The Cross: Let Us Not Forget That

April 14, 2006

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the cross being an offensive sign that was causing conflict. Today it seems appropriate to return to that theme, as seen from a couple new stories about cross controversies.

First, PETA has caused quite a stir with a planned fake crucifixion of three activists wearing animal masks. Adding to the controversy is the fact they were planning on doing it today outside a Cathedral. Such an action, while clearly blasphemous for comparing the treatment of Jesus to that of animals, reminds us of the offensiveness of the original Good Friday crucifixion. Let us not forget that.

Second, there has been an outcry about the plans to remove the "9/11 cross." It is a t-beam from one of the buildings that was set up as a cross by a worker going through the destruction a couple of days after 9/11. There have been some odd remarks about this t-beam in order to keep it at the site.

Reverend Kevin Madigan said, "The cross shouldn't be a cause for division, especially during Holy Week."

But the original one was. Has the cross lost its powerful message this Easter season? A non-divisive cross is a powerless one. Let us not forget that.

And Reverend Brian Jordan attacked the plan to put the t-beam in a hangar: "To put it out there would be an outrageous defamation of a beautiful symbol."

While the cross points to a beautiful message, it itself is not. It was an ugly symbol in that day and an ugly way to die. Let us not forget that.

Construction worker Frank Silecchia, who discovered the cross, stated, "For Jews, Christians, Buddhists and Muslims, it brings people to their faith."

Really? This cross helps deepen the faith of Jews, Buddhists, and Muslims? If so this cross is not doing a very good job since it should be drawing people to God. Maybe we need a cross that retains a religious—not a patriotic—message. Let us not forget that.