Two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case involving a cross at a veterans’ memorial on public land in a way that worried some—including the Anti-Defamation League—for its seemingly lax attitude toward the separation of church and state.
Well, damned if someone hasn’t stolen the cross.
Specifically, someone stole the cross’s covering on Saturday; when a National Park Service staff member went to replace the covering on Sunday, he found that the 8-foot-tall cross, which was made of 4-inch-thick cement-filled pipe and had been bolted into the ground, no longer sat atop its usual hill in southern California’s Mojave National Preserve. Removing it, the Los Angeles Times reports, “would have taken a major effort involving planning and probably more than one person.” Conspiracy! (If you want to turn in your partner[s] in, there’s a $25,000 reward.)
I asked the ADL—which opposed the ruling two weeks ago—for a comment. “The theft of this religious symbol is unacceptable and deeply troubling,” the organization said. “We may have disagreed about whether it was lawful to have a 7-foot cross on public property, but this dispute was appropriately being handled by our nation’s court system. This theft may be further evidence that civility in our public and political discourse has eroded.”
Pun—given that said theft was of a cross sitting in a mound of dirt—presumably unintended.
Mojave Desert Cross, Focus of Long Legal Battle, Is Stolen [LAT L.A. Now]
Earlier:c Court’s Cross Decisions Draws Critiism