A Cross to Bear

From a reader who most likely would prefer to remain anonymous:

“As if there’s not enough controversy surrounding the Ground Zero Cross, the Catholic church [St. Peter’s] that has been hosting the item (variously considered cool junk, a meaningful bit of scrap metal, and a miracle) has apparently commissioned a new cross to replace the one that is being moved to the memorial (the one the atheist society is suing over). That location on Church Street near Barclay now hosts a brand-new shiny silver cross, and it just happens to look exactly as tall as the old one. And (another shock) it is made of twisted metal, almost as if—could it be—the church liked the publicity of hosting the old cross there, so they have replaced the real bit of history with a piece of hastily assembled ‘art’ that will trick tourists into taking more photos of that formerly-barren and disgusting smelling side of the church (the subway grates invariably have a… special stench in summertime).”

Any thoughts?



  1. Um. What? It looks like it’s been through a wood chipper.

  2. Great. I was so happy that there might be less neighborhood congestion now that the Ground Zero Cross(wow, metal beams at right angles, a miracle!) was going to be off that corner, and now they’ve found a truly hideous replacement. Wonderful. Giant religious tinfoil art, my favorite!

  3. How the hell are you going to nail Jesus to a Gehry-inspired crucifix?

  4. From a purely design standpoint I like it….although it does look a little like it came from Tiffany’s.

  5. This is not a news story, it is bold faced anti Catholic/Christian bigotry. The bias in this article stinks far worse than any smell that eminates from a subway grate.

  6. @Katrina – Don’t get your rosary beads in a bunch. Erik will say 10 Hail Marys and will also not eat meat this coming Friday. So all is forgiven, except for that Satanic stench coming from that subway grate. Maybe it is coming from Park 51 or Bubby’s?

  7. Hey Jim, why don’t you man up and say something similary disrespectful about (to) Muslims?

  8. @Katrina – Why do you hate Muslims? And why did you do those terrible things to the people of New Orleans?

  9. @Katrina and Jim: On that note, I respectfully ask that you stop now. I was wary of posting this item because I was afraid it might offend people, and as confused as I personally am by all religions, I absolutely believe people have the right to theirs. If the cross were inside the church, I wouldn’t have mentioned it. But because it’s out on the street, I believe it was fair to discuss it.

  10. Thank you Erik for you consideration and elighlighted attitude for religious tolarance toward ALL religions in our great city. An article about the cross is clearly news worthy given the focus of your publication. However, as written, the article appears intentionally disrespectful. If one were writing about a mosque or synogue in the neigborhood, should they add a non sequitor about putrid stenches, or mock the design of that religion’s most powerful symbol? This cross is not an Art exhibition in this instance, its a religious symbol on church property . Please consider the large number of Catholic fireman and other first responders who sacrificed their lives saving lives on 9/11. Replacing the cross helps fill the void of the one that was moved. The new one has been placed there for them and others who chose to worship at the cross. Let’s respect this cross as well as the iconic symbols of other religions.

  11. @Katrina: I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  12. This cross went cross-country (hah) in the back of a pick up truck. It has been carried, primarily by Fire Department members, in towns along the way; and has (had?) an openening so people could put notes or other small items of significance inside… actually, it’s an interesting back-story.

  13. What sort of bigoted chip is on the author’s shoulder? I just happened across this piece and was shocked at how open, unapologetic and brazen the hatred is.

    Would a slave burial site that is being memorialized be so nastily scorned as a “trick” for tourists? Was the Ground Zero Mosque ever said to be on a site that “smelled terrible”? Would a Torah being removed from an old synagogue be rationalized as “cool junk to some and a miracle to others”? Probably not — the religious significance afforded it by some is taken as a given, and we rightly don’t try to rationalize it for those who don’t believe in it.

    This is why there is so much anger welling up within the Common Man directed at the self-appointed elites. They seem concerned first and foremost about perceived bigotry, but themselves are the most vehement bigots toward the rest of us.

  14. By “self-appointed elites,” you mean Christians, right?

  15. personally, I like it. It’s that simple.

  16. Tolerance, people! It’s a shiny silver mangled cross …you either like it or you don’t. Personally, I don’t think it works with the style of the church, but so what. It’s interesting. Next….

  17. This was never intended to be a news story. Please see the by line:
    “From a reader who most likely would prefer to remain anonymous”

    It is someone’s opinion about a piece of public art. If it has religious significance for you-great. If it does not have religious significance for you, great.

  18. It’s not public art. It is a religious symbol on the grounds of a church, there is a huge difference. The writer of the article is an anti Catholic bigot.

  19. I actually agree with katrina’s last post – it’s not intended as a piece of public art, it is a religious symbol on the grounds of a Church, and thus is appropriate. I also agree with Val, artistically, it’s very different from the building it stands before.

    It is very eye catching, my son and I stoood before it for a moment, pondering and discussing, which is what all good art and religious symbols should do….

  20. I am sure Jesus will clear this all up once he gets here. “Man up!”…Thanks for the laughs, Katrina.