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In reference to a case before the Supreme Court, relative to a monument to World War I dead shaped in the form of a cross: Perhaps we should remember that such symbols also relate to more than just one religion and to more than religion.

The cross was used by the rulers of ancient Rome to cruelly execute criminals and those who opposed them. On this instrument of death by torture, slaves such as Spartacus and followers died along the length of a long road to Rome; they did not die because they were Christians, but because they fought and opposed slavery and the cruel games of the bloody arenas of those long-ago lands. The historical Jesus, in his time, was considered by many a mere dissident, troublesome, Jew. He still died on a cross, as did (if tradition is correct) two thieves besides him.

In wartime the Red Cross and its analogues with different symbols help the war wounded of all religions.

Now if we were to rid this country of all public symbols, then we would need to change the days of the week, and the months of the year for they too have religious origins. And such traditions as the May pole dances and Halloween. Remember, a time and place when such were changed, also celebrated frequent use of the guillotine. Let us remember the saying: "Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it."

Laurence Daley

Corvallis (Feb. 27)

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