Americas

4,500 Crosses Are Not a Church-State Problem—Unless in Shape of Giant Cross

Theft of Colorado display on childhood poverty sparks debate over public religious symbols.

A display of 4,500 paint-stick crosses planted by a Colorado church on a publicly-owned ski slope spurred some viewers to action. But, to the church's surprise one morning, rather than inspiring support for combating child poverty (as intended), the crosses were stolen—apparently due to their arrangement.

The Durango Heraldreports that the church received a month-long permit from the City of Durango to display the crosses on the public hillside. Though the display fell into a "gray area between freedom of expression and freedom of religion," city manager Ron LeBlanc told the Herald that he did "not believe there was any solid policy to justify denial of the request."

The Crosses Project, an initiative of First Baptist Church of Bayfield, aims to display 19,000 hand-made crosses—one for each child who dies daily from the effects of childhood poverty—in hopes that the sheer number will help give a face to unknown children around the world. What ...

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