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They’ve come for the crosses

August 12, 2012
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

Why, granddad, why?

It is the summer of 2016, and my granddaughter holds tightly to my hand. Like sheep without shepherds, the faithful and discouraged gather in around Steubenville's churches, looking skyward to the crosses.

In sorrow we wait and watch - today, they come to take down our cross. All over America, his cross is coming down. On South Street, you can see our Greek Orthodox friends mourning the cross as it comes so slowly off the dome at Holy Trinity.

You can walk north to Adams Street and St. Paul's and join another crowd looking in disbelief as their cross is removed. From where we stand, we can see the group gathered in front of Holy Resurrection Church. Confused voices are raised, crying out at the injustice they are witnessing.

And yet, above the noise and confusion, I hear the small voice beside me asking again, "Why, granddad, why?" The answer comes slowly and with difficulty. Too few listened, too few understood and responded when God was declared dead. His name and the name of his mother were blasphemed, and we remained silent.

We were too compassionate and tolerant and most stood by dumbly as his commandments were removed from public display and discourse. "In God We Trust" was removed from our money, buildings and state mottos without so much as a whimper. All symbols of the cross were removed from government seals and logos, even in Steubenville back in 2012.

One day, those same few who sought to remove all traces of Christianity from our culture now pointed to his cross as a source of their distress. For them, this symbol of our faith they found offensive as a reminder of the truth they have rejected - a visible sign on which to focus their frustration.

Our courts and weak leaders felt their pain and their discomfort at the sign of the cross, and ordered all crosses removed from the public square, including those on buildings and churches in public view.

Too young to understand, she softly cries as we watch quietly as the three crosses on top of St. Peter's come down. Taking her by the hand, we slowly walk up Logan Street to join our brothers and sisters outside Zion Temple as their cross is lowered with reverence to the ground.

Torn by the sights we had witnessed that day, amidst the faithful praying together, I gathered my granddaughter in my arms and whispered gently in her ear. All those yesterdays we argued that this day could never come to America and our beloved Steubenville.

But today, you see crosses on the ground, our flag hangs limp and our once-mighty symbol, the eagle, sits shackled to his perch - powerless in the face of a national disgrace.

My child, look to the heavens - our king has been scorned and rejected by America. Today, he shakes the dust from his sandals while we watch his cross come down all over this once proud Christian nation.

Gerry McKeegan


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