Vandals Deface, Destroy Crosses in Pro-Life Display at Pennsylvania University

ClarionCLARION, Pa. — Vandals recently defaced and destroyed a number of crosses that were part of a pro-life display at a Pennsylvania university.

Students for Life at Clarion University erected 350 crosses on the campus on Sunday evening in a display known as the “Cemetery of the Innocents.” Each cross was to represent 10 children who had lost their lives that day from abortion.

But the following morning, it was discovered that a number of the crosses had been pulled up out of the ground and thrown into trash cans. Some of them had been broken. A few had messages written on them, such as, “Would you support if this life was gay?” and “Would you support if this life were trans?”

Similar vandalism had taken place in 2011 with red paint like blood being strewn on the pink and blue crosses.

“[All] 350 crosses were pulled up and re-inserted in inverted fashion, a well-known anti-Christian symbol,” the group Students for Life reported. “Additionally, red paint was splattered on crosses and signs. Even eerier was the mock bloody footprints of an infant painted in front of the display.”

The words “pro-choice” were also written on the sidewalk near the footprints.

“This was a reprehensible act of discrimination against Students for Life,” Students for Life President Todd Garrett said in a statement regarding this week’s incident. “It was an attack on the freedom of speech. I find it quite ridiculous that this is the second time … that our crosses have been desecrated.”

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The display has since been restored and university police are investigating who might be responsible for the act.

“I ask that as a community of educators and students, we come together and reflect upon our commitment to our rights and responsibilities of expression,” university President Karen Whitney said in a statement. “I ask that we use dialogue and discussion to engage very differing viewpoints in ways that leave all of us better for the experience.”

As previously reported, just last month, 200 students at the University of Texas at Arlington petitioned a student pro-life group to remove an abortion display featuring nearly 3,000 crosses in part due to concerns that the crosses represented Christianity and thus were “culturally insensitive.”

“Every cross is supposed to represent an unborn child, but not necessarily every child that is aborted is Christian,” petition organizer Ashley Radovcich told The Shorthorn, the campus newspaper. “And therefore, they’re being culturally insensitive, especially since we’re the fifth most diverse campus in America.”

“When I’m looking at this, they’re basically telling us that we can go to Hell just for having options,” sophomore Olivia Frost added.

As in Pennsylvania, the memorial had likewise been vandalized.

“About 100 crosses or so were kicked over and our display signs went missing for a couple of days,” said Adam Fogel, public relations officer for the Pro-Life Mavericks.

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  • I appreciate what these pro-life students are doing, but they shouldn’t be saying things like this:
    ““This was a reprehensible act of discrimination against Students for
    Life,” Students for Life President Todd Garrett said in a statement
    regarding this week’s incident. “It was an attack on the freedom of
    speech. I find it quite ridiculous that this is the second time … that
    our crosses have been desecrated.””

    We shouldn’t try to win points by using the world’s standards of “anti-discrimination”. This act was abominable because it insults God, not because it insults Students for Life.

  • Nathan Z Solomon

    I feel horrible for Olivia Frost who believes that she’s going to Hell because of the choice. I am a Christ-follower, but God doesn’t put people in Hell because they sin. He allows them the choice of accepting Christ or rejecting Christ. That, as I understand it, is the only way to get to Hell…rejection of Christ. We all sin. The only difference is acceptance or rejection of Christ.

    • GibbyD

      ” Repentance toward God and faith toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21; Philippians 1:6)KJB I am glad too that God has provided a remedy for the separation from Him that sin had caused .

    • Joseph Essien-Obot

      Sin is disobedience to God. We can only reconcile ourselves to God in Jesus Christ… turning away from living in evil to living in truth, the self sacrificing life of Christ. So, yes, sin takes us to hell. Our walk away from sin is the reformation of ourselves into Christ the light of the world. If we truly follow Christ, at least try with honest zeal, even if we fail at the end of life, we will be saved.

