Lighted Crosses Put Neighbors At Odds In Baldwin

By David Highfield

BALDWIN (KDKA) — A woman in Baldwin is upset over a 25-foot lighted cross her neighbor put up on Robbins Street.

Carl Behr has two lighted crosses on his property, one on the roof of his house, and a larger one facing his neighbor’s property.

“I put this one up on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a measurement of my faith,” said Behr.

“The way the world’s coming with all these atheists, it makes me sick to my stomach,” Behr said. “If I can turn one soul towards the Lord with my sign, it was well worth all my efforts.”

But his neighbor Lisa Fera says, “This is not a religion thing. It’s not about me being against the cross, or religion, or God, because I have a lot of faith in God. It’s more about trying to keep community – the value of your community up.”

KDKA’s David Highfield reports:

She says the light streams in her windows at night. She claims Behr is running a contracting business out of his home and she thinks the cross is a way of getting back at her for complaining about it.

“I shouldn’t have to come home and see a dump truck and bobcats and see heavy equipment,” said Fera. “Every cross that went up came as a direct result of conflict that we had.”

Behr says that’s not true, and that it is about his faith.

Police have asked Baldwin’s code enforcement officer to look into this situation.

Police actually showed up the other night at 12:30 a.m. to ask Behr to turn the lights off, which he did. He says he now turns them off at a more reasonable hour. The lights were off Thursday morning.

KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland reports:


One Comment

  1. zz says:

    Why does this woman’s story sound more truthful than the religous man’s? If he has a business in a residential area, it showed all the equipment, his honesty certainly seems doubtful about many things.

  2. Dsavid says:

    If it were me, the guy’s house would be ablaze with spotlights from dusk to dawn and he could take it up with the Lord!

  3. Duckdaddy says:

    Why is the value of her property so much more important than his business, why can people decide they dont want things in some one elses yard?

    1. DB says:

      Your right to swing your arms ends at my nose. What he is doing affects her property – if what he did not effect her, when there would be no issue. The problem is that it DOES affect her.

      If I started a toxic waste dump business next door to you, would you not complain?

      1. Jan says:

        some comparison,,a toxic dump and THE CROSS!

    2. Brooklyn says:

      If he is using a porperty that is zoned as residential as a commercial property than he is in the wrong and should be cited for it. You can do whatever you wish on your property as long as it does not interfere with someone elses abillity to enjoy their property.

  4. Tim says:

    Just shows a lack of consideration on the man’s part. He put the lighted cross up so the lights face his neighbor and disturbs them. Then it takes a police visit to get him to turn them off. I don’t questions anyone’s faith or beliefs, but this guy sounds like a jerk. I hope code enforcement males him remove it.

  5. Jamie says:

    It’s interesting how atheists making him “sick to his stomach” but he’s the one acting with disrespect to his fellow man. I don’t know a single atheist shining lights into their neighbors windows at all hours of the night.

    1. Ned Flanders says:

      I feel that atheists are arrogant. However, a person who really knows Christ would not try to annoy his neighbor by putting up lights when the neighbor is upset about it. A good Christian would try to make his neighbor happy.

      1. Jamie says:

        A person who really knows Christ would not make generalizations about people either.

      2. Sam says:

        I find many Christians to be as arrogant as they come. It’s their way or no way. I am sick of having someone else’s religion pushed down my throat. Live and let live. I don’t care what you practice, just don’t preach it to me. Don’t be so superior that you think your religion is better than mine, or my non-religion.

      3. Fenix1186 says:

        Religious folk are as arrogant as they come. If you’re in need of help a religious person particularly a Catholic will be the first one to walk by and not help.

      4. respect your environment says:

        Atheists are arrogant? please explain… also explain how well you know Christ.


      5. come on people says:

        How’s this for arrogant… I believe you are going to hell for not believing the same thing as me?… oh yeah for eternity.

