Mojave desert cross stolen by vandals

posted at 8:16 pm on May 11, 2010 by Allahpundit

On behalf of the Council on American-Atheist Relations, I wish to remind you (a) that the vast majority of atheists are law-abiding citizens, (b) those who would engage in acts such as this are part of a tiny minority of extremists who don’t understand “true” atheism, and (c) atheism is an irreligion of peace.

Seriously, if it does turn out to be atheists, we’re going to have to send S.E. Cupp out to do damage control.

The cross’s removal leaves veterans’ groups hunting for clues. Looking at the pictures of the site where the cross once was, VFW chief spokesperson Joe Davis says he is amazed at the serious planning and execution that went into the theft. The cutting of the thick, metal pipes in concrete was a serious undertaking, he says.

The eight-foot-high cross had been perched on a wind-swept rock jutting 30 feet above the Mojave National Preserve 76 years ago by a group of World War 1 veterans. Situated in a wide expanse of arid desert, the cross was about 20 feet off a two-lane highway where perhaps 20 cars pass a day…

When he first saw photos of the vandalized cross site, Mr. Davis says he was “in shock and disbelief…. How could anyone have the audacity to tear down a war memorial to the dead?”

The $25,000 reward is now being offered through the Liberty Institute, which represented the VFW, American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and American Ex-Prisoners of War in an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Salazar v. Buono.

Disgraceful. Here’s the tip line. Big Journalism notes that one of the theories being kicked around by cops is, um, scrap metal scavengers:

Scrap metal scavengers?!? Of course! Imagine the confused, head-scratching scene in the Associated Press newsroom when this story broke. Why? Why would anyone steal this cross, they puzzled? On the one hand, you have embittered anti-religious zealots who just lost a years’ long battle costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, you have a 7 foot tall cross with a scrap value of maybe $100, which would take at least two men most of a day, a pickup truck, and probably 20 gallons of gas, for the 250 mile round trip, not to mention the long hike to access, cut and remove the cross, leaving a net profit of perhaps $20 each for a day’s work. So, who could it have been – bitterly aggrieved anti-religion zealots? Or economically suicidal scrap metal scavengers? Why, scrap metal scavengers!

There are reportedly rattlesnakes on the hill too, so … yeah, whoever wanted this thing wanted it very badly. Sigh. Exit question: If this does turn out to be the handiwork of the godless, will Nanny Bloomberg jump in with one of his patented gratuitous warnings about a backlash?


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Maybe it was stolen by Christians who want to make atheists look bad.

Mark1971 on May 11, 2010 at 8:25 PM
Hmmmmm…

Allahpundit on May 11, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Absolutely preposterous!!

Sweet_Thang on May 12, 2010 at 6:43 AM

I would contribute to the cost of replacing that cross, as I’m sure both Christians and well-meaning atheists would as well…

Sweet_Thang on May 12, 2010 at 6:50 AM

Dr Evil on May 11, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Do you live in Montana? I’m visiting MT for ten days, right now. Goodness it’s a beautiful state. And you’re right–I can’t imagine anyone messing with a memorial here. First, it seems these kids are generally raised well, and second, Montanans seem pretty no-nonsense about almost everything, and wouldn’t tolerate that sort of thing. On my flight here, I was thinking about terrorists and airplanes (you know, happy in-flight thoughts), and looked around at the bunch of strapping farm boys returning home from a high school field trip, and I could only imagine the pounding a hijacker would experience. I felt pretty safe. :)

DrMagnolias on May 12, 2010 at 6:58 AM

RD on May 12, 2010 at 2:10 AM

Well I was operating under the assumption that it was a WWII monument (it’s actually a WWI monument).

Now when I originally posted that I was wondering in my own way why it was a cross, since it wasn’t just Christians who bled for this country in any conflict, let alone WWI.

Now, had anyone said,”Hey take a look at this quote found here:

Davis says that the original constructors meant no disrespect to other religions – the cross was used not out of religious necessity, he says, but out of respect to the 53,000 US veterans who died over 18 months of fighting in WWI.

“Three of the highest medals in our armed forces use the cross – the distinguished service cross, the Air Force cross, and the Navy cross – and no one has ever returned one of those,” says Davis. “This memorial meant a lot to those veterans and we cannot apply 21st century rules of political correctness to their world in 1934.”

