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3 Bumps

Local Man Ordered by Borough to Remove 24ft Illuminated Cross From His Property

I've mentioned this kind of thing on here before, but until now I never had a news story to back up my claims... So I wanted to share this and get everyone's opinions on whether or not the Borough even had the right to do this...

"A western Pennsylvania man has been ordered to remove a 24-foot illuminated cross from his front yard after a neighbor complained.

Carl Behr received a notice Monday ordering him to remove the cross from his Baldwin property within five days. But Behr tells WTAE-TV that he plans to fight the order.

A neighbor across the street says the large, light-up cross shines into her living room and bedroom. Lisa Fera says the problems started after she complained about Behr parking vehicles from his construction business in front of her house.

Behr says the cross measures his faith in God. Fera contends a good Christian would respect his neighbors."

In this area it's not uncommon for local governments to force removal of religious icons from private property. Which I have never understood seeing how it's also a deeply Christian area... Although this is the first time I've ever heard of a Christian being told to remove something - until now I had only heard of Pagans, Jews & Muslims being targeted.

The man has agreed to remove the cross because he doesn't want his family to be stuck in the middle of the argument. But to me, they shouldn't have the right to order him to remove ANYTHING on his own property... I agree that he should respect his neighbors and turn off the lights at night, but when I had a neighbor with a HUGE spot light out in front of their house I was told there was no legal action that could be taken - even though it lit up my entire bedroom at night (I actually had to buy black out shades)... So I see no reason why if nothing can be done about a spot light that anything should be able to be done about this...

What are your thoughts?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 12:22 PM on Feb. 18, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (30)
  • I think he should have to turn off the light at night but otherwise he should be able to have the cross in his yard.

    Answer by ria7 at 12:25 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I think he should take down the cross. He's just doing this TO get attention and to be an ASS. The woman is complaining becuase it shines in her room. I would too

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 12:26 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • i think it's's his property he should be able to have whatever he wants in the yard, whether it be a cross or a symbol from any other religion

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 12:26 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I am all for freedom of speech but 24 feet is large and illuminating into a neighbor's house is invasive. This sounds like a couple things going on. A) neighbors playing head games with each other and B) perhaps a matter of disturbing the peace with 24 ft of illuminated light that just happens to be a cross vs a religious issue.

    There is a house near us with a huge JESUS IS LORD light display on top of their house lit every night. However it is just holiday white lights not shining into anyone's home disruptively. Admittedly I don't enjoy seeing it as I drive past but I do believe their their right to express.

    Interesting situation. Imagine though if everyone had 24 ft illuminated displays of whatever crossed their fancy for their neighbors to contend with. People pay to live in neighborhoods peacefully not across from the flashing lights of motels, etc. I think they have a right to not have such displays shining in.

    Answer by jamesonjustines at 12:30 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I feel that the man does have a right to put the cross on his property, although he should have been respectful of his neighbor and turned the light off at an appropriate time. So I do sympathize with the woman about the light bothering her-- she could have asked him nicely to turn it off after Xpm, or she could have bought some darker blinds for her window.

    I had a neighbor that turned his side yard light on all night long-- and it shined in my bedroom window and in my face. Instead of causing a fuss i went and bought a room darkening shade- and that blocked the light.

    Answer by MizLee at 12:30 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • If its his property he has every right to have the cross up. I would fight this if I was him too. Or I would take it down and put up something else to see how long that would last and prove I was being harassed for my beliefs. That is all it is too. If someone put up some other religious icon I doubt they would ask them to take it down out of fear of being sued.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:35 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • just b/c someone is a Christian doesn't mean it needs to be advertised to the world, first of all...second, if it was shining in my room you're damn right I would the very least, the light should be off...other than that, I don't's just like neighbors complaining b/c a dog barks too loud/often...Animal control will eventually tell you to keep your dog inside or you will get fined. I think this gets extra special attention b/c of the religious aspect of it. I guarantee that if it was something other than a "cross", it wouldn't even be talked about.

    Answer by calliesmommie at 12:36 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I don't think the cross was so much the problem as the lighting was. I would also complain in her shoes, and I think the neighbor is being a good neighbor to take it down.

    Different communities have different public nuisance laws. Sabrina, where I live, the situation with your neighbor's light would wind up very differently.

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:37 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • If the lights were an issue and shinning in his neighbors window, than the man should have been made to remove the lights, but not the entire cross. The cross itself is not bothering anyone and he has every right to put whatever he wants in his yard.

    Answer by asmcbride at 12:42 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Well, is she complaining about the fact that it's a cross or the fact that it's a nuisance because of the lights? If he wants a cross on his property, fine. It seems to be at odds with Jesus' caution against "praying on streetcorners", but Jesus will judge him for that, won't he? And it seems to be like a man with a big shiny sports car--a penile extension. The bigger the extension, the bigger his dong will appear, which never convinces anyone but the insecure male. On the other hand, his right to have lights ends with her right to get some sleep. It seems that they are fighting two different battles. She to have some sleep--and privacy--and him to have his instrument of torture--and symbolic manhood--displayed in his front yard. It's obvious to me. He just doesn't want his dong cut off!

    Answer by witchqueen at 12:43 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

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