The Mojave Desert Cross

Pathetic. There is a reward being offered. Here are the details.
Thieves Steal Mojave Desert Memorial Cross in Nighttime Heist

The 7-foot-tall metal cross that has stood in California’s Mojave Desert for 75 years and withstood a hard-fought battle in the Supreme Court was ripped down and stolen Sunday night, according to park officials.

“This is an outrage, akin to desecrating people’s graves,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Liberty Institute, which represents the caretakers of the Mojave Desert War Memorial. “It’s a disgraceful attack on the selfless sacrifice of our veterans. We will not rest until this memorial is re-installed.”

The National Park Service says someone cut the metal bolts holding the metal-pipe cross to the top of Sunrise Rock and made off with it Sunday night or before dawn on Monday.

Veterans groups are outraged at the theft of the memorial symbol that was erected in 1934 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to honor World War I dead.

“To think anyone can rationalize the desecration of a war memorial is sickening, and for them to believe they won’t be apprehended is very naïve,” said VFW National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell Sr. in a written statement.

The 75-year-old monument was the target of a legal challenge from the ACLU, which charged the cross is a religious symbol that shouldn’t be allowed on public land. The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to order that it be torn down; the land had already been sold and transferred to private owners.

The Liberty Institute is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the case, and the National Park Service has established a tip hotline seeking information leading to the recovery of the cross. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Park Service at (760) 252-6120.

This section is for comments from's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Tammy agrees with or endorses any particular comment just because she lets it stand.
17 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. lord-ruler says:

    Here is some perpspective that is little known regarding the cross. In the mormon church we do not display the cross and there is almost (but not quite) an aversion to displaying it in our faith. The simple reason is that we feel we should not look at Jesus’s death but his resurection. A large Majority of people in Utah are mormon yet the state has posted crosses at places such as a memorial where a police officer has died and there has not been a peep about it from church members. The only people who have raised a ruckus about it are the Atheists.

    • aliencats says:

      I was just telling a friend about why we do not display crosses in our church. –I am Mormon as well. But I respect what the cross represents. I really respect what the Mohave cross represented and am sickened by this. How did we get to this point so fast? When did we become so over sensitive that we would tear down a symbol meant to honor vetrens, those who died preserving our freedom? Political correctness will destroy us.

      • lord-ruler says:

        I found out one of the reasons Mormons don’t use crosses is partly because of arguments with Catholics and a Cross controversy in Salt Lake in the early 1900’s.

        Mormon missionary work in predominantly Catholic countries “was very challenging,” Reed said. Mexican (and presumably Catholic) revolutionaries had executed a Mormon branch president and his cousin the year before. The two were told before they were shot, “If you will renounce your religion and confess before the Virgin Mary, we will spare your lives.”

        “As a result of conflicts with Catholics abroad such as this, smaller conflicts with Catholics in Utah had a tendency to get blown to greater proportions,” Reed said.
        In 1916 a church asked the Salt Lake City Council to allow them to build a huge cross, “the symbol of Christianity,” on Ensign Peak. “We would like to construct it of cement, re-enforced with steel, of sufficient dimensions that it can be readily seen from every part of the city,” the request read.

        That request came from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The cross was to honor the Mormon pioneers.

        Even though the proposal was approved by the City Council, the monument was never built.

        Just two weeks before the LDS Church’s cross proposal, Catholic Bishop Joseph S. Glass complained about Mormons dancing on Good Friday. He decried a “city of unbelievers” and called upon others to protest. “Are there not enough Christians in Salt Lake City to command some kind of general respect for the holiest day of the year?”

        Reed said Bishop Glass’ protest offended Mormons, who traditionally did not observe Good Friday. Non-Mormons also thought it was “arrogant” for the bishop to “impose his religious convictions upon others.”

        This controversy was “fresh on the minds of many Utah citizens who opposed the 1916 Ensign Peak proposal,” Reed said.

        For 40 more years the symbol of the cross continued to polarize Latter-day Saints. “While some rejected the symbol,” Reed said, “others continued to embrace it.”

        In 1957, a jewelry store in Salt Lake City advertised cross jewelry for girls. LDS Church Presiding Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin called President David O. McKay to see if it was proper for LDS girls to purchase the crosses to wear.

        Reed believes that President McKay “institutionalized” the LDS Church’s feelings toward the symbol in his reply. President McKay expressed two reasons why he didn’t think it was a good idea.

        He told Bishop Wirthlin that the crosses were “purely Catholic and Latter-day Saint girls should not purchase and wear them. … Our worship should be in our hearts.”

