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Switch to Forum Live View Giant Crosses to Greet You in Houston?
6 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2008 - 1:50AM #11
ZenYen
Posts: 447
If it's private property, private money and no zoning or other laws are being violated, the preacher has every right to erect his gigantic, ugly cross.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2008 - 6:32PM #12
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,790
Could we all buy some property and put giant symbols of our faiths (or lack there of) some where? I really want equal time:cool::(
A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2008 - 6:32PM #13
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,790
Could we all buy some property and put giant symbols of our faiths (or lack there of) some where? I really want equal time:cool::(
A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2008 - 8:02AM #14
heldbygrace
Posts: 1,195
[QUOTE=agnosticspirit;611874]If TAX payer funds are used to build these crosses and if zoning laws are violated, then I would be completely opposed to this. If, however, they choose to use PRIVATE donations to build and maintain the area and if they won't decrease property values, then they have the same right to build their crosses as I would have to build a figure of a BOOK being used to CRUSH the CROSS.... :)

I do think he's crossing the line in his choice of location, however. Who determines the entrance of Houston? Which entrance, there must be many... and who OWNS this property? If the property is owned by the city/state/federal agencies, then this would cross the line of separation between church and state and would actually serve as a signal that the City of Houston or the State of Texas is PROMOTING Christianity.[/QUOTE]

Hello Agnostic.  Do you think Thomas Jefferson crossed the line between church and state when he opened the Capital Rotunda for church services? Or when George Washington promised Delaware Indians that Congress would help them learn the religion of Jesus Christ?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 30, 2008 - 3:14AM #15
Gryphon411
Posts: 14
Personally, I do not think that a property owner has unconditional rights to do whatever on his/her land, especially the right to erect a freakishly huge (and to many, hostile and disturbing) religeous symbol that will mar views, possibly cast shadows on adjacent properties, etc. From what I hear of Texas, they aren't much for zoning of any type, so there is probably nothing preventing this from happening.

Am I wrong to think there should be limits on property, even when it might restrict freedom of expression? Maybe...but I would find it a very hostile message to be greeted with upon my entrance to Houston. If I lived there, I'd find it very depressing.

I believe there is a rich vein of court cases about this topic; I'm not a lawyer, but I'd say "no" to the gargantuan crucifixes, even if it meant I couldn't erect a giant monument to my idol, Homer Simpson. ;-)
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 30, 2008 - 10:15AM #16
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244

heldbygrace wrote:

Hello Agnostic.  Do you think Thomas Jefferson crossed the line between church and state when he opened the Capital Rotunda for church services? Or when George Washington promised Delaware Indians that Congress would help them learn the religion of Jesus Christ?



Howdy held, without researching this topic to find the underlying motive and context, my initial knee-jerk reaction is YES! Even these great men crossed the line they were so careful to draw. Knowing that neither of them believed in the standard brand of Christianity, I can't help but wonder if there's more to this than meets the eye.

Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 30, 2008 - 10:31AM #17
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244

Gryphon411 wrote:

.... Am I wrong to think there should be limits on property, even when it might restrict freedom of expression? Maybe...but I would find it a very hostile message to be greeted with upon my entrance to Houston. If I lived there, I'd find it very depressing.

I believe there is a rich vein of court cases about this topic; I'm not a lawyer, but I'd say "no" to the gargantuan crucifixes, even if it meant I couldn't erect a giant monument to my idol, Homer Simpson. ;-)



Gryphon, unfortunately we have to prioritize here.  What's more important? Private Property rights, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are all intertwined to protect the liberties of every citizen. Would you sacrifice these rights on the altar of NOT being offended? Personally,  I'm not willing to go there; to prevent a private property owner using private funds from erecting a giant cross, no matter how tasteless it may be really goes against my grain. I'd rather deal with the sight of the stupendous phallic symbol on the freeway :)  than travel the  slippery slope where even more of our freedoms would be suppressed. Then it gets into who has the right to determine "good taste", or who will get to define "what is art"?  This is the same issue as "hate speech" proposed by the UN, similar to the hate speech laws in Canada. Are we gonna give up our right to freedom of speech to avoid offending Muslims? Or Christians? Our president?  Hell NO!

In many ways, zoning laws can both protect private property as well as suppress the rights of private property owners. Striking the balance is a constant challenge. As far as I know, there are no zoning laws to prevent this.

disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, so there may be some ridiculous legal issues I'm missing here; I'm only speaking as a laywoman who values her freedoms.;)

Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 11:10PM #18
JohnQ
Posts: 5,676
[QUOTE=heldbygrace;649173]Hello Agnostic.  Do you think Thomas Jefferson crossed the line between church and state when he opened the Capital Rotunda for church services? Or when George Washington promised Delaware Indians that Congress would help them learn the religion of Jesus Christ?[/QUOTE]

I realize you did not ask me...but, I will thrown in my thoughts anyway.

First, I probably do not think that a couple of hundred years ago either crossed the line.  However, very possibly these situations might cross the line in 2008.  The context of time makes a huge difference.

Second, I probably do not think they crossed the line on how they treated women, blacks, and non-landowners.  However, if they did the same things and held the same views today....I would suggest they are misogynistic, racist, and elitist.

Third, were George and Thomas alive today......I suspect they would take different decisions on a great deal of things...than they did a couple of hundred years ago.
Peace!                 
------

Christian LIES wed Christian HATE......Begot a child....it’s named Prop 8! 

Supreme Court let it stand.....which means we can vote away the rights of others in our land.

Sad as that may be...it hurts all of us.....not just me.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2008 - 4:59PM #19
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244
Hi Blue Bear, welcome to Beliefnet! :) Actually, your take doesn't surprise this free-thinking agnostic atheist one bit. Christianity is not all of one voice, and the more liberal Christians I know of in the real world cringe every time one when their fundamentalist siblings opens up their mouths... :D

And yes, a couple of them I know of have expressed an even greater negativity for these monstrous crosses than I. Either the $$ spent could go toward charity, or to fund a library... Of course, even Jesus said there will always be poor among us. I imagine that's how the folk who want to spend all their money building the crosses manage to rationalize their way into thinking this is money well spent. :D

Kind regards,

---- agnosticspirit
Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 9:34PM #20
Phøenix
Posts: 36
The cross is a rather unpleasant symbol, being a grisly Roman and Near-Eastern torture and execution method and all. Imagine if Jesus was executed today, they would be trying to build gigantic electric chairs.
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