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California town calls in FBI to help investigate cross-burning
The mystery of who stole the cross and set it afire has deeply disturbed the small coastal town of Arroyo Grande.
March 30th, 2011
10:37 AM ET

California town calls in FBI to help investigate cross-burning

First, an 11-foot wooden cross was stolen from Saint John's Lutheran Church in Arroyo Grande, California.

Then, weeks later, the cross was discovered set aflame in the middle of the night outside the bedroom window of a 19-year-old woman of mixed race.

Now authorities are investigating the case as a theft, arson and hate crime, police said Tuesday. The burning cross was erected in a neighbor's large front yard adjacent to the house rented by the woman and her mother.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Prejudice • Race • Religious violence

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Satanic Revealation

    Learn the truth about christiantiy : http://www.exposingchristianity.com

    March 31, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • HeavenSent

      SA, we do know the truth about Jesus. It's you non- believers that are being used and abused. Satan fell due to the sin of Pride, same as all you getting your egos stroked not to believe how to save your souls.

      Amen..

      March 31, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      People like Justina, Heaven Sent, and CW are one of the major reasons that non-religion is growing in America. Keep it up, girls!

      March 31, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • HeavenSent

      MS, you are going to hell. I hope you enjoy burning.
      Amen..

      March 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      SR, f u
      Amen..

      March 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • ihtfpaeoh

      HeavenSent,

      As a christian I'm sure you know it is wrong to tell someone "f u". And I see you also hope another person posting here burns in hell. AND you seem to think it clever to end your hateful messages with "Amen". YOU are what gives christianity a bad name.

      March 31, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • A friend

      Ihtpaeoh, there are a lot of fakes of Christian commentors. Don't be deceived.

      March 31, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ihtfpaeoh we must not go to the same church. While some Christians think the bad thoughts (which is the same), others simply say it. So I think a got to he!! is in line for you.
      Amen..

      April 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  2. Frederica

    Villains hate the cross: they mock it, abuse it and use it unholy ways.

    March 30, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  3. Lycidas

    I took my shoes off at the Dome of the Rock out of respect, wore a Kippah at Vad Vashem out of respect. I have no problem showing respect to other ppl's faith.

    March 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  4. David Blanco

    http://www.ilifelink.com/potassium_iodate_kio3_42_5_mg_x_60_tabs.htm

    David Blanco,
    delanoreport@gmail.com

    P.S.: Call: 1-805-473-1389

    March 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  5. Frederica

    An American problem. Each human society has it's unique deseases...

    March 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Anything other than being Christian is a disease and sin.
      Amen..

      March 31, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Frederica

      HeavenSent, I hope you are feeling all right with all the abuses going on against you here... Keep overcoming evil with good. (Romans 12)

      March 31, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Frederica

      The above HeavenSent may be a fake, but I'm talking to the original Christian HeavenSent if he/she is reading.

      March 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  6. Jesús Malverde

    While it is nice to see another religious symbol destroyed, it is sad that someone's property was stolen and another person terrorized.

    March 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  7. Trollface

    u cross?

    March 30, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Oobie

      LOL good one!

      March 31, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  8. Lycidas

    Jerks. First they have to disrespect an item many hold dear, then disrespect a person by defacing it.

    March 30, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Jeanine

      Poor Peewee! Nobody told you about religious freedom yet?

      March 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Jeanine

      Sorry, Lycidas. I guess you just bring out the worst in me. I'll stop calling you Peewee. The rest stands, however.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Religious Freedom may welcome them to destroy their own cross they bought, but I think anyone would be hard pressed to find a judge that would say it's a person's religious freedom to steal someone else's religious object and destroy it. Not to mention terrorize another citizen with it while destroying it.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Jeanine

      Lycidas, what I meant was that you speak of respect, but this is an arbitrary value dependent upon your point of reference and so does not come under the label of freedom as such.
      Or, putting it another way, you appear to think that religious freedom means freedom from disrespect, and I tell you this is not a realistic expectation to have.
      Or put a third way, you are focusing on your religious symbol while someone else might not care about your symbolism or respect it because they do not respect what it stands for nor are they required to respect you or your symbols.