I would have said,”Oh, I see. Thanks.”

Instead I had three people fly off the handle at me….oh well.
Now, it’s interesting you bring up the word “fool” seeing the definition (in my mind at least) is someone who does or thinks the same thing repeatedly despite evidence or logic to the contrary.

Now as far as looking like a fool. I’d have to argue that a few people have already beat me to it.

So my advice to you, GTR640, and rcl is that before you take a swig of that Red Bull and assume that I am trying to disrespect our war dead, take a chill pill and relax. I have an amazing ability to admit when I’m operating under false information when given evidence to the contrary of.

Otherwise you could end up looking like a really irrational noob.

Rightwingguy on May 12, 2010 at 6:59 AM

Oh and please excuse my stupid typos….

Rightwingguy on May 12, 2010 at 7:02 AM

First, I want to apologize in advance for my spelling. I’m on a different computer using IE with no spell check, it’s going to be ugly. This whole situation is a great example of what we are dealing with nationally, lots of debate, lots of money spent, lots of procedure, money and court rulings, only to have the Left do what they damn well please.

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2010 at 7:57 AM

I got a brilliant idea!!
==========================

Chip the cross`s with a GPS micro-gizmo,and
satellite track it,instead of On-Star,have an
On-Cross!!(snark).

canopfor on May 12, 2010 at 7:58 AM

First, I want to apologize in advance for my spelling. I’m on a different computer using IE with no spell check, it’s going to be ugly. This whole situation is a great example of what we are dealing with nationally, lots of debate, lots of money spent, lots of procedure, money and court rulings, only to have the Left do what they damn well please.

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2010 at 7:57 AM

Cindy Munford:I don`t have spell check,old school,google
is my co-pilot for spell`n!

Rest assure,the Leftys will get there come-
uppance!!—:)

canopfor on May 12, 2010 at 8:06 AM

canopfor on May 12, 2010 at 8:06 AM

I do the google thing also but that’s when I know I don’t know the spelling. Mozilla keeps me from looking like a complete idiot. I am also a big believer in the payback is hell theory. I hope it is big awful and that I don’t miss it.

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2010 at 8:10 AM

“That’s how we roll.”

Allahpundit

QFT

fossten on May 12, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Who cares.

Narutoboy on May 11, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Sounds like someone needs a good whack upside the head. It will be fun when you become a grown-up and remember how many dumbaszz things you said.

katy the mean old lady on May 12, 2010 at 8:19 AM

The problem with atheism is the same problem with Islam in the modern world. Their more ardent followers/believers will use criminal and violent acts in the prosecution of their belief system, and not enough of the normal followers take public action against them.

ray on May 12, 2010 at 8:25 AM

Thanks for the research Rightwing

GTR640 on May 12, 2010 at 8:33 AM

canopfor on May 12, 2010 at 8:06 AM
=================
I do the google thing also but that’s when I know I don’t know the spelling. Mozilla keeps me from looking like a complete idiot. I am also a big believer in the payback is hell theory. I hope it is big awful and that I don’t miss it.

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Cindy Munford: Oops,I mis-read you spelling,I would assume
you would look it up,and yup,Leftys will be
get`n just desserts,politically,that is!!!:)

canopfor on May 12, 2010 at 8:34 AM

The problem with atheism is the same problem with Islam in the modern world. Their more ardent followers/believers will use criminal and violent acts in the prosecution of their belief system, and not enough of the normal followers take public action against them.

ray on May 12, 2010 at 8:25 AM

Good try. Most members of groups tend to hang out together. i.e. Muslims hang out at the Mosque. Christians hang out at Church. But Atheist don’t hang out at the Atheist Club. They don’t “follow” anything. There is no leader of Atheists.

BierManVA on May 12, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Albert Einstein said, “atheists are enslaved by the chains of their own minds.” Atheists have no souls, their ignorance is self afflicted.

volsense on May 12, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I don’t support your socialistic church-going agenda and you tell me to go to China. I’m fighting for conservatism here. I’m fighting to have organized religion banned so we as individuals can worship God without having to provide welfare for preachers. You can throw your man-made so called holy books in the toilet and embrace rationalism.

