Flag Burning and Cross Building

Filed in Politics, ReligionTags: Christianity, Missouri, Saint Louis

Surely, if we can even discuss whether burning the American flag is a form of protected political expression (not speech), then a church building a cross must be protected religious exercise.

When it comes to tony Town and Country, some residents like to say there's an understated character in the city.

So imagine the response in this enclave of million-dollar homes and manicured estates when a church proposed building an illuminated cross on its grounds adjacent to Highway 40. And not just any cross. This one would be made of glass and steel, soaring 99 feet into the air - a height equivalent to five streetlights stacked on top of each other.


He claimed that when the church first approached the city with its intention to erect the cross, the city had no such height restrictions, but added them soon after. He called that "an effort to erect obstacles to the exercise of our rights of religious freedom."

Hey Town and Country, remember this pesky little line?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I'm sure you do so hate it when the Constitution gets in the way...


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4 Responses to “Flag Burning and Cross Building”
  1. middendorf says:

    Didnt you know chip that the constitution only gets drug out to protect reltions OTHER than Christianity :-)… duh!… I thought you knew that. In this country, you can do anything you want to Christianity… it’s appalling

  2. Meg says:

    Agree with middendorf’s comment and see and appreciate your points Chip, but I find myself thinking… I would LOVE to see a 99′ cross, it would make me smile for sure – but that is really big. And when we’re talking about a cross I don’t mind, but I think to myself that saying it’s ok to make a cross that big also makes it ok for other religions to have their symbols that big – and that I’m quite sure I would NOT want to see.

    So I think in this case I can kinda get what was done here – and in this case it doesn’t sound like they’re saying the church can’t build a cross (which would clearly infringe our constitutional rights), they’re simply making law so that no one (which includes us) can make religous symbols that exceed a certain height requirement. Which from a property value standpoint does make some sense.

  3. cb says:


    A couple points:

    1) Religious freedom does mean religious freedom for all religions. Erecting a cross does not infringe upon another’s religious freedom; if followers of another religion wish to do likewise, they are equally protected to do so.

    2) The First Amendment does not have either a “freedom from being offended” exception clause nor a “property value” exception clause. Neither argument passes (or, at least, should pass) Constitutional muster.

  4. Meg says:

    Totally agree with point one – if I said anything that indicated I didn’t, I simply mis-worded it – that definitely was not my intention. As for your second point – clearly I wasn’t trying to assert that either of those clauses were in place.

    I think what makes this issue a sore point is simply the fact that a cross was what gave the city the idea of instituting the height restrictions. I guess my point was simply that height restrictions are not abnormal to have in place. Cities put them in place for such things as property values which it is clearly in their best interest to maintain.

    All that to say, I don’t completely disagree with the concept of the height restriction; however, I certainly concede that it is entirely possible that those that instituted the restriction did so as a “legal” method of inhibiting the church’s expression of faith. Thus bringing us back to your original point.

    Although it is also possible that this was the first time anyone brought up the idea of erecting any monument of that size ? perhaps prior to that it never occurred to anyone the city needed a height restriction. In any case, not trying to negate your point, just offering another view. 🙂