Controversial cross to stand in San Carlos Cemetery

There are 22 comments on the Monterey County Herald story from Mar 2, 2010, titled Controversial cross to stand in San Carlos Cemetery. In it, Monterey County Herald reports that:

A small cross marks the location inside San Carlos Cemetery where the Del Monte Beach Cross will be relocated as Bishop Richard Garcia of the Diocese of Monterey speaks at a news conference Monday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Monterey County Herald.

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Oldschool

San Clemente, CA

#1 Mar 2, 2010
So the Vandals win! Let's all admit that the law is only effective in keeping those that respect it in line. For all the others there are typically minimal consequences, or as in this case, a reward for their lawlessness. And in this day and age where federal laws are ignored by the minute (immigration law for example) and our constitution isn't respected by the very lawmakers we elect to uphold it, why does the ACLU have such leverage?
pam oyaas usmc retired

Monterey, CA

#2 Mar 2, 2010
Where do these ACLU idiots think it has been all this time. There was never an issue about the cross until someone vandalized it. Maybe the ACLU had something to do with the vandalism as well? Interesting how they want to whine about it now after all these years.
johnny

Monterey, CA

#3 Mar 2, 2010
the city of monterey chickened out, bent over and let the vandals and the aclu screw them. gooo monterey. that cross should have put back and then and only then should discussion on it's placement discussed.
JDW

Monterey, CA

#4 Mar 2, 2010
What a beautiful and peaceful location!

I'm glad that the cross will be placed on private lands, where it can be protected from further vandalism. It will save the taxpayers of Monterey tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and by resurrecting the cross, you can put to rest the idea that the 'vandals won'. If you wish to visit this cross, you may now do so.

There is still controversy, however. It is not at all clear that the location picked by church and citizens in 1969 had anything to do with the placement of the original cross. Crespi's diary from 1769 clearly states that the second cross was placed near the Point of Pines, above a small cove on a hill to signal a passing ship. The 1969 cross was placed on a prominent overlook, accessible by a road and viewable from the highway as you entered the City of Monterey. It had very little to do with history and more to do with promotion and marketing.

I, for one, am very glad that the Catholic Church has agreed to put the cross back up, protect it for all those who wish to enjoy it to do so, and keep the city out of legal trouble.

Since: Sep 09

Carmel Valley, CA

#5 Mar 2, 2010
Oldschool wrote:
So the Vandals win! Let's all admit that the law is only effective in keeping those that respect it in line. For all the others there are typically minimal consequences, or as in this case, a reward for their lawlessness. And in this day and age where federal laws are ignored by the minute (immigration law for example) and our constitution isn't respected by the very lawmakers we elect to uphold it, why does the ACLU have such leverage?
It's not that the ACLU has such leverage since they didn't make the law - they're just pointing out what the law states.

Actually the Constitution's first amendment puts forth the separation of church and state. So the ACLU is actually respecting and following the Constitution.

I don't think that the vandals won - the cross is going to be erected in San Carlos Cemetery which is a very appropriate place for it.

I know that this is and will continue to cause polarity on the Peninsula, but just imagine if someone had erected Zen Buddhist symbol or or a Swastika. Would either of those be appropriate? If one believes it's okay for a cross to be erected, then it should be okay for the symbol of any other religion to be erected on public land.
Robert Cruickshank

Salinas, CA

#6 Mar 2, 2010
All's well that ends well. The cross goes onto private land where it belongs, but it will remain accessible to the public, satisfying those who care about such things. A workable and sensible compromise. It's even, dare I say it, a happy ending.
Oldschool

San Clemente, CA

#7 Mar 2, 2010
sunnycali wrote:
<quoted text>
It's not that the ACLU has such leverage since they didn't make the law - they're just pointing out what the law states.
Actually the Constitution's first amendment puts forth the separation of church and state. So the ACLU is actually respecting and following the Constitution.
I don't think that the vandals won - the cross is going to be erected in San Carlos Cemetery which is a very appropriate place for it.
I know that this is and will continue to cause polarity on the Peninsula, but just imagine if someone had erected Zen Buddhist symbol or or a Swastika. Would either of those be appropriate? If one believes it's okay for a cross to be erected, then it should be okay for the symbol of any other religion to be erected on public land.
Well then I'm sure the ACLU is busy as we speak suing to toss out all the illegal immigrants that are burying our state in debt, as they all have broken federal laws in being here. Amen!