      • Nathan Z Solomon

        The “choice” I was referencing is abortion….to clarify. No…I’ve heard words like yours all my life. I don’t believe them anymore. Grace is grace. No works required. If you change things around so that there is over-emphasis on works as evidence (“show me your faith by your works”), then what you have are a bunch of Christians who are constantly striving to be something they can never be…perfect, approved by God, loved because of their works. But if you allow grace to be the starting point and emphasize that, relax in that, then love toward God will blossom and you will, by your desire to love Him, obey Him (“if you love me, keep my commandments”). Notice I’m not saying that works are bad. They are not. But to emphasize works, is to miss the point of grace. Out of grace, comes good works. Also, work is not all that God wants: He wants fruit of the Spirit. love, joy, peace, patience, etc do not come from work (being a missionary, pastor, telling someone about Christ). They come from refinement, pruning, suffering. I am suffering now and I can tell you that I am not working…actually I’m unemployed. But I do suffer and my faith is growing as well as my love for people, etc. Sin is only disobedience to God because God knows what’s good for us. Sin doesn’t hurt God. It hurts us. It hurts us and thus our side of the relationship with God….God’s side of the relationship never, ever gets weak. For too long, I was told do be good, to do better, to work harder so that God will approve of me. No more. God already approves of me and accepted me as a sinner and loved me there. There’s nothing I can do to increase His love for me, nor do I believe that I can decrease His love for me by sinning. That’s my take. Please feel free to question so that I may clarify…if you wish.

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          There is a lot of sense that you make, I particularly like the part you talk about God’s love for us which does not change. You are absolutely correct. But I do think there are certain problems with your picture.

          To start with you. Grace is grace, for sure. Grace means “free gift” but I think it is naive to believe that works are not needed. To take a gift, free as it may be, involves work. If I don’t stretch out my hand to collect it, it just remains there, gift it be.

          I don’t think, however, that works is quite the problem here as it is your understanding of what works are. Works is not the physical satisfaction of a requirement. Works is the action that does one or both of two things, 1) express a truth of the soul, 2) impress on the soul truth. I can help a neighbor in need out of a true union with his suffering, a sharing, and I can help a neighbor with the purpose of impressing in my soul the value of true union with another’s suffering, a sharing still. If I ‘do’ this help simply out of only a requirement, my work will be empty, neither expressing salvation nor implanting it in my soul. It will be dead. But then, how do we know what leads to salvation? Jesus the Christ. In Christ God gives us this free gift of knowledge of life. This is Grace and no amount of work on our own can discover it, no study, no suffering, no good act. Yes, these things may give a glimpse but will not open the truth of life that is Jesus, exposed in his resurrection. The depth of the life, suffering and death of Jesus is revealed in his resurrection without which there is no meaning. And Jesus calls us to his life through living works. To borrow your quote, “If you love me, keep my commandments”, is instructive. Notice that this statement is not a consequential one, it is a statement of action. Meaning that “keep my commandments” is not telling what happens “If you love me” but rather that we must do some work “if you love me”. “Work out your salvation” Paul says, “in fear and trembling”.

          Your mistake was that you sought God’s love that is already guaranteed as you rightly point out, when you should have been growing your love for God by works. The fruits of the Holy Spirit that works engender are as you mention, love, joy, peace, patience, etc. These very same fruits are listed under Paul’s song of love. Paul incidentally was contrasting these gifts with works; works of tongues, prophesies and sacrifice but not so much as to disparage them as to point to what their true purpose is. So, love is the encompassment of the fruits of the spirit which emanate from the correct use of works. Works are not an end in themselves, works serve love.

          This brings us to Olivia Frost and her choice of abortion. The choices we make are the expression of our true selves. It is our true selves that is judged. The choice to kill our children rather than offer ourselves to them is against the spirit of Christ. We can only reconcile ourselves with God by recognizing this fact and working ourselves away from this life where the temptation persists. For many, the recognition of this evil is enough to make an about face, for others it may require lots of effort. It is our walking away or towards the spirit of Christ that is our reconciliation or lack thereof.

          Which brings us to Hell. Hell is not somewhere God ‘puts’ us. Hell is where we choose to be. God has provided for us, by his grace, light to complete life, to full life. If we choose the opposite we choose a life of emptiness, a life of lack in the full sense of our being. If Frost insists that the taking of child’s life by its mother is her right, no matter how much she thinks she believes and loves Jesus, she inevitable chooses a life of deprivation and it will be forever if she doesn’t choose differently before leaving this life, the full impact of her choice only fully realized after this life on earth. We are made for heaven, like the image we are made in, and we can only find fullness in Jesus, that perfect icon of God, his Word. Frost needs to take her choices seriously as do all of us and everyone deserves the dignity of being let to know that. This is our witness, to live authentic lives that the world should see God.

  • FoJC_Forever

    The blood of the innocent cries out for Justice. Judgement is coming.

  • Bolvon72

    Could be worse, they could have killed a doctor.

