Letter: Destruction of cross wrong

It cannot be justified

Destruction of cross wrong

The recent destruction of the cross on the top of Mount Tzouhalem was an inappropriate and destructive act. Let’s keep that uppermost in our minds when we consider the ramifications of what has occurred. There will be those who try to justify it as an appropriate attempt to right historical wrongs or as a passionate response to injustice. They would be wrong.

We cannot be selective, approving of public destruction and ignoring laws, while insisting the law be maintained in defence of our beliefs. Peter Rusland was correct in his recent letter to the Citizen. The cross was public property on Nature Conservancy land. That makes its destruction a criminal act.

It cannot be justified. What is more, by allowing it to happen with almost no public condemnation we are stating that it is OK to destroy well-known public monuments in the service of ideology, whether or not that ideology is correct in its assertions.

This is a dangerous and slippery slope. The cross on Mount Tzouhalm was an established landmark and focal point of pilgrimage since it was erected in the 1980s. If we give in to the intimidation represented by its destruction we are allowing extremists to dictate to us what is, and is not, acceptable in the life of our nation. We should never do that.

Feelings are now raw, and as a result, perhaps we should take some time out, but eventually the cross should be replaced. Its removal did not take place as a result of a public moratorium agreed upon by local citizens. It was destructive vandalism, and the vandals should be prosecuted. It’s OK for us to evaluate our history. It’s not OK for us to destroy symbols and artifacts of that history because a small group decides to take the law into its own hands.

Perry Foster