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Eagle Scout Project Honoring Fallen Troops Is Under Attack For Being “Offensive”

Two years ago, Michael Carlson got to work thinking about what he wanted to do for his Eagle Scout project for the Boy Scouts. Carlson figured that he would honor veterans with a memorial calling out the amazing sacrifices they made to defend the United States in combat. However, Carlson’s memorial has since sparked a lot of backlash because of a “controversial” reference to Jesus Christ in the monument, which was carved into stone.

Carlson’s Eagle Scout project is available to view in Monument, Colorado. The monument honors American veterans but has been deemed non-inclusive because it mentions Jesus in the inscription. However, Carlson did not mean any offense by the monument and only wanted to express his passion and adoration for the United States military, which had given his father and grandfather a chance to serve in the Vietnam War and World War II.

For two years, Carlson worked on his Eagle Scout project. He raised money to make the project a reality and worked with the local community to figure out all the details that were required to bring the project to life. Carlson even put pencil to paper to sketch out the memorial to veterans. Private funds paid for the memorial that was put in a cemetery in Monument, Colorado.

“Michael saw veterans were underrepresented here. He didn’t go to the government and say, ‘Fix this.’ He decided to fix it himself and asked the government to help. … His leadership and patriotism have bettered our community,” Mayor Don Wilson remarked.

Carlson’s family purchased plots of land from the cemetery to create the veterans memorial. However, they received taxpayer support from the Town of Monument to dig up the land and plant the flagpole. The memorial includes the inscription that 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.”

However, some people took offense to the Eagle Scout project because it included a mention of Jesus Christ. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Michael Weinstein took offense to the mention of Jesus. He wrote a letter of complaint to the mayor about the mention of the Christian messiah.

“The obviously and incontrovertibly sectarian, Christian proselytizing message of that Veterans Memorial would be absolutely fine in a private cemetery, but in a publicly maintained and controlled cemetery, as in this instant matter, it is quite unconstitutional and illegal.”

Weinstein also mentioned another violation regarding Carlson’s Eagle Scout project. Apparently, the boy used images belonging to the Department of Defense without permission and in violation of the organization’s licensing guidelines. Weinstein is using all the ammunition available to him to get his way over the teen Boy Scout.

Now, First Liberty is working to defend the monument from the “threat of Mr. Weinstein,” according to the conservative organization’s general counsel Mike Berry.

“Remember…the memorial was privately funded and planned by Michael’s own efforts. That means the headstone inscription referencing Michael’s religious beliefs is private religious speech,” First Liberty said.

Do you think this veterans’ memorial should be able to mention Jesus?