City of Monterey to Resurrect Cross
The massive wooden cross will rise again on Del Monte Beach—on one condition.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Rebuilding of the cross, which was cut down by vandals in late September, will start if and when private donors can raise $50,000 to defend the city against an almost certain constitutional challenge.
The cross, which marks the approximate spot where Spanish explorers landed in 1769, is a matter of historical significance, argued most of the speakers at a Tuesday night City Council hearing. Not to restore it would be to reward vandalism.
But, Michelle Welsh of the ACLU warned that a giant Christian symbol on city property violates the separation of church and state. "I'm not happy to be here again," Welsh told Councilmembers, as she reminded them that she won a similar lawsuit in 1991 over a City Hall Nativity scene, which cost the city tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.