Saturday, May 29, 2010

Illinois cross draws tourists, ire from atheist

We read:
"Farmers sold pigs to help raise money to build the towering cross on southern Illinois' highest point as a year-round testament to faith. The 11-story monument draws thousands of visitors each year, and supporters say it has promoted self-growth and reflection for nearly half a century.

But over the years, the once-glistening structure about 130 miles southeast of St. Louis began to show its age. The 650 or so white porcelain panels that cover the concrete and steel frame rusted or fell off. Some remained attached with only coat hangers and bailing wire.

A group cobbled together $360,000 of the $550,000 needed to restore the Bald Knob Cross of Peace, including a $20,000 grant from the state of Illinois. Now, a Chicago-area atheist who objects to the grant as a bit of unconstitutional pork has threatened to sue if the group doesn't return the money to the state.

That didn't deter the Friends of Bald Knob Cross. The money was used long ago as a down payment on the renovation of the monument near Alto Pass, Ill., said Bill Vandergraph, a minister and Friends board member.

His group applied for the money only after a state senator said they'd be eligible for it, he said. And, the landmark has proven versatile, housing federal government transmission equipment and used by Union County's conservation department.



Anonymous said...

As an Orthodox Jew, I really am not offended by a big cross. It is an object, seeing it does not hurt me in anyway. However one guy who got rid of the moment of silence in schools does annoy me, not like they are telling people to pray and if you do pray, not saying who to pray to. Guys like this need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

It's a rather dubious use of tax-payers' money unless it is indeed to restore what has become an eyesore but still has some historic or cultural value. There are otherwise many better uses for tax-dollars paid by even atheists.

Anonymous said...

"housing federal government transmission equipment and used by Union County's conservation department."

That is what makes this monument legally eligible for a federal grant. As for the single atheist who apparently has a problem with this monument, and every other thing in this country that even resembles something religious, he/she/it should be hanged from the monument.

Atheism is a radical cult, and it's followers should not be permitted to disrupt the lives and beleifs of hundreds-of-millions of people.

Anonymous said...

3:18 AM - So speaks the US-Inquisition! (hanging - hmm better than the rack?)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, one minute on the rack and He'd be yelling "God help".

Anonymous said...

Surely they can hang a cell phone transmission booster from it and the rent would pay for the up-keep?

Anonymous said...

Consider it back rent for storage and services rendered.