Narutoboy on May 11, 2010 at 8:48 PM

You’re fighting to destroy something that you don’t like, because you think you are smarter than the people who do like it. That is in no way a conservative stance, but is very progressive/liberal. I expect better arguments from special needs rutabagas.

darktood on May 12, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Narutoboy on May 11, 2010 at 8:48 PM

You clearly know very little about the founding of this country, or the Founders’ views on religion. Jefferson–no slouch when it comes to rationalism–attended church services in the Capitol building as both Vice President and President (including two days after he wrote the Danbury Baptists letter). No one “fighting for conservatism” would ever propose banning organized religion.

DrMagnolias on May 12, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Christians still deserve a marker. Why do they always have to give it up? If Athiests want a marker, well, pick something. Maybe thats their marker there now…NOTHING. I think the cross represents more than what pepople try to imply. Why can’t the cross represent an effort? Quit making the cross into a bad thing. I’d gladly donate $100 to the cause of replacing it.

johnnyU on May 12, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Christians should start declaring fatwas and holy wars on people, seems like the only way to get any respect….

rollthedice on May 12, 2010 at 9:47 AM

A bunch of libs lost a battle they didn’t expect to lose & this is their reaction…typical

DCJeff on May 12, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Nutboy is back? He/she/it likes to hijack the blog by turning the subject around to one of he/she/it’s favorites: “religion is for fools”, “racism”, “social expirmentation”.

I see he/she/it has chosen “religion is for fools” this time.

jbh45 on May 12, 2010 at 9:51 AM

DrMagnolias on May 12, 2010 at 6:58 AM

I am from Montana, but we are living out of state currently. It’s beautiful country, and Montanans as a rule are friendly so if you run into someone cranky, chances are they are a transplant ;)

Dr Evil on May 12, 2010 at 9:58 AM

It will be fun when you become a grown-up and remember how many dumbaszz things you said.

katy the mean old lady on May 12, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Constantly trying to drill that into my kid’s heads. A good example of if you have a thought let it go…Meghan McCain.

Some day she will be older, and the times will be different…I can hear it now “I was just a kid when I posted those blogs” LOL! People will judge if she was shallow, and behind the curve. Kids today just don’t have a lot of experience with self auditing or whether they should be circumspect in their communication. They aren’t being taught to do more than edit – censor themselves, applying politically correct standards. Conditioned not to have or express an original thought of their own.

It’s one of the reasons why people home school.

Dr Evil on May 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Just like all the idiotic “The Times Square Bomber is ‘this’” crap I read last week, I hear the same thing here.

No one knows who these people were or their motive. Weather atheist or theist, liberal or conservative, etc.

I’m an atheist and I would never do this. So keep the broad brush in check please.

BierManVA on May 11, 2010 at 9:39 PM

You’re missing an important distinction.

The folks who were saying “the Times Square bomber is most likely like 99.9% of all of the other terrorists we’ve had experience with” were correct, weren’t they?

Yes, there was a lot of ‘crap’ as well, but it wasn’t coming from the folks who had a rational thought process about it, rather than a bigoted political agenda to score points with.

And how does that apply here? Well, we can use rational thought, critical thinking skills and have a pretty good idea of the kind of folks that did this, or we can choose instead to apply a bigoted political perspective.

Your suggestion that this might be the work of ‘theist’ or ‘conservative’ certainly fits the latter.

Midas on May 12, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Behead Those Who Insult Christianity

faraway on May 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM

This whole situation is a great example of what we are dealing with nationally, lots of debate, lots of money spent, lots of procedure, money and court rulings, only to have the Left do what they damn well please.

Cindy Munford on May 12, 2010 at 7:57 AM

Exactly! +1!

bitsy on May 12, 2010 at 10:55 AM

I could find no attribute for this:

Albert Einstein said, “atheists are enslaved by the chains of their own minds.” Atheists have no souls, their ignorance is self afflicted.

volsense on May 12, 2010 at 8:55 AM

There is however this:

Does evil exist?

The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”

“God created everything? The professor asked.

“Yes sir”, the student replied.

The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil”. The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”

“Of course”, replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?” The students snickered at the young man’s question.

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”

The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”

The professor responded, “Of course it does.”

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”

Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The professor sat down.

