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November 15, 2012 / Ronald Chapman

The Crucifix Protest Begins

Two more paces and they could almost see past the trees that lined the park. Pitcairn dropped into a crouch to get a better look. “Jesus Christ! Look at that, Emmy. There are upside-down crucifixes with people on them.”

A hush came to them then, which was seemingly the same reaction others were having. They crossed the street and moved toward what now could be seen to be three crosses, each with a person standing on a small platform positioned at the crosspiece. Several police cars were positioned on the street just beyond the display, but it was apparent the officers had no cause to act, or perhaps they had no idea how to act.

Nearing, they saw each person on a cross was garbed in a simple, rough spun garment. One woman and two men stood with hands cupped together at their waists, and eyes cast downward. They were very quiet and very composed, which produced a remarkable rippling of silence around them. People approached, but were respectfully quiet. There was no mistaking the power of the image of the upside down cross, a clear statement of Christianity in distress.

Beneath each crucifix hung simple wooden signs. Pitcairn read each. “Forgive seventy times seven.” “Neither do I condemn thee.” “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

He knew it had to be a response to last week’s radical Christian riot. And it was incredibly powerful.

Maria Elena leaned over to whisper to him. “It’s got to be the group that’s affiliated with the South Valley penitent group … the Center for Radical Spirituality? You know … the Catholic heretics?”

He nodded as he too spoke softly. “That makes sense. But man, what a statement.”

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