"Cross at Center of Legal Dispute Disappears"

"LOS ANGELES -- A seven-foot-tall Latin cross in the middle of both the Mojave Desert and a Supreme Court case on the separation of church and state has been stolen, federal officials said Tuesday.

The cross, made of metal tubing reinforced with concrete and bolted to a base on a rock, about 200 miles east of here, was discovered missing Monday.

A large plywood box had covered the top of the cross for several years, making it look like a big wooden lollipop, while a lawsuit over whether a religious symbol could stand on public land made its way through the courts. That box disappeared Saturday, said Linda Slater, a spokeswoman for the Mojave National Preserve, where the cross is, or was, located.

No motive was known, Ms. Slater said."

Randal C. Archibold reports for the New York Times May 11, 2010.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010