        • thierry says:

          there is a difference between crosses and crucifixes the later being the cross with jesus on it which the catholic church still uses but protestant denominations generally do not. one of the big things with protestantism from it’s beginnings was a rejection of what was viewed as idol worship in catholicism- this was considered a pagan holdover . as you say worshiping in the heart not at or toward an object.

          a lot of magnificent art in churches across christiandom post reformation was destroyed because of this.(sorry- not a critique as much as a lament- i went to school primarily to study art history.) the truth of the matter is that the cross was actually an ancient pagan symbol and early church fathers rejected it as such(” You it is ye pagans who are the most likely people to adore wooden crosses..” minucius felix, 3rd century). for the first 2 centuries christians primarily used the fish symbol ( ichthys) and not the cross.

          it makes therefore perfect sense that mormons would reject the use of the cross for themselves. the sentiment is apparent in varying degrees throughout protestantism and indeed in the early church.

  2. trevy says:

    Not too long ago, atheists were simply non-religous. Recently, it seems they have been more and more anti-religous.
    The trouble is, they are fighting an Almighty God Who is so powerful He created the universe in 6 days.

    I know Whom I going to back!

  3. […] Tammy Bruce has details on a reward out on the thieves: The Liberty Institute is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the case, and the National Park Service has established a tip hotline seeking information leading to the recovery of the cross. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Park Service at (760) 252-6120. […]

  4. Maynard says:

    I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that this was a political statement by atheists. That may well be the case; on the other hand, it may just be some generic lowlife who saw a chance to commit an act of notorious vandalism.

  5. Laura says:

    WOW that is brazen! How disrespectful. This is very cruel and barbaric, sad, sad day.

    I would say some definite radical communist/anti-military/anti-Christian for sure.

    I am beyond done with these left-wing zealots, I want them all out of the country…well honestly off of the face of the Earth.

    Your right aliencat about PC. I have always stated how political correctness is going to get us all killed.

  6. thierry says:

    WWI is the forgotten war in america- probably because america entered late and was spared the pointless meatgrinder misery of countries like france. france lost an entire generation of men and they’re still digging up bombs- some of which still contain deadly nerve gas. the walking wounded – missing limbs, horribly disfigured- were a constant reminder and they were treated horribly. although it’s a funny joke that we french are cowards the truth is when WW2 rolled around, france’s lost generation were just that- there was no one left to fight or make babies and barely any resources to fight with.

    the veterans of WW I hold a special place of remembrance and honor in my heart. whomever did this for whatever stupid reason is just making a statement about what a self absorbed disrespectful a-hole they are. they aren’t worthy to lick the boots of those men.

    sometime in the 80s in my fair city someone blew up the christmas crèche on the common. i am not sure if they were the satanists or the atheists or just the anarchists- and frankly it could have been any of that lot . how many of these sorts would dare publicly desecrate a symbol of , say, islam ? . such cowards- they think they’re so brave and daring and smart . it’s totally unacceptable. freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom to deprive others of their expressions of their beliefs especially through larceny and malicious destruction of property.

    • sandyl says:

      Unfortunately freedom of religion has hideously morphed into freedom from religion (except Islam of course).

      • thierry says:

        these tools would not last a second in saudi arabia. their blind rabid support of islam (which after all means submission to allah- how is that different, freer or any better than submission to any other religious ethos to someone who is an atheist?) is only built on the notion that they hate america too. under a muslim theocracy they’d be executed for harming a koran yet they claim to find christianity as so so oppressive. they’re molly coddled bratty babies who have no idea what real oppression is.

        they need to see and experience a truly oppressive religion- a theocracy- wherein you have no rights whatsoever. draw mohammad- get killed. refuse to wear the burqua- go to jail, be raped and then get killed. be a jew- get killed. be homosexual- whoops a wall fell on you.

  7. angelaisms says:

    Can we blame Nancy Pelosi and her insipid “go around/pole vault/parachute” comment? I think we could make the case that whatever jerk-offs felt justified in doing this were inspired by her “frightening” rhetoric.

  8. Laura says:

    What disturbs me so much is that in America now Christianity is persecuted, while Islam is reverend.

  9. sandyl says:

    That’s the goal of the left–bring down Christianity. The left, like Christians, believes in one God, but the God of the left is a false God–government. They hate Christians and God’s chosen people, the Jews, because we are the roadblocks to everything they want here on earth. Fortunately the left is no match for God, because good will overcome evil. This gives me strength and comfort during these times.

  10. Laura says:

    Yes good will overcome evil, it always does….

  11. aardvark says:

    It always blows me away whenever someone breaks into a church, vandalizes one, steals stuff, especially from a Poor Box!, etc.

    What kind of fool would do that to G-O-D?! &%$?!?! I’d be wetting my pants — and worse! Who could sleep at night after that?

    V-eeee-eeee-eeeeery bad karma to steal crosses!

You must be logged in to post a comment.