Oregon Police Investigating Explosion That Damaged Controversial Veterans Memorial Cross


Cross MonumentCOOS BAY – Police in Coos Bay, Oregon are investigating an explosion that was set off late last week near a Vietnam veterans war memorial cross that has been at the center of controversy since February.

As previously reported, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Coos Bay officials this past spring, stating that the monument displayed in Mingus Park violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. The organization advised that it received complaints about the display, and was therefore responding on behalf of the unhappy citizens.

“Our complainants inform us that a white cross sits in the park near a playground,” the letter stated. “Our complainants further inform us that this display has been in the park for several decades. There have also been recent efforts to restore the cross.”

FFRF continued by outlining that crosses are naturally symbols of Christianity — especially the Latin cross displayed on the monument.

“The inherent religious significance of the Latin cross is undeniable and is not disguisable,” it explained. “No secular purpose, no matter how sincere, will detract from the overall message that the cross stands for Christianity and the overall display of Christianity.”

“Additionally, the Christian-only memorial sends a message that the government only cares about the deaths of Christian soldiers, not Jewish, other nonChristian and nonreligious soldiers,” the letter contended.

FFRF then demanded that the cross be removed swiftly or that the monument be relocated to private property.

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“It is unlawful for Coos Bay to display a patently religious symbol such as a Christian cross on private property,” it asserted. “We ask you to remove the cross from the park immediately or direct the display be moved to a more appropriate private location.”

City officials were to have held a public meeting today about the presence of the cross; however, an explosion at the site late last week turned the matter on its head. According to a news release about the matter, the explosion occurred either late night Thursday or early morning Friday.

“[A]n unknown person(s) vandalized the memorial with an improvised explosive device,” police explained.

Therefore, the meeting surrounding the cross has been postponed until a later date.

[W]e want to give law enforcement time to investigate the most recent incident of criminal mischief at the site of the memorial,” police outlined. “In addition, as these types of senseless acts only serve to aggravate a highly emotionally charged issue, the Council will wait a few weeks before discussing the status of the memorial.”

The Liberty Institute, a Christian legal organization in Plano, Texas that was summoned by city officials to help defend the cross, said that the incident is telling of where America is headed as a nation.

“We unfortunately are now to the point where explosive devices are being placed next to crosses,” it wrote in a news release about the matter. “As we have said many times before, the attacks on religious freedom are increasing at an unprecedented rate. This incident in Coos Bay is a frightening example of just how far the opposition will go to eliminate any trace of religion from public view.”

The organization notes, however, that this is not the first time that the cross has been vandalized. In May of this year, an unidentified vandal drew a perforation line at the base of the cross with the word “cut” written above it and an arrow pointing down to the line. The word “remove” was also written in the middle of the cross.

But Liberty Institute says that opponents have reached a new low.

“The memorial sits next to a children’s playground area,” it advised. “Fortunately, in this case, no one was hurt, and the memorial only suffered superficial damage. But, what will happen next? How far will the hostility go?”

“[We] will not be intimidated,” the Christian legal group continued. “We will not back down when it comes to honoring the First Amendment, and we will continue to assist the City of Coos Bay in any way we can.”

No suspects have been named in the explosion at this time. 

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  • infidel1000

    And what makes YOU so lilly white and squeaky clean, Nedd? YOU would have a country where the dominant religion, (presumably YOURS), would be free to use the power of the government to make your religion omnipresent. Where no one would be free from its oppression. They used to burn witches, you know. And torture and kill infidels and blasphemers. You want the days of the inquisition? Where millions were murdered in the name of Jesus Christ? What do you think this country was founded upon? The Bible? God? Not even close. The founders of this country (which, incidentally were not pilgrims or puritans) knew of the corrupting, pernicious influence that religion can have on government, and designed the Constitution to exclude and separate it from the government. Now, as always, religion wants to turn back progress and cow the population again, just like old times.The ffrf is the best friend religion ever had. If you listened to them, your religion would have a chance of surviving another century, perhaps. But in the hands of its current incompetent holders, it’s dying fast. When It does, good riddance to bad rubbish.

    //”In many ways, they are worse than the American Communist Lawyers Union.”//

    You are only revealing your ignorance and stupidity with such sophistry.

    //”The FFRF needs to be investigated and driven out of business.”//

    For what? A secular nation is the only kind that can be free. Not everybody wants the oppression and degradation of your religion. Keep it to yourself.

    • infidel1000

      BTW, IF the facts ever come out, I’m betting it will turn out to be a believer who bombed the cross, but of course you guys will throw (him/her/them) under the bus in a New York minute.

      • krudd

        Or it could be you, you seem like an angry person

  • William S. Sutherland

    God’s Word tells us, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” This foolishness is on display in all its fullness by people who spend all their time fighting against this God they say doesn’t exist. If he doesn’t exist, get over it and move on. But you can’t because His existence and power is seen in creation. And your heart convicts you of your guilt before this Holy God and so you try to remove all mention of His Name in order to silence your conscience. George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern without God and the Bible.” The Bible tells us, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Therefore, a godless nation cannot remain free. “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Soli Deo Gloria!!!

    • infidel1000

      //God’s Word tells us,”The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” This foolishness is on display in all its fullness by people who spend all their time fighting against this God they say doesn’t exist. If he doesn’t exist, get over it and move on. But you can’t because His existence and power is seen in creation. And your heart convicts you of your guilt before this Holy God and so you try to remove all mention of His Name in order to silence your conscience.”

      That’s absurd. Nobody fights “against this God they say doesn’t exist.” We fight against the billions of people under the influence of the absurd philosophy that bringing about the violent end of civilization for some insane religious ideal would be a good thing. We fight for evidence, truth, and science. Religion is antithetical to all these things. Nature is not evidence of god. Religious people have the right to believe any damn fool thing they want. They just don’t have the right to push it on everybody else. Besides, you can’t use bible passages to prove the truth of the bible. The bible is true because it says so in the bible? That’s the world’s smallest circle of circular reasoning.

      // George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern without God and the Bible.” The Bible tells us, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Therefore, a godless nation cannot remain free. “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Soli Deo Gloria!!!//

      So I gather that you’re saying that freedom means knuckling under to a celestial dictator who will condemn our children, grand, great, and great, great grandchildren for our discretions. That is not freedom, my friend. That is the worst example of a brutal totalitarian dictatorship yet put on paper. Yeah,the HUMAN authors of the bible had a good imagination, if nothing else. This ancient book of horrors was obviously designed to strike fear in the population, to make them toe the line. People are slowly coming to the realization that God was made in MAN’S image, not vice-versa. We can only hope that mankind will throw off the tyrannical yoke of religion before it destroys us all. SECULAR government that neither endorses or supports or suppresses religion is the only way we can have religious freedom. But religious people have got to understand that using a government podium to endorse religion is unconstitutional and NOT allowed. They know this, I think, but believe they are entitled to do it anyway. This is not a free speech violation, because their INDIVIDUAL free speech is not affected. They simply are not entitled to use the GOVERNMENT to do so.

      • krudd

        The danger is in the fact that they don’t believe in God, yet they talk about Him more than anyone. I’ll give you guys credit, you reject the shallowness of the masses, but you’re too dull to see beyond them. That’s why you’ll never understand symbolism. A cross doesn’t say anything better about anyone or anything, it simply is used as Memorial, which is American tradition, not Christian tradition. No amount of offense is excused under these protections we have from people like you, who would rather spit on a grave than to honor those beliefs held by the people who helped shape American history. Might as well believe that Abraham Lincoln was really a zombie killer if you want to believe it’s offensive to see a cross.