The young man’s name — Albert Einstein.

Speakup on May 12, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Speakup on May 12, 2010 at 11:04 AM

So Einstein demonstrated that neither good nor evil exist.

Bravo!

MJBrutus on May 12, 2010 at 11:38 AM

GTR640 on May 12, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Thanks, I try. :-)

Rightwingguy on May 12, 2010 at 12:10 PM

So Einstein demonstrated that neither good nor evil exist.

“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18 ESV

oldleprechaun on May 12, 2010 at 12:28 PM

If the (censored) are found how many minutes do you think it will be between the announcement and the ACLU pipes up in their defense?

{+_+}

herself on May 12, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Good old Californicate tolerance. It’s out in the middle of nowhere for Christ’s sake and has nothing to do with government except for the rock it stood on being on federal land. But, never mind the law. This sort of stupidity should be rewarded with repeated sessions listening to Obama’s verbal ineptitude.

LarryG on May 12, 2010 at 12:43 PM

I don’t support your socialistic church-going agenda and you tell me to go to China. I’m fighting for conservatism here. I’m fighting to have organized religion banned so we as individuals can worship God without having to provide welfare for preachers. You can throw your man-made so called holy books in the toilet and embrace rationalism.

Narutoboy on May 11, 2010 at 8:48 PM

lol, it’s funny how pseudo-conservatives don’t think we can sniff them out. Your ignorance of conservatism could not be any clearer to us. Banning organized religion? So much for small government and freedom of religous expression, yeah you’re a real conservative. :\

Fascism of that nature is completely “rational”, history proves this. lol

Daemonocracy on May 12, 2010 at 1:00 PM

So Einstein demonstrated that neither good nor evil exist.

“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18 ESV

oldleprechaun on May 12, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Hilarious.

Speakup on May 12, 2010 at 1:00 PM

So Einstein demonstrated that neither good nor evil exist.

Bravo!

MJBrutus on May 12, 2010 at 11:38 AM

In your case I have to wonder if stupidity exists, or is it just an absence of intellectual honesty?

Daemonocracy on May 12, 2010 at 1:17 PM

“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18 ESV

oldleprechaun on May 12, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Since there is no Jesus, there is no good and hence no evil. QED

MJBrutus on May 12, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Since there is no Jesus, there is no good and hence no evil. QED MJBrutus on May 12, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Huh, did you look for Him everywhere, or just give up? Maybe He’s hiding from you.

Akzed on May 12, 2010 at 1:21 PM

But Atheist don’t hang out at the Atheist Club.

Some do.

They don’t “follow” anything.

You sure?

There is no leader of Atheists.
BierManVA on May 12, 2010 at 8:45 AM


Some people think so.

Akzed on May 12, 2010 at 1:28 PM

MJBrutus on May 12, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Just a hint, don’t attribute this.

Speakup on May 12, 2010 at 1:40 PM

First, It probably was scrap metal heads.
Second, Rattle snakes in the hills? what’aya live in a City?
There are rattle snakes everywhere, Mr. Rogers.

Observation on May 12, 2010 at 1:47 PM

I doubt atheists would bother. Instead I suspect antagonistic theists.

SarahW on May 12, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Sounds like someone needs a good whack upside the head. It will be fun when you become a grown-up and remember how many dumbaszz things you said.

katy the mean old lady on May 12, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Hey, I try.

Narutoboy on May 12, 2010 at 1:57 PM

The cross had originally been erected in 1934 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to commemorate American soldiers who had died in World War I. In 2002, Frank Buono, a retired Park Service employee, filed suit alleging a violation of the Establishment Clause and “sought an injunction requiring the government to remove the cross.”

Stanley Fish, NYT.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/when-is-a-cross-a-cross/

Seems to me a retired Park Service Employee Frank Buono, and any of his cohorts, might be where the F.B.I. would think of starting their questioning…

Dr Evil on May 12, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Hey, I try.

Narutoboy on May 12, 2010 at 1:57 PM


We All Boil At Different Temperatures.

Dr Evil on May 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Install one twice as big, fully electrified at lethal levels

PJ Emeritus on May 12, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Yes. Support rationalism. Support theism. Organized religion is a corruption.

Narutoboy on May 11, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Sasuke told you that didn’t he?