    • Violence against abortion providers and their clinics is completely contrary to the goals of the Pro-Life movement. The people who commit these acts should be, and have been, punished to the full extent of the law. Virtually all pro-life groups have vociferously denounced such tactics. So to imply that Students for Life is in any way supportive of this sort of violence is patently disingenuous and betrays a petty bitterness not otherwise worthy of a response.

      I should also note that, as a Catholic, I am also opposed to the execution of these terrorists, which sadly has happened.

      • GibbyD

        so would you be against wars or killing in order to protect others? Rome is wrong about the death penalty just as it is also wrong about evolution . The past two popes have said they believe that man evolved from lower life forms and have swallowed much the the anti-faith beliefs. That is very sad that they do not believe the Bible’s account about how God made man .

        • I suggest you acquaint yourself with the Catholic teachings on “just war.” It is far too complex to go into here.

          My position on capital punishment is something I came to on my own, not because the Church told me. I had always been in favor of capital punishment, even as a Catholic. But one day I asked myself, if I had the power to spare the life of one death row inmate and that would result int the prevention of one abortion would I do it? It was then that I realized that favoring capital punishment went against my belief in the sanctity of life, not just innocent life. Too many pro-life people are openly in favor of capital punishment and that is perceived as hypocrisy by a world we might otherwise have been able to reach.

          The rest of your comment is just red herrings. I am not discussing evolution or the issue of sola scriptura.

          • GibbyD

            ” sparring the life of one guilty death row inmate”, does not and would not result in the “prevention of one abortion” of an innocent unborn girl or boy . . The rest of my comment was not a “red herring” but rather part toward answering the problem that is more important than life or death . Eternity

          • I never implied that such an action would be possible, I was only considering the issue of whether all life was sacrosanct, not just innocent life. As for the rest of your post, I could spend days arguing Roman Catholic versus evangelical soteriology and neither of us would be swayed. Not a good use of my time. You’re on your way to heaven. Whether or not I am is a matter between me and God.

          • GibbyD

            “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” ( I John 5:13)KJB. Yes, there have been millions of debates. It all comes down to final authority. Either God is true or man is. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” ( John 1:1-………)

          • Not relevant.

          • GibbyD

            The Bible is really the only thing that is “relevant”.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            They are red herrings, at least where evolution is concerned, because 1) it is a false statement of the Church’s position and 2) they divert from the conversation at hand.

            I would however like to correct your statement about the CC and evolution.

            1) The Church does NOT believe in evolution all the popes have said, expressing the position of the Church, is that the theory of evolution has its credits, it is credible, it doesn’t say it is true. There is nothing wrong in recognizing the credibility of something.

            2) The Theory of Evolution does not take away the hand of God from creation, for if God directly created one basic particle in the entire cosmos so that man may emerge at some point on planet earth then God created man, he doesn’t have to manually involve himself in every moment of cosmic growth, that, to me, would be placing a limitation on his part. Not that he would not directly involve himself in his creation, like the birth of his Son, Jesus, but that his order cannot go contrary to its purpose in the absence of his perpetual intervention.

            In the fullness of time God created man from the earth, giving him a soul, making him in his own image. cf Gen. 1:27, 2:7.

            The Theory of Evolution deals with the science of the earth not of the soul nor of the image of man.

    • GibbyD

      instead, some so called ” doctors” kill thousands of innocent unborn girls and boys every day in the USA.

      • Bolvon72

        Wow, my dipshit call worked.

        • GibbyD

          If you want to have everlasting and abundant life and love , simply , ” repent toward God and place your faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21; I John 5:13; Acts 16:31)KJB. Jesus said , ” Ye MUST be born again ” ( John 3:3;1st Peter 1:23)KJB. You must , “..obey from the heart this form of doctrine( the Gospel) delivered unto you” ( Romans 6:17)KJB. God is patient and GOD IS LOVE , this is true. His mercy and salvation is extended and offered unto you as long as you have breath. On that day you take your last , it will be too late to ever again have opportunity to escape the wrath that comes upon all who reject Him.

          • Bolvon72

            That call is working overtime, better than a duck dynasty whistle.

          • GibbyD

            I hope you are retired or have already been discharged because anyone serving in the military should not be stalking Christian sites like these and making comments that you are making. If you are not still serving , you do not have to worry but if you are still serving and representing the Army and making these comments , then you better be prepared to answer for them to those who will investigate which one of their own is dishonoring The U.S. ARMY !!! The following individual might need to know . I would advise anyone troubled by Bolvon72 , to make your complaint to the following.
            Fort HuachucaMG Robert P. Ashley, Jr., Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence & Fort Huachuca.

