portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

faith & spirituality


Local fascist Lars Larson is at it again.
Bow and pay tribute everyone to Lars Laron's religious icon
Bow and pay tribute everyone to Lars Laron's religious icon
Local fascist Lars Larson will be once again attempt to foist his religious beliefs on the rest of us. On Dec 19th his "christian cross" will be hoisted up in Pioneer Courthouse Square. A blatant attempt to slap Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, atheists & others in the face with HIS religious beliefs.

Christians And The Public Square 05.Dec.2005 17:08

Ben Douglass bendouglass@cheerful.com

Christians have owned our public squares far too long (200+ years). They need to give it up and share it with others. They never did own it. We just let them have squatters privilege. Now it's time to kick their asses off public property if they can't play nice with everyone else.

It is a totally different country now then it was way back when. We are a complex multi-religious, cultural, political country now with many competing morals and values. The Christians need to understand this. If they can't they need to go back into their churches and pray to their God for human understanding and the ability to exercise the ideals of their savior.

more crap at the square? 05.Dec.2005 17:57


Checked the link....has he actually said he's going to bring that think to pio square? Didn't not that on the link. At least, based on the photos, it looks appropriately cheesey.

Reason for the Season? 05.Dec.2005 18:27

Dexter Rexter

Kind of ironic that a cross would bear text that claims Christ as the reason for the season. Obviously a cross is not the reason for the season.

More ironicaly, the reason for the season has nothing to do with Christ. The Cathlic church in a effort to suppress all other religions, co-opted the Pagan holiday of Yule and made it a celebration of Christ's birth. The date is arbitrary in relation to his birth. The reason they chose it was to co-opt the festivities of Yule and they co-oted many of the traditions as well. Same type of thing as trying to turn all hollows eve into all saints day, Beltane into Easter etc.

I wonder... 05.Dec.2005 19:01


I wonder if the good people of Portland will let this "stand" ...?

To "Buzz's" point 05.Dec.2005 19:38



Larson - the Bush propagandist - has been spouting off on his radio program for the past week on this topic. He's basically on a crusade to enlighten the residents of "Moscow on the Willamette" (his words) about what Christmas all about. (the same neo-con type that encourages all of us good little consumers to spend as much money as we can during Christmas to his corporate paymasters... i.e. Walmart)

I hope the good people of Portland find a creative way to honor Mr. Larson's "in your face" fascism.

another public diversion 05.Dec.2005 19:42

jesus h. christ

This is just one more piece of diversionary crap to take what's left of the public mind away from the real problem. The fucking war in Iraq. Forget christmas or "the holidays" or what ever "they" want to call it. The only thing any of us should be thinking about is the murder going on in Irag and Afgahnistan in our name. What kind of "holidays" are "they" having? Lars Larson is an egotistical moron and most informed people know it.

Maybe Liars can outsing John Ashcroft... 05.Dec.2005 19:46

Pravda or Consequences

Maybe he'll become a minister and put up a revival tent at Pioneer Square.

Lodge a complaint with PCS administrative offices 05.Dec.2005 19:46


Call the Pioneer Courthouse Square administrative office and lodge your complaint:

Administrative Office
715 SW Morrison St., Suite 702
Portland, OR 97205

Tel: (503) 223-1613
Fax: (503) 222-7425


late dawn and early sunset 05.Dec.2005 20:36

the real reason for the season

There were lots of different kinds of paganism in Europe before The Church took over. They didn't all call the solstice Yule or celebrate it on Dec. 25, but bringing evergreen trees indoors was common all over. Even the Romans in Italy used to do that. The Pope put "Christmas" on Dec. 25 to co-opt activities that had been happening anyway for centuries if not longer.

Lars is either an idiot or an intentional liar.