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 12, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Maybe it was stolen by Christians who want to make atheists look bad.

Mark1971 on May 11, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Atheists make themselves look bad. There’s no shortages of news reports documenting it. So, why would their be a need on anyone’s part to fabricate?

What would be odd is an example where atheists do something good.

Blake on May 12, 2010 at 2:50 PM

I doubt atheists would bother.

SarahW on May 12, 2010 at 1:48 PM

You’re talking about a group that raises money to put ads on buses for Christmas.

Ronnie on May 12, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Once the cross, isolated as it is, became a ’cause celebre’, the purloining or destruction of it was entirely predictable.

Similarly, any replacement cross (unless guarded 24/7) will meet with the same fate.

MaiDee on May 12, 2010 at 5:16 PM

I’m fighting to have organized religion banned so we as individuals can worship God without having to provide welfare for preachers.
Narutoboy on May 11, 2010 at 8:48 PM

You really don’t get this whole “Freedom” thing do you?

If you, like me, don’t belong to or follow any “organized religion”, how does any “organized religion” affect you?

Why would it bother you?

You have the RIGHT to worship or not worship anything you want, that’s freedom.

You do not have the right to impose your hissy fit on anyone else.

Try a little honesty, starting with yourself.

DSchoen on May 12, 2010 at 6:02 PM

You have the RIGHT to worship or not worship anything you want, that’s freedom.

You do not have the right to impose your hissy fit on anyone else.

Try a little honesty, starting with yourself.

DSchoen on May 12, 2010 at 6:02 PM

This is blasphemy. I smite you in the name of the lord, of the heavenly father, in the shadow of the holy ghost. Hallelujah. Blessed be the name of Jesus. Have mercy on this poor soul’s soul father. I’m asking you, in the name of your only same. DEAR GOD!!!111 I’m calling out to YOU! Ara shalla himmuha la mekutah halamalaha rasha dakasha. Ya got me speakin’ in tongues in here. Have mercy. Amen.

Narutoboy on May 12, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Help me lord. Help me Jesus. My feet are tappin’. Tappin’ in the name of Jesus. My leg-my leg-it’s got the holy ghost in it. I think I-I think I want to shout.

Narutoboy on May 12, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Good try. Most members of groups tend to hang out together. i.e. Muslims hang out at the Mosque. Christians hang out at Church. But Atheist don’t hang out at the Atheist Club. They don’t “follow” anything. There is no leader of Atheists.

BierManVA on May 12, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Please tell me what era you live in? See, this is the computer age, you don’t seek out other atheists in the real world anymore. I was just talking to my fiancé about this, he happened to be an atheist as a teenager, he belonged to around four different message boards dedicated to atheism.

Want to know the best part, they used to plan out criminal acts against churches and religious groups on these message boards. So, they can find each other as easily as people with religions.

Also, I went to a small town school, everyone was an uber Christian. One atheist moved in, and now at least 10% of my class is atheist and constantly protesting anything to do with religion. I know this because one of those people is on my facebook and I get to watch first hand how some atheists feel about religion.

Now, I’m not saying all atheist are anti-religious zealots. But, a lot of them are, and saying they can’t organize with each other is being very blind.

I’m fighting to have organized religion banned so we as individuals can worship God without having to provide welfare for preachers.
Narutoboy on May 11, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Really? You think banning organized religion is freedom?

Have fun with people like Marx, Stalin, ect..

Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.
Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

BeLinda on May 12, 2010 at 7:10 PM

You can throw your man-made so called holy books in the toilet and embrace rationalism.

Narutoboy

You first. Tell me how it goes.

Rational Banning Voluntary Behavior of a Majority of People

Really, tell me when you get there. … Really.

How is a ban not institutional?

Axeman on May 12, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Hey, he only means in “his America” which extends .72 millimeters beyond his skin

PJ Emeritus on May 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM

What a dumb thing to steal. A 7-foot metal cross. What exactly are the thieves going to do with it? If seeing a cross out in the desert was so annoying, will it really be better if you’re hiding it in your garage?

I’m betting the thieves end up becoming Christians — not because a piece of metal has magical powers, but because the human heart isn’t wired to justify this foolishness in emotional peace.

J.E. Dyer on May 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

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