Since: Sep 09

Carmel Valley, CA

#8 Mar 2, 2010
Oldschool wrote:
<quoted text>
Well then I'm sure the ACLU is busy as we speak suing to toss out all the illegal immigrants that are burying our state in debt, as they all have broken federal laws in being here. Amen!
How are undocumented immigrants burying our state in debt? Can you please provide sources that back that up? Thank you.
Ocean View

Pacific Grove, CA

#9 Mar 2, 2010
Oldschool wrote:
<quoted text>
Well then I'm sure the ACLU is busy as we speak suing to toss out all the illegal immigrants that are burying our state in debt, as they all have broken federal laws in being here. Amen!
The ACLU focuses on issues involving the First Amendment, not law enforcement.

Since: Mar 09

Monterey Peninsula, CA

#10 Mar 2, 2010
sunnycali wrote:
<quoted text>
It's not that the ACLU has such leverage since they didn't make the law - they're just pointing out what the law states.
Actually the Constitution's first amendment puts forth the separation of church and state. So the ACLU is actually respecting and following the Constitution.
I don't think that the vandals won - the cross is going to be erected in San Carlos Cemetery which is a very appropriate place for it.
I know that this is and will continue to cause polarity on the Peninsula, but just imagine if someone had erected Zen Buddhist symbol or or a Swastika. Would either of those be appropriate? If one believes it's okay for a cross to be erected, then it should be okay for the symbol of any other religion to be erected on public land.
While I would have trouble with a swastika on public land, a Buddhist symbol wouldn't bother me one bit. Reasonable people can disagree about the meaning of the First Amendment but I don't think it requires that every square inch of public land be sterilized of any religious reference. It does not allow the government to establish or interfere with a religion, but it says nothing about preventing the government from recognizing religion's role in history. That is a matter of personal interpretation, which I just don't share with the ACLU.

Remember, that the First Amendment protection of the free exercise of religion and free speech are mentioned in the same sentence, one right after the other. They really go hand-in-hand. I have thus often argued that wherever political and artistic expression are allowed (essentially everywhere), religious expression must also be allowed. Limiting religious expression to private property is to me a violation of both the free speech and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.

Moving the cross merely dodged the constitutional question. In no way was it resolved.

-Mr. Toy
www.montereypeninsula.info.hi story/cross.html

Since: Mar 09

Monterey Peninsula, CA

#11 Mar 2, 2010
From the article: "Crosses in public parks are subject to vandalism," Crosby said. "It's one of the problems of having religious symbols on public lands."

Why did the Herald choose that quote from an earlier article? It is quite irrelevant. Picnic tables and rest rooms are also targets of vandals. That's one of the hazards of having ANYTHING on public property.

-Mr. Toy
www.montereypeninsula.info/history/cross.html
(Note: the link in my previous post doesn't work. This forum really needs an EDIT feature.)

Since: Sep 09

Carmel Valley, CA

#12 Mar 2, 2010
MrToy wrote:
<quoted text>
While I would have trouble with a swastika on public land, a Buddhist symbol wouldn't bother me one bit. Reasonable people can disagree about the meaning of the First Amendment but I don't think it requires that every square inch of public land be sterilized of any religious reference. It does not allow the government to establish or interfere with a religion, but it says nothing about preventing the government from recognizing religion's role in history. That is a matter of personal interpretation, which I just don't share with the ACLU.
Remember, that the First Amendment protection of the free exercise of religion and free speech are mentioned in the same sentence, one right after the other. They really go hand-in-hand. I have thus often argued that wherever political and artistic expression are allowed (essentially everywhere), religious expression must also be allowed. Limiting religious expression to private property is to me a violation of both the free speech and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.
Moving the cross merely dodged the constitutional question. In no way was it resolved.
-Mr. Toy
www.montereypeninsula.info.hi story/cross.html
But the swastika is a symbol of Buddhism: "In Buddhism, the swastika signifies auspiciousness and good fortune as well as the Buddha's footprints and the Buddha's heart."
http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/symbols...

And a symbol of Hinduism: "Its name comes the Sanskrit word svasti (sv = well; asti = is), meaning good fortune, luck and well-being."
http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/symbols...

The six pointed star which is a symbol of Judaism (Star of David) is also a symbol of Christianity.
http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/sym...
It seems that any of those religious symbols should be welcome on public land.

It seems that free speech hasn't been curtailed in this case since we're discussing it. I'm not sure that I agree that separation of church and state, and free speech go hand-in-hand - i.e., just because one is allowed or curtailed does not mean the other has to follow suit.

Your comments are interesting and thought-provoking though.
RLS

United States

#13 Mar 2, 2010
MrToy wrote:
<quoted text>
I have thus often argued that wherever political and artistic expression are allowed (essentially everywhere), religious expression must also be allowed. Limiting religious expression to private property is to me a violation of both the free speech and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.
Religious expression IS allowed where political and artistic expression are allowed. You are free to talk about religion, to pray, etc. all you want while on public land. What isn't allowed is for the government to endorse, or do something that appears to endorse, a particular religion.