Intolerance at it's Best! 05.Dec.2005 22:05

Concerned Citizen

Lars Larson is probably the eptimy of every "ism" in the book. His ignorance and arrogance amazes me, and if he intends to raise the cross then he better have a clear understanding of its meaning,.... which he clearly does not. However, neither does anyone who has made statements as of yet regarding this issue.
First, if you want to raise a controversy, then you should first know what your talking about. The land in which Lars is intending to place his "version of the cross" is not public and is not owned by the square, it is in fact privatly owned, and he is renting the spot, which happens to be located near the square. So if you have a veiw point you wish to publically express maybe you can rent this spot as well.
Secondly, although the square may be reffered to as a "public place" it technically isn't.(Anyone who had to pay a permit to have a rally there should know this already.) The square is run by city funds and therefore is subject to city rules. And the city has clear rules regarding this issue. (I know. I just hosted a Hoilday Scandinavian event there, and I had to convince the association that the event would not be religous in any way.)Hence the issue over "what to call the tree", the city does not and will not refer to it as a "Christmas Tree,"
Secondly, have we become so intolerant as a society that we can not celebrate anything with out someone getting offended. I don't get offended when people of the Jewish community celebrate Honica and want to place Minoras in their windows, I do not get offended when people celebrate Quanza...or when people put Jackolaterns on their doorsteps. Once again the activist community makes its consistant fatal mistake.....Lumping people in to one giant group, the very thing this community claims to be fighting against. Not all people who claim to be christians are....(Hence... Lars Larson...)and not all christians are fundamentalist and want to shove their beliefs down your throat. "You will know a tree by the fruit it bears". Your getting upset over the wrong issue.....Instead of being upset about people who have the ability to publically celebrate their beliefs, maybe you should be asking the question of why people with other beliefs are not being better represented. Finally...there is a very clear difference between X-mas & Christmas. There are many within the christian community who are fighting against the constant commercialism of holidays such as these.(Their just not as exciting and not the ones getting all the media coverage.) If more people understood the true meaning behind all faiths then people would be focusing on the more important issues such as, war,homlessness, greed, ignorance and intolerance (of all kinds).

Christians And The Public Square and BOB! 05.Dec.2005 22:08


Are there any SubGenii in the area?

Maybe some local followers of the Church of the SubGenius should take some "action" of their own like putting up a HUGE face of BOB
(preferrably with RED flashing LED lights in His EYES!) somewhere in the square with a caption balloon coming out of His mouth
saying "Happy Holidays"!!!

(And, it is also about time that BOB had a "Second Coming" in the eyes of the general public and media.)

I am not sure what the permit criteria (or co$t) is for displays in the square,but if a permit was denied for BOB for some reason, then maybe "miracles" would happen when BOB "appeared" in the square and repeatedly every morning after each time HE was taken away by the UNWORTHY.

Hallelujah and a honey suckle!

About "boB" and Local SubG's 05.Dec.2005 22:34

Ben Douglass bendouglass@cheerful.com

There are several of us in the metro area. The great NENSLO lives over in southeast and I live in northeast, don't know about the seven others.

Every year without fail I show up at the square wearing my BOB shirt and pass out a few BOB photo's. I may or may not do it this year, though. My fantasy is to get a bull horn with big speaker and blast the Subgenius Internationale all over the square until they kick me out.

but will this be good for ratings? 05.Dec.2005 23:46


Rakki, thanks for the background info. I didn't realize lars was quite such a wack job. Never listen to shit radio. Even OPB talk can be a little hard to handle. Wouldn't mind if someone posted the day and time lars will be trotting down to piosquare with his building project. Would like to see how people respond to this local celebrity fanatic. What if the crowd rushed lars and mounted him on his own cross? There's already some people who come down to pio sq with a big cross like lars sort of looks like, It has some little wheels on the bottom because the people are too lazy to actually carry the thing.

Date 06.Dec.2005 10:32



My understanding is that the cross will be raised on Monday Dec 19th. Not sure what time.

I like your idea of mounting Lars himself on that cross :)

SpyCam 06.Dec.2005 13:31


It seems Fascist Lars has convinced some of his right-wing business cronies to point a web-cam on his cross (for 24 hr surveillance). According to Lars, Margulis Jewelers who is located near Pioneer Courthouse Square will monitor the cross via webcam. If you're in the neighborhood, stop in and tell Margulis Jewelers what you think of their support for this fascist pig.

Pastafarians, Unite! 07.Dec.2005 16:06


We all know that the universe was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Now is the time for all good Pastafarians to unite and make sure that Lars is touched by His Noodly Appendage. We should meet in Pioneer Square, dressed in full pirate regalia, to greet Lars and his false idol on December 19, should that be the day. Details to follow! ARRRRRRRR!

Freedom of speech? 07.Dec.2005 17:08


Um, I thought Mr. Larson and his supporters paid rent to the city for that section of the square. Who cares if it's a cross or a spaghetti monster or a topless woman? I honestly don't see how it's hurting anyone, so let the baby have his bottle. If you're offended by a religious symbol, you really should get out more: Use your energy fighting real injustice instead of playing into the whole Fox News "War on Christmas" legend. If you keep letting right-wing conservatives frame your debates, then you're in for a lifetime of birkenstocks and ramen.

