Ann Marie Devaney was fighting tears as she removed a cross honoring her son Anthony who was killed by a vehicle crossing the road in 2012 in Southern California.
The American Humanist Association pressured Lake Elsinore city to remove the white crosses stating that it was unconstitutional since the highway is government owned.
What is wrong with having a plywood cross up? Plenty, said the group’s attorney Monica Miller.
“It should be taken down now because they’ve had it up for a long time and ever since it was put up, it really has been unconstitutional.”
The association also challenged the building of a memorial of a solider kneeling at a gravesite with a cross and the Stars of David in front of a baseball stadium in Feb. A U.S. district judge found it unconstitutional and the memorial violated the separation of church and state. It was ordered to be redesigned. The complaint lodged against the Devaney’s cross was dated on March 4.
"The city's selective enforcement of its signage ordinance and its display of the Christian cross on government property violates the state and federal Constitutions, and must therefore be removed immediately.”
Devaney said the entire ordeal is like losing her 19-year-old son all over again.
"It's so petty and sad that they have to complain over removing a cross. It's his personal preference that he was Christian. What's wrong with having a cross up?” she told NBC Los Angeles.
She was not alone. Local residents made crosses of their own as replacements.
“They said they have to take that one down,” one builder told the media outlet. “But they didn’t say anything about putting another one up.”
The American Atheists is working to prevent a steel cross found in the aftermath of 9/11 to not be included in the new Memorial and Museum opening in New York this May.
(Photo Credit from The Press-Enterprise/Frank Bellino)