ARE GONE restoring sanity to a world gone mad
michael youssef, Ph.D. m y j o u r na l
The Dangerous, Offensive Cross
A cross is a dangerous thing.
In 1934, the Veterans of Foreign Wars put up a cross far out in the Mojave
Desert, a memorial to soldiers killed in
World War I. The seven-foot cross stood atop a stony outcropping called Sunset
Rock. To get there, you had to leave Los
Angeles and drive three and a half hours northeast on U.S. 15, past Victorville and
Barstow, past Zzyzx Mineral Springs, then turn south onto Cima Road, a twolane blacktop. You would then go almost nine miles into the Mojave National
Preserve, and probably not see another human being along the road. Arriving at Sunset Rock, you would see no signs, no inscriptions, just a simple white cross
States Supreme Court.
For some reason, a lonely cross out in the remoteness of the Mojave Desert was so threatening that a host of powerful organizations joined the campaign to destroy it. Those organizations included the American Humanist Association,
Atheist Alliance International, the
Freedom from Religion Foundation,
Americans United for Separation of
Church and State, People for The
American Way, and the American Civil
On April 28, 2010, the Supreme
Court rendered a 5-4 decision, ruling that a cross in the middle of the desert did not undermine our constitutional republic. Writing for the majority, Justice
...a cross is a dangerous thing.
Those who felt threatened by it had to destroy it. that had stood undisturbed for almost eight decades.
In 2001, a former Park Service employee sued the government, demanding that the cross be removed.
This began a nearly decade-long legal battle. A judge ordered that the upper portion of the cross be covered by a plywood box, so that it looked like a blank signboard instead of a cross. The case was battled all the way to the United
Anthony Kennedy observed, “The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement
[of religion] does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm.” Less than two weeks later, thieves went to Sunset Rock, cut the mounting bolts, and stole the cross. Today there is no cross on Sunset Rock.
Even in the Mojave Desert, where almost no one ever saw it, a cross is a dangerous thing. Those who felt september 2011 |
When the Crosses are Gone
threatened by it had to destroy it.
It has always been this way.
Exchanging Crosses for Red Stars
In November 1917, Vladimir Lenin and the Communists seized power in
Russia during the bloody Bolshevik
Revolution. There was no room for God under the new regime. The Communists invaded churches and carted away sacred
the cross, and replaced it with the red star of the new Soviet state.
Throughout the formerly Christian realm of Mother Russia, all the crosses were gone.
Years passed. Lenin died in 1924 and was replaced by the even more ruthless
Joseph Stalin. At the end of World War II and with the defeat of Nazi Germany, the leaders of the Allied nations—President
Harry S. Truman, Britain’s Prime
Throughout these once-free, once-Christian nations, Communist soldiers tore down the crosses and replaced them with red stars.
From the Baltic to the Adriatic to the Black Sea, all the crosses were gone. objects and religious images. They eliminated religious holy days, such as
Christmas and Easter, and replaced them with state-sanctioned festivals in honor of Marx and Lenin. They denounced the clergy as enemies of the Revolution, and then executed them.
Lenin’s goal was to replace the Christian religion with a godless Communist religion. Those who once followed Jesus had to join the cult of Lenin. Churches became temples of devotion to the State.
Hymns of praise to God were replaced by anthems praising the Revolution. All across Russia, soldiers climbed to the pinnacles of church buildings, tore down m y j o u r na l
Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin—met in Potsdam,