Mother Removes Cross Memorial After Dispute With Atheist Rights Group


A long-running dispute involving the mother of a Southern California man who was killed as he crossed a street and an atheist rights group appeared to head to a conclusion Thursday with the planned removal of roadside crosses she placed in his memory.

The removal comes after an organization that promotes the rights of atheists and other nonreligious people called the cross on city-owned property a “serious constitutional violation” in a letter to city council of Lake Elsinore, a western Riverside County community.

“It’s like I’m losing my son again, pretty much,” said Ann Marie Devaney, through tears, as she removed two crosses. “It hurts when you lose a child.”


That is so sad.

And it is heartless, petty and pointless. The roadside memorial was not put up by the government, or even an organization. Nor was the memorial a promotion of religion. It was an expression of grief and of love, by a victim’s mother.

My first assumption was that the American Atheists were responsible, since they repeatedly have shown themselves to be self-righteous, aggressive and tone-deaf. When I saw that the American Humanist Association was responsible, I assumed that a local chapter was dominated by a few rogues and that the national organization would disavow what happened. But I visited the national website for the AHA and they have a press release bragging about their demand.

Petty, pointless and heartless…that is what the AHA’s demand was. I hope the national media rakes them over the coals for this.


And update: It seems that ordinary citizens are defying the AHA. More power to the people! :thumbsup:


St. Michael, defend us in battle.



They are defying them by putting up smaller crosses but still her five foot cross is gone.

Roadside crosses are the so sad to see but they also remind us all to be careful. Dare them to take these crosses down, where is the outrage.


…be our defense against the wickedness and
snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl around the world
seeking the ruin of souls.



For a free country, your America seems to have fewer freedoms than we take for granted.




We’re in a real battle here for our freedoms. Groups like the AHA and other busybodies are using dirty tactics to get their way. They sue anyone who doesn’t line up with their narrow view of life. They like to target those they know can’t afford to go to court in the hopes they will give in. It’s the worst kind of bullying. Sadly, I can’t see anyone putting an end to it unless and until we get an administration in the WH and other seats of government who support our freedoms. Right now most of these government agencies are doing all they can to not only curb our freedoms but make us march lockstep in their agenda in which the elite rule and the rest have to obey. It’s like George III won after all. :mad:


For pure safety-driving purposes, I must say…it might be a bit distracting for a driver to meet with a large cross like that coming off a freeway exit ramp, where you don’t expect it. Hopefully this has not been a safety hazard.

I sympathize with the grieving mom, for sure.
Wouldn’t a better and more proper and intimate place to have a personal, private memorial to grieve for her son be at the cemetery or at one’s home–where one can plant as many crosses or other religious symbols as they like?

I do worry that if everyone planted 7’ tall, 4’ wide monuments or memorial structures every place a loved one has had an accident or passed away, our streets and hospitals would be jam packed with them.

Anyway, she’s had it there for two years so hopefully it helped her grieve and feel a bit better somehow during that time.
I don’t think she expected to be able to have a giant cross like that erected on public, community property forever…did she?



One need not scratch the liberal very deeply to find the fascist resting within.


Saint Micheal the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and
snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other wicked spirits,who prowl around the world seeking the ruin of souls.



I was about to post something like this but you articulated the same points better I did.


I too think that so large a cross need not have been left there, but the sized of the cross was not the objection, rather it was that a cross, a religious symbol, had been erected there. I have to wonder if it had been a Star of David or some Muslim, Hindu or other religious symbol if the AHA would have been so hot and bothered about it? Just thinking out loud. :hmmm: It is so true that idealism is great for fueling fires, but it does not feed the soul.

As to this woman’s grief process, everyone grieves in his own way and some take longer to do it than others. My sister grieved so long after our mother died that we were getting quite concerned about her. Thankfully, she was finally able to reconcile herself to mom’s death and move on. This although our mom died in a hospital not in a violent crash. I can only imagine how much harder it would have been to deal with that reality. A little compassion and understanding was needed here not a bootjack reaction by people with seemingly no more regard for the feelings of others than that of a cat for a mouse.


Honest to goodness, roadside shrines are not legal.

If it is state land, the Mom should get a permit and then let the state prosecute any defacement thereafter…but who thinks of such things while in morning?

The real, tangible memorial to her son is in the cemetery, where we are surrounded by the bodies of those “who wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior.”


I do think that cross is to big and I might have been on their side if that was the point of their argument but this was stupid and will just make atheist look bad.


Certainly the complaint which was filed mentioned the religious nature of the cross. However, I do wonder if they would have complained if the cross had been two feet tall, instead of five feet. Surely there are a large number of small roadside memorials,

I don’t like how this situation was handled, though. It could have been resolved with more sensitivity.


Nor the conservative, one might add. Nor anyone who guides their life according to pure ideology regardless of the humanity of others.


This is similar to how Westboro Baptists protest funerals. Both are extremist groups.


I find it very hard to believe the cross in California was causing traffic safety problems for a group in Washington DC.

This is purely hate-driven persecution and nothing more.

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