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What will happen to the cross?

To the editor:

Why, Granddad, why?

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

In sorrow we wait and watch — today, they are coming to take down our crosses. All over America, Christ’s cross is coming down. On South Street, we can see our Greek Orthodox neighbors 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.

Above the noise and confusion, I hear the small voice beside me asking again, “Why, Granddad, why?” The answer comes slowly. 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. Our country’s separation from God was a slow process but suddenly we are viewing the death of our soul, the family, the culture and the church. So symbols of the cross will be soon removed from government seals and logos to join the fate of desecrated statues and churches across the nation.

One day earlier this year, the few who sought to remove all traces of Christianity from our culture pointed to his cross as a source of distress. For them, this symbol of our faith was offensive and a reminder of the truths they rejected — a visible sign on which to focus their frustration. Our courts and weak leaders felt their pain and their discomfort, and ordered all crosses removed, including those on buildings and churches in public view.

Too young to understand, she cries as we watch as the three crosses on top of St. Peter Church come down. We slowly walk up Logan Street to join our brothers and sisters standing outside Zion Temple as their cross is lowered.

Torn by the sights we have witnessed this day, amidst the faithful praying together, I gathered my granddaughter in my arms and whispered in her ear. All those yesterdays we argued that this day would never come to America and Steubenville. But our priests, ministers and bishops were afraid, lacked the courage to speak out, and the people in the pew fell silent.

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

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 across this once proud Christian nation.

Gerard McKeegan

Steubenville

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