Some church/state separation cases can get complicated, but this one is about as simple as it gets.
There was a giant white cross on Sackrider Hill in the Waterloo Recreation Area in Michigan. It had been there on government property since 1992. It only had a religious purpose. And it needed to come down.
That was the argument made by the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists (MACRA) this past March when they sent a letter to the state’s Department of Natural Resources..
It must have been convincing because the group in charge of the cross took it down without much of a fight.
The cross is owned by the Grass Lake Ministerial Association, which voted as a group to take down the cross after meeting with DNR representatives. The Rev. Melvin Parker, the association’s president, couldn’t be reached for comment.
It was removed by the DNR on Monday, May 14, said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer.
“Basically, it came down to, there was a cross that we didn’t own that was on land that we did own,” Pepin said. “We worked with the people that owned the cross and they voted to support removing it to a permanent location.”
Great! Everyone did what they were supposed to do… even if it took some atheists to push them in the right direction.
“We are pleased with the DNR’s action to remove the cross without further controversy,” said MACRA Co-Founder Mitch Kahle in a press release. “Obviously the park manager made a mistake by issuing the permit in 1992, but the DNR’s action today corrects the problem.”
Since the MACRA letter in March, community group Grassroots Jackson has started an online petition to “save the Jackson cross.”
The original Facebook post of the petition has more than 900 shares and representatives said more than 3,500 signatures have been collected.
“We are shocked and disappointed to learn that the historic cross on Sackrider Hill has been removed,” said Grassroots Jackson volunteer Billie Dawson in a message. “Our organization is still trying to piece together the details about what transpired, and how it happened with the public having such little knowledge.”
What details does Dawson not have? There was an illegal cross on public land. Now there isn’t. Case closed.
It’s not even a public issue since this was never going to come down to a popular vote. Dawson and every person who signed that petition should thank the Grass Lake Ministerial Association for saving the city money that it could have lost in a lawsuit.
And if they’re so desperate to see a cross, they should put one up in their homes or churches.
(Screenshot via FOX 47)