Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pennsylvania Man Refuses To Take Down 24 Foot Cross

A 24-foot illuminated cross on a western Pennsylvania man's front lawn is in violation of a local ordinance, but the structure isn't going anywhere, he told FoxNews.com.

Carl Behr, 45, of Baldwin, Pa., said he was told during a borough council meeting late Tuesday that he needed a permit to build the structure. He plans to apply for such a permit Wednesday or Thursday, he said, but won't be disassembling his cross anytime soon.

"I'm not removing the cross regardless," Behr said as to whether the permit would likely be approved. "No man is going to tell me about God."

Baldwin Borough Manager John Barrett told FoxNews.com that the cross on Behr's lawn and possibly another on his roof violate the borough's ordinance for the installation of structures due to size and placement requirements.

"If he wants the structure on his property, like anyone else, he has to apply for a permit," Barrett said. "We haven't seen anything."

f the cross is not removed by Friday, Barrett said Behr will be issued a citation and could face fines of up to $300 for each day it remains displayed.

"Our ordinances spell out a process for applying for a permit for structures," he said.

Neighbor Lisa Fera, who lives across the street from Behr, has said the cross shines directly into her home and was built after she complained about Behr parking vehicles from his construction business in front of her residence.

"I'm not looking to be a bad neighbor. I believe in God, I believe in being Christian, but if you are truly Christian, then you would be supporting and respecting your neighborhood," Fera told WTAE.com. "I feel that this is a direct intimidation of me, that each time you call the police or do something, a cross goes up."

Despite the complaint, Behr, who said he has also received several "positive comments" regarding the cross, vows to continue displaying his devotion.

"They basically said that I needed to apply for a permit, so that's what I'm going to do and see what happens," he said. "I'm going to carry it as far as I can."

1 comment:

GoogleIsNSAFront said...

Interesting case! Of course he is going to loose and of course, he has about as much chance of obtaining planning permission as the chances that my cat will suddenly start barking and peeing up lamposts.

I don't like it but that is what our world is coming to and true Christians, are not liked and never will be liked by the rest of the world.

I know that if it was me I would do my best to relocate it (the cross) so that my neighbours grievance was nullified and that she no longer had any grounds to complain. After all to love ones neighbour is the second greatest commandment of all time and to treat others as you would like to be treated is the example we need to follow.

This is always a lot harder to do than it sounds and yes; even in the face of adverse persecution we are called to do the same thing. Its very easy to go into battle mode and make a big issue out of it but at the end of the day, this is Christ's name that is being used to create discourse. What would Jesus have done?

What would be better to cause hatred and strife between neighbours? Or to relocate the cross and gain some support and perhaps, respect in the community? To my mind at least, that has got to be better than 'digging-in' and alienating people.

Neil