portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

faith & spirituality | human & civil rights | police / legal

Cross Burning

Cross burning should be fully allowed by law if such activity is not performed on private property without the owner's consent or on public property where fires are not permitted.
Cross Burning

I firmly believe in burning the cross. And I am firmly against any laws that would prohibit such an activity. However, laws that prohibit burning the cross or burning anything at all on someone else's property without permission of the owner should always be on the books and should carry heavy criminal and civil penalties Also laws should strictly prohibit burning anything, including the cross, on public property except in picnic stoves or in fireplaces and the like where fires are normally allowed.

With the above exceptions, I strongly advocate burning the cross. The cross is nothing more than a symbol of torture, terror, and death. We all know that the Romans terrorized people in conquered countries as well as in their own country by having victims nailed to crosses and placed along roadsides for everyone to see. No passerby wanted to end up on the cross and thus was willing to endure practically any kind of abuse and repression to avoid that terrible fate.

It is difficult for me to understand how people who call themselves Christians could possibly adopt the cross as something that symbolizes their religion. Is it because the Christian religion owes its very existence to the cross? In other words, Christianity would not exist today if it had not been for the cross. Followers of Christ were most willing to risk being crucified because their lord and savior, Jesus Christ, was not afraid to do so. Because the Romans could no longer terrorize Christians with the threat of crucifixion, they stopped that practice. Instead, the Romans tried other means of terror, such as feeding Christians to the lions, but that didn't work either. Christians were only too willing to emulate their lord and savior and die in torture if they had to. In short, the early Christians used the cross as a "in your face" sort of thing to the Roman oppressors, and made markings of the cross everywhere in the cities and countrysides, much to the anger and chagrin of the Roman rulers.

But why was it necessary for Jesus to be crucified? Couldn't the omnipotent god have forgiven everyone, particularly the believers, without the crucifixion? But even more puzzling to me is how a father could allow his own son to be slowly tortured to death. Is that the kind of god we are supposed to emulate? No thank you. There is no way that I could ever allow that to happen to my own son under any circumstances.

Christians appear to have no answer to this question about their flawed god.. Instead, it's been my experience for Christians to respond with a lot of words that don't answer the question at all. They trip all over themselves with strange answers. Below are some examples:

"How can we with our puny brains ever understand why the all-knowing God does what he does."

"It wasn't God's son but rather God himself who was crucified on the cross."

"It was necessary because it was the only way to get the attention of the people at that time."

"God allowed it to be done to himself so that he could understand the pain that mortals suffer."

I am 77 years old and not in the best of health. But if I were considerably younger and in robust health, I'd like to think that I would lead a group of Christian critics into having a cross-burning ceremony to show our utter contempt for the cross, a symbol of torture and death.
except 30.Jun.2003 10:39


that burning the cross is not traditionally designed to show contempt for the symbol or for Chirstianity. Ku Klux Klan members usually explain their cross-burnings as illuminating the cross and thereby glorifying the white Protestant God. The visual aesthetic effect of a symbolic structure lit by flames at night is rather striking--note that many official Nazi ceremonies involved burning swastikas, for example. I suspect that observers would misjudge your intentions. Perhaps an inverted cross (even one on fire)?