Since: Mar 09

Monterey Peninsula, CA

#14 Mar 2, 2010
RLS wrote:
<quoted text>
Religious expression IS allowed where political and artistic expression are allowed. You are free to talk about religion, to pray, etc. all you want while on public land. What isn't allowed is for the government to endorse, or do something that appears to endorse, a particular religion.
Then why can't private citizen get a permit to put up a creche on city-hall lawn, but someone can get a permit to put up a Santa Claus?

Since: Mar 09

Monterey Peninsula, CA

#15 Mar 2, 2010
Sunnycali, I did not know the swastika had any religious symbolism. Learn something new every day.

-Mr. Toy
www.montereypeninsula.info

Since: Sep 09

Carmel Valley, CA

#16 Mar 3, 2010
MrToy wrote:
Sunnycali, I did not know the swastika had any religious symbolism. Learn something new every day.
-Mr. Toy
www.montereypeninsula.info
Your website is pretty phenomenal. Thank you for spending the time to celebrate our beautiful Peninsula!
neutral

Pacific Grove, CA

#17 Mar 3, 2010
MrToy wrote:
<quoted text>
While I would have trouble with a swastika on public land, a Buddhist symbol wouldn't bother me one bit. Reasonable people can disagree about the meaning of the First Amendment but I don't think it requires that every square inch of public land be sterilized of any religious reference. It does not allow the government to establish or interfere with a religion, but it says nothing about preventing the government from recognizing religion's role in history. That is a matter of personal interpretation, which I just don't share with the ACLU.
Remember, that the First Amendment protection of the free exercise of religion and free speech are mentioned in the same sentence, one right after the other. They really go hand-in-hand. I have thus often argued that wherever political and artistic expression are allowed (essentially everywhere), religious expression must also be allowed. Limiting religious expression to private property is to me a violation of both the free speech and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.
Moving the cross merely dodged the constitutional question. In no way was it resolved.
-Mr. Toy
www.montereypeninsula.info.hi story/cross.html
No disrespect intended, but for many people, the cross is symbolic of what you find the swastika symbolic of. Many atrocities were committed under the auspices of the Catholic church. Be it genocide of indigenous peoples who wouldn't convert, the kidnapping of indigenous children who were placed in catholic schools, to the rape of altar boys. For some people, seeing a cross prominently displayed, is like a slap in the face. We need to think more globally. Though in all honesty I've never really given that particular cross one thought or another, until it was cut down, except to think that it looked pretty silhouetted against the sky, with the bay in the background. It is a lovely cross as far as crosses go.
JDW

Monterey, CA

#18 Mar 3, 2010
MrToy wrote:
<quoted text>
Reasonable people can disagree about the meaning of the First Amendment...
-Mr. Toy
www.montereypeninsula.info.hi story/cross.html
This case wasn't about the US Constitution. At issue here was the California Constitution, which is much more restrictive and much more widely interpreted by the state courts to say that no local, county or state government body can own a religious symbol, or contribute to upkeep of a religious symbol. See below.

From the California Constitution:

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 16 PUBLIC FINANCE

SEC. 5. Neither the Legislature, nor any county, city and county,
township, school district, or other municipal corporation, shall ever
make an appropriation, or pay from any public fund whatever, or
grant anything to or in aid of any religious sect, church, creed, or
sectarian purpose, or help to support or sustain any school, college,
university, hospital, or other institution controlled by any
religious creed, church, or sectarian denomination whatever; nor
shall any grant or donation of personal property or real estate ever
be made by the State, or any city, city and county, town, or other
municipal corporation for any religious creed, church, or sectarian
purpose whatever; provided, that nothing in this section shall
prevent the Legislature granting aid pursuant to Section 3 of Article
XVI.
RLS

United States

#19 Mar 3, 2010
MrToy wrote:
<quoted text>
Then why can't private citizen get a permit to put up a creche on city-hall lawn, but someone can get a permit to put up a Santa Claus?
Because a creche on public property would appear to a reasonable observer to be a government endorsement of the Christian religion, regardless of whether or not private citizens put it up.

Since: Mar 09

Monterey Peninsula, CA

#20 Mar 3, 2010
RLS wrote:
<quoted text>
Because a creche on public property would appear to a reasonable observer to be a government endorsement of the Christian religion, regardless of whether or not private citizens put it up.
Would a truly "reasonable observer" jump to conclusions like that? Wouldn't a reasonable person consider that there might, just maybe, be another explanation and find out for sure before making a judgment? In my experience, only unreasonable people jump to conclusions.

-Mr. Toy
www.montereypeninsula.info

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