Crosses on public property have been common in America throughout our history, and only recently have they been characterized as offensive as part of the cleansing of all things Christian from the public square.
In the early 1930s, San Francisco erected a 103 foot wide cross on city land atop Mt Davidson, the areas highest point. The monument was dedicated in an Easter Sunday ceremony in which President FDR participated by way of a telegram. The cross became a focal point for Easter Sunrise services for years to come and was also illuminated during the Christmas season. In 1990 a federal district court denied a petition by atheists to remove the cross, but in 1996 the infamous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Carpenter v San Francisco, reversed the decision, holding that the sectarian religious monument could not be maintained on city property. The ACLU was elated and they were ready to get out the cutting torches and destroy the hated symbol.
City and county officials decided to sell the cross and the one-third acre tract of land surrounding it to a private entity at auction. It was a move that angered the anti-Christian groups, whose persistent objections demonstrated concerns far beyond church and state. City voters approved the auction and sale then lawsuits were filed claiming the sale was “fixed.” In 2002, the 9th circuit refused to invalidate the sale so the cross remained. There have been additional failed attempts to remove it since.
Eternal vigilance is ever needful or you can kiss your liberties goodbye.
–Pastor Ward Clinton