by Steven Ertelt
August 8, 2005
Waterloo, IA (LifeNews.com) — Members of Ascension Lutheran Church in this Iowa town are working to set up anew a cross display meant to memorialize those unborn children who have died from abortion after vandals tore it down. Church members arrived Saturday morning to fix the display after vandals hit it Friday.
Ascension assistant pastor Thomas Jahr told the Waterloo Courier newspaper, "We would have never guessed we would hit such a nerve with people. Obviously we have offended people who have a different belief."
The display is part of a traveling "Witness the Crosses" display with about 1,600 crosses that moves from church to church to draw attention to the result of more than 30 years of legalized abortion in the United States.
The display was set up in two sections on Friday morning and by noon part of the display that was visible from a heavily trafficked local street had been toppled.
"Some of them were damaged. It doesn’t take much to damage them. We put them back this morning and we had motorists stop by and encourage us," Jahr said.
Jahr told the newspaper that no one reported to the church seeing anyone knock over the crosses and he said the church did not report the incident to the police.
"No one has come forward. It’s right on University, so the person who did it was pretty blatant," Jahr said.
Whoever vandalized the display left a note telling the church they could not put up crosses on private property.
"That’s ironic. It was on private property. It just so happens to be our private property. It was very legal to put up the display. We even talked to the city and had no problem," pastor Roger Twito told the Waterloo newspaper.
The display, which is scheduled to be set up at the church through Thursday, did not cause any problems when the church put it up two years ago.