          • Bolvon72


          • Bolvon72

            Actually, go for it, I would love to hear what a Major General has to say about comments on disqus. This is of course after they figure out which of the 30,000 MI soldiers is doing it. Good to know you’re so big on the free speech angle.

          • Joshua Adams

            Man, you are a real self righteous piece of fucking garbage, arnt you? Go to god sooner, and fucking kill yourself, scum.

    • Jeff

      Imagine yourself literally dismembering a living human baby alive, or
      burning him/her alive via saline solution. Could you personally do it? Maybe you could, I don’t know… but first try it on yourself by twisting and pulling off just one of your pinky fingers, and then imagine doing the same to your arms, legs, and head. Abortion “doctors” are no better than Josef Mengel.

  • Earl

    If you want to include all faiths in your protest of abortion, then use a coffin to represent the dead. A cross does have a specific meaning.

  • bowie1

    This vandalism doesn’t make those against the cross look very good.

    • At one time, the university was a haven for free ideas. Sensible people could disagree and discuss issues on their merits. Sadly, the university of today has become one of the most intolerant institutions in America, all in the name of “tolerance.”

  • Bolvon72

    “It was an attack on the freedom of speech.”

    Or it can be perceived as it’s own act of free speech, if you want to stick to simplistic views.

    • Applying that logic, a book burning would be an act of free speech. Infringing the free speech of others is never itself an act of free speech.

      • Bolvon72

        Like I said, if you stick to simplistic views. Free speech is protected from government intervention. People, on the other hand, have every right to say “Shut the F up!”

        • GibbyD

          They have the right to say it but they do not have the right to stop another from enjoying their 1st amendment right .

          • Bolvon72

            The government has no right, but private citizens on the other… never mind, I’ve been through this already. Troll.

          • “Troll?” Are you signing your name or insulting GibbyD?

    • Let me restate my previous response. A symbolic act of book burning would certainly be a form of protected speech, But the confiscation and destruction of all copies of a publication would not. If those opposed to the display had constructed a display consisting of discarded and defaced crosses, that would have been protected. But they destroyed the property of others in an attempt to stifle their speech. So your logic is still faulty.

      • Bolvon72

        You bet it is, (faulty logic) Which is why I presented it as a retort to the quote in the article that it was a violation of free speech. It was not, it was simply vandalism.

        • My apologies. I misread the tone of your comment. It was more nuanced than I first thought. We should not stick to simplistic views. You are quite correct to say that it was vandalism, but I have to take issue with the “simply” part. The article makes it quite clear that there was a political purpose to the “vandalism.” To use another example, it is quite common, when conservatives give speeches at universities, for a small group of students to chant and otherwise disrupt the event so that those who came to listen and those who came to speak are denied that opportunity. Is this “merely” rowdyism? Or is there a political agenda being pursued, one aimed at stifling the free exchange of ideas? What happened here was not a bunch of drunk frat boys out to raise a ruckus. This was an act by a determined and politically motivated group to destroy the “offensive” display. People do have the right say “Shut the F up” and it is not a political act as such. But when the nuisance and invective effectively shut down debate, then it does in fact rise to the level of infringement. And free speech is protected not just from government intervention. It is protected absolutely. If the “vandals” we in fact engaging in free speech, why did they not simply erect their own display or pass out literature to observers?

        • GibbyD

          It is more than vandalism when the motive is to silence and stop the free speech of others .

  • bowie1

    These vandals wouldn’t happen to be ISIS sympathizers would they – seeing the similarity between destroying these crosses and the artifacts in Iraq and Syria?

  • hildebeastC

    I would def refuse to abort a child even if I knew it would be gay or “trans”. We are not the ones who believe in killing our children for any reason.

  • GibbyD

    violating by hindering or stopping someone’s free speech 1st amendment right is not a small crime and it can bring heavy costs and penalties on those who commit it .

  • UmustBKiddinMe

    There is absolutely no excuse for this type of behavior. I hope they are able to identify those responsible and hold them accountable.

  • Oh yes, how tolerant they are. They believe in “Choice” but when it comes to choosing to be pro-life and defend the human in the womb, our next generation, they get mad and angry…why would I want to be part of that group?

  • ski55

    First off, no child is born gay, trans, or perverted in any manner, they are taught that. Secondly, while defiling the cross may not result in punishment from man’s law, rest assured, a “Come to Jesus” moment awaits the guilty.

  • Asra Badra

    Pro Life zealots act in provocative ways then whine when others are provoked into a response. What did they expect?