Some memorial. 07.Dec.2005 22:56

red forest fox

His cross looks like crap!

CELEBRATE YULE-- Pentagram at the Square 10.Dec.2005 21:50

Collin S. Ferguson type3haven@yahoo.com

Now guys, we can get angry at Lars Larson and his stupid antics, or we can celebrate with Lars. I mean, Lars only wants to add some holiday cheer for the citizens of Portland, OR before he joins the Christian Exodus and moves to South Carolina, i.e. the new holy land. So, I say why fight his Jesus cross? Let's join him.

I am a local pagan, and I am proud of it. The winter Yule is a wonderful celebration and should be recognized just like how Christianity is recognized at the Pioneer Square. So, I'm with the "BOB" crowd. Let's get a permit and put up the lovely Pentagram at the square. Tell mayor Tom Potter that "we" suppot such an idea: 503-823-4127. How much does a permit cost? Let's collect some funds and build a Pentagram with lights, and of course, a BOB shrine with red lights for eyes. Just think about the wonderful Holiday cheer we would be giving everyone. Giving, now that's what the Winter Holidays are about.


968 SE Ironwood PL, Gresham, OR 97080

its like a toothpick in a turd 11.Dec.2005 20:00

briaN antiblaH antiblah@inorbit.com

back in the daze when I was a little junky punk spanging in the square, totally at awe with the "big city" content with my chemical leash I sat and watched it all move around me. The sun would come up and move across the sky, shadows of concrete n steel would tower above casting a dark cool in the summer and a strange........ different kind of cold in the winter. I sat and thought, and tried to figure it all out? Why and for what reason is this grand spectacle here, what is the purpose, what is the meaning, what is the plot, what is going on here? Why?

Many sober years later, countless books conversations n situations later I can stand back and see such a thing as this cross hanging in the square for what it really is... ... ... ... . It is a logo, a banner, beacon, a sign, nothing more and nothing less than a badge a pin a button on the breast of the monster. We could remove all the shit from the sewer... ... ... . But it will always be a sewer right? Right? Ehh?

Well maby brian , yes it might still be the sewer, but is it not true that if in fact we were successful at removing all the shit, then we only need to do some creative brainstorming and we could turn the sewer into something nice???

No, we would still need a place to shit. Which leads me to the simple conclusion; people suck, humans are paracites, religion is has and always will be just a tool of the gardener to control its pest and try to make use of it.

People breed, and people need, we have so many predictable tendencies, religion has been designed by many more than one great thinker, many minds and lifetimes of work has gone into creating these entities we now see, just like the sky scrapers, one lie upon another many times over creates something that looks like it could be forever, something appears to have always been, something that appears to be bigger than life, to reach into the "heavens" its all shite, the cross, the steeple the towers n the people.

If we want change, we need to start with ourselves, the media, then with schools... ... ... ... educated as a whole we will no longer breed like mormans, no longer molest like preachers, repress obsess posses like all the many zombie vampires out there engulfed in a synthetic reality. no longer need citys, haha, no longer need toothpicks in turds

"r"EVOLUTION not unlike unity has a U in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is the response from orrespondence from the Chief Deputy City Attorney 12.Dec.2005 11:18

briaN antiblah antiblah@inorbit.com


Thank you so much for your feedback.

Please see the below correspondence from our Chief Deputy City Attorney
about this subject.

Again, we thank you for your feedback as it is citizens of Portland
like you
that make Pioneer Courthouse Square the vital community gathering place

Theresa Vetsch
Communications Coordinator
Pioneer Courthouse Square

"Thank you for expressing your concern about the erection of religious
symbols on City property. The City, in accordance with the will of the
people expressed in the constitutions of the United States and of the
of Oregon, is required to maintain neutrality regarding matters of
The private non-profit corporation who manages the City Park at Pioneer
Courthouse Square on our behalf is similarly constrained. Neutrality
requires that the City not use its property for the purpose of
religion; but it also means that we cannot restrain the free exercise
religion or speech by members of the public. The Supreme Court of the
United States has said that when a public institution generally makes
facilities available to members of the public for expressive purposes,
government cannot deny access because of the religious nature of a
particular group's speech. Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263 (1981).
the City makes its parks in general, and Pioneer Courthouse Square in
particular, available to all members of the public who wish to take out
permits for expressive activities, we cannot deny a permit to a person
group who wishes to make use of that opportunity for the purpose of
in religious speech. So, while the City's (and the Square's) own
displays must be strictly secular, a Jewish individual or group wishing
take out a permit to display a menorah and a Christian individual or
wishing to take out a permit to display a cross have equal rights of
through the permit process, to the public forum at Pioneer Courthouse
Square. While I can certainly understand why you might believe that
only way for the City to maintain neutrality is to prohibit all
expression, we believe the Supreme Court has directed us otherwise."