      Would you respect a Muslim symbol? Or a satanic symbol?
      I doubt that you would see a satanic symbol as deserving of respect or protection in any way, right?

      I'd bet that there are plenty of Christians who would destroy someone else's "satanic" symbols without caring that it was someone else's property.

      And the Christian judges, prosecutors, and cops would all uphold such a viewpoint and resultant actions without even realizing that what they were doing was wrong or illegal.

      Bias and bigotry, even if non-religious in scope, can do that if you have enough support from your community or society.
      (think politics)

      These things have to work in all directions in every possible situation or we see them fail in execution precisely because all likely probabilities were not adequately addressed in the legislation or expression.

      March 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Would you respect a Muslim symbol? Or a satanic symbol?"

      Yes, in that it is important to those that hold it important.

      March 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Try and get this in the right place this time; I took my shoes off at the Dome of the Rock out of respect, wore a Kippah at Vad Vashem out of respect. I have no problem showing respect to other ppl's faith.

      March 30, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Jeanine

      Lycidas –
      So just because you think it's right we are all supposed to automatically agree with you without questioning your premises?

      Perhaps you refuse to question your religious experiences but hold them unquestioningly because such things are so incredibly rare and incomprehensible.
      If so, you would still be making a mistake in that you are also assuming that what you experienced was actually a religious one and not a hallucination. You do know that people have hallucinations, right?

      Maybe you don't even question the fact that you don't question these things. I really have no idea. All I know is that somewhere in your head is a broken piece of logic or something similar that is often the result of religious indoctrination.

      Consider a Branch Davidian. They joined the cult and believed it utterly. They gave their children to the pedophile who claimed to be Jesus knowing he was a pedophile.

      That's faith for you. Is your faith that strong?
      I'm not saying you'd do anything, I'm just wondering how far you'd go in following orders that you think have been given to you from your "god". Enough to break laws? Some laws but not others? Would you lie if your god told you to?

      March 31, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Lycidas

      Jeanine said, "So just because you think it's right we are all supposed to automatically agree with you without questioning your premises?"

      You can make up your own mind on what you believe, that's why the US is so wonderful. You don't have to agree with me anymore than I do with you.

      "Perhaps you refuse to question your religious experiences but hold them unquestioningly because such things are so incredibly rare and incomprehensible."

      Oh, I question many things in my life, including what I believe in. I've reflected very long on my spiritual experiences.

      "You do know that people have hallucinations, right?"

      Yep and you know ppl have religious experiences right?

      "Maybe you don't even question the fact that you don't question these things."

      I believe you are attempting to lead the witness prosecutor 😉

      If God ever asks me to lie, steal, kill or break any other laws of the land I'll let you know. But those requests will never come so I don't need to worry about it.

      March 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Lycidas

      And I am curious, did I throw you off a little with thinking one should show respect to what other ppl believe? I would guess you had a nice little speech waiting if I had said not to show repsect to Islam and such.

      On a side note, the Dome of the Rock is freaking gorgeous inside. If anyone finds themselves in Jerusalem, take the time to go if you can.

      March 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  9. doctore0

    Probably Gawd did it... He hates graven images/idols

    March 30, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Drrty

      I dont unsually comment on these grab attention stories but this one I got to let go of something......................I dont care if it's Muslim, Catholic, Methodist, Bhuddist, or whatever fly by night belief you want to have in OUR great country (thats right it's all ours) you have that right but get one thing straight.........if you come on MY property and steal something thats mine, imma shoot and call the police......................you bring something to MY property thats not mine imma shoot and call the police........you set whatever it is on fire on MY property imma shoot, call the police and the fire department and I promise you you will get a chance to bask in the glory of your religion. Amen and God bless. Keep in mind people, this seems like pure hate and if thats your religion then we dont need that s- you feel me?

      March 31, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.