I personally am opposed to this big cross and all the other big crosses on mountain tops around the world. However, tearing it down by force of lawsuit is expensive and profoundly upsetting to a bunch of people. Better to ban new crosses and let the old deteriorate. Selling the land under the cross in this case is not a good solution since that land belongs to you and I and I don't want to sell my share of it.
Rubidoux climbers should be concerned since some nice rocks could get fenced off.
I suspect the lawsuit will ultimately go nowhere, depending on how hard they respond to it. There's pretty good precedent for displays on that nature being accepted as "tradition", even if on an objective basis it might violate the Establishment Clause. They invoke Congress' new term with a prayer from a minister, which is accepted as a tradition exception. Here in Santa Monica they permit a Nativity display on the bluffs for the same reason--they've been doing it for so long that it's part of the city's traditional holiday display.
Also, on a more practical level, it's pretty easy to keep a nativity scene in storage. A lot harder to tear down a 40' cross. I doubt the plaintiffs are offering to cover that expense.
Kind of pathetic. I'm pretty much an atheist, and strongly in favor of separation of church and state. But something that was first erected more than 100 years ago and that isn't regularly used in any kind of civil function should be left alone.
Why, exactly, are they wanting to sell Rubidoux? Whose idea is that and who get the dough? And how much? And will public access be denied?
From what I can tell in the article it's the city's way of avoiding the controversy. Not their land, not their problem.
The city will get the dough. How much? Depends upon the outcome of the auction.
Public access denied? Possibly, but I would hope the city could attach some sort of easement to the sale.
Hopefully this whole thing will blow over. Although I'm an ACLU supporter and a strong believer in separation of church and state, I don't think this particular cross rises to the level of a genuine civil liberties issue. There are bigger fish to fry.
Be aware that signing a petition at change dot org will auto-create an account with them. They will then spam you with other petitions to sign. In order to stop the spam you have to go through their registration process (even though they auto-created the account) and then hunt down the obfuscated screen to delete your account. Really sleazy.
As an aside, Spider, could you please linkify that absurdly long url so it doesn't make the page 30" wide? ;-)