Harry Auerbach
Chief Deputy City Attorney
430 City Hall
1221 SW Fourth Ave.
Portland OR 97204
tel: 503.823.4047
fax: 503.823.3089
email:  hauerbach@ci.portland.or.us

-----Original Message-----
FroM brian XXXXXXXXX [mailto:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXyahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 8:18 PM
To:  tvetsch@pioneercsquare.com
Subject: Other

I strongly object to the public display of ANY religious material such
crosses in squares!!!!!!!! Our world is made up of a vast quantity of
different view points , different cultures, different people. Public
should be public, they should be safe feeling and neutral so that no
one at
all feels alienated. Isn't that what America was supposed to be?? Just
thought I would voice my concern, Thank you for your moment of
and have a good day.

Is this a con job? 15.Dec.2005 18:39

Benny Beaver

Could this just be a Lars Larson trick to stir things up just before Xmas?

He's good at stirring up trouble.

Lars gets caught lying, again 16.Dec.2005 14:31


So, it turns out Lars Larson, after making allegations that he had been threatened (by people posting to indymedia no less) and therefore was not going to put up his cross, got caught in his blatantly transparent lies when it was revealed that KXL's manager Tim McNamara was the one who canceled the permit (1). Of course, many who read Larson's statement saw through the lies immediately and speculation crept into local blogs (2):

"using his own words, this doesn't pass the smell test. he's full of something and it ain't christmas cheer."

"I think he's probably lying about the threats, but those who are inclined to believe him now have more reason to think they are an oppressed minority losing the culture war."

"KXL obviously doesn't want to bear this cross, and the nature of the PR that goes with it. And Lars has to knuckle under, or find a new employer."

"Before we get too crazy with Lars Larson's spin for what happened here, let's wait for Phil Stanford to clear it up tomorrow. My people tell me this came from above, and I don't mean from heaven, either."

"Yeah, I had this pegged as a publicity stunt from the start. Lars needs to bolster ratings so he plays in the persecution complex that plagues far too many Christians.

"Lars, if this idea was cancelled because of a phone call from the ownership people of KXL, you have a lot of explaining to do. Not to mention apologizing."

(1) http://www.portlandtribune.com/archview.cgi?id=33122
(2) http://bojack.org/mt-arc/002596.html


fathead lars cranium retains a certain machiavellian function 17.Dec.2005 04:23


Got to explain that I stopped following this article when it dropped off the main page...was following the misadventures of fathead lars and his cross on WendyB's article:


Just tonight, I clicked on the links to the blogs, provided by a commenter on this site. I found it interesting that lars would use my comment about mounting him to his cross, in an attempt to cover his ass in the wake of his blustery over-assumption about the willingness of his bosses to blank check every stupid publicity targeting belch he makes. He claimed that comment and those of others commenting on indymedia amounted to threats...against his life, that is, assuming he is a living being.

Dude must be desperate for material.

In the comment, I wondered what the reaction of the public to lars bringing his cross into the square might be, and if the public might be so moved by the symobolic suggestion of the activity, to follow through and mount him to his cross. Well now, how could you blame them, really, if the thought did not at least cross their minds?

What's a cross without a figure attached to it? There'd be lars hauling it in to the square, breaking a sweat for the first time in how many days. It would just be a natural from that point, to haul out the hammer and nails and tack him up there for his loyal fans to gush over.

I thought I was just kidding. Guess you can't be too sure these days. Jack Bog from the blog(somewhere on those links), blessed the mounting suggestion by describing it as....I can't remember exactly...something like "moronically brilliant", whatever that means.

Yes, just so everyone on this site understands, I do not suggest that you mount lars to his cross should he have followed through and brought the eyesore to the square. We do not like blood spilled. It's messy and it's inhuman, like....well, just maybe, lars.