lawlessness should not expect vigilance on the part of enforcement agencies faced with vocal groups more concerned with their local economy than with the long-term protection of snail darters or ancient creosote shrubs.

Eliot KalmanAthens, Ohio

Eliot Kalman is president of the Southeast Chapter of the ACLU of Ohio.