      6. Mingaling says:

        Fenix’s comment is a rather sweeping generalisation, “Particularly a Catholic”?
        most catholics i know are extremely compassionate. If a person fails to help another in need then isnt it a human weakness not a fault that should be attributed to his religion, just a pretty ingnorant thing to say really.
        I should also add that just because a person is a christian doesnt mean he or she is automatically going to be a saint, most people who follow christ are also aware that they have weaknesses and flaws like everyone else the only difference is they pray about it and with the help of God try to change.
        Finally I agree with your comment Ned Flanders, there has to be a balance, and God deserves all the dignity we can give him.

    2. Skaði says:


  6. TJ Dupree says:

    What the story fails to tell is whether the woman actually ASKED the man to turn off the light at night. He seemed to have no problem doing it that day, or making plans to turn it off earlier from then on out. Maybe theres another way to look at this?

  7. Stan says:

    Interesting how different people try to get attention in different ways. One puts up a cross, one calls the police. So many ways to look at a situation.

  8. Tony says:

    She is a miserable woman, no doubt. He should be a little more considerate. We use blinds in our house. There is a street light across the street, maybe I should call the police………No, I put up a $6 blind, problem solved. There is no doubt, both have issues, but for her to go to KDKA and the police shows this woman needs prayers, so does he. Pray Pray Pray.

  9. Daniel says:

    Religion is why many wars have been fought. Every religion thinks the other is wrong. No one on this planet truly knows who or what God really is. Now that is a fact. We should respect all religions but not force religion on anyone. Worship as you choose and let me be a Deist as Thomas Jefferson was.

  10. UFC says:

    This guy’s a complete ass.

  11. Shannon Nutt says:

    Mr. Behr doesn’t know his Bible very well:

    “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” – Matt. 6:1

    So looks like you’re out of luck in the afterlife, Carl!

  12. JAUN says:


  13. FixPGH says:

    The guy is kind of being a jerk, especially since aetheists are not satan worshippers that need “saved.” Yes, sometimes they go to extremes to get their point across, but so do religious followers. I’m all for freedom of religion but no religion or non-religion should try to force their beliefs on someone. If someone wants to find God, they will go seek him. If someone doesn’t want to believe in anything higher than themselves, that’s their choice. Aetheists are not “arrogant,” just misunderstood. And Christians aren’t that much better. People need to chill out about this stuff. And the guy needs to take that cross down because he just sounds crazy. I don’t think he’s that much of a believer that he feels the need to put that cross up. He just wants to annoy people.

  14. Drod says:

    Why does everyone comment about the guy. He had no problems turning off the light. The article even says the lady complained about the guy running a contracting business out of his house. IT’S HIS HOUSE!!! He has every right to run a business out of HIS HOUSE!!! This lady needs to shut up and mind her own business! Not to mention this isn’t even news and I’m sorry I wasted my time reading it.

  15. Sis. T says:

    Now I’m hearing all these comments on religion, if he want a cross on his property it is his property. Prayers were voted out of schools and after that chaos erupted with students and the staff. There are different religions and the only way to stay in heaven is through GOD’s Son, JESUS CHRIST. We must love one another and do what is good and what right at all times even to those who offend us.

    1. kristy says:

      take a chill pill, sis. t. not everyone shares your beliefs.

    2. summersoltice says:


  16. Onizushta says:

    If this has anything to do with conflict I don’t see as how it’s news worthy except how it is being handled by each side. I’ve seen neighbors retalliating in much worse ways on a daily basis that doesn’t catch the attention of the media. A 25ft cross probably acted as a beacon to the visual hungry media mongers. Whenever a neighbor, no matter which side they’re on, is driven to extreme means by the behavior or contempt of the other, only bad will come of it. Something drove this person to erect this cross. Whether it’s belief, retalliation or both, it’s served it’s purpose by this point. Low points on sense but high points on not resorting to worse means. As far as the neighbor is concerned, if you’re constantly looking for problems, then that is what you will find. You could move in next to a church and complain about the people parking there or the noise early on Sundays.

  17. lk says:

    He should keep the crosses, but after a certain time at night, dim them.

  18. kristy says:

    sam and fenix1186 – you’re both 100% spot-on.

  19. truth says:

    I find many Christians to be as arrogant as they come. It’s their way or no way. I am sick of having someone else’s religion pushed down my throat. Live and let live. I don’t care what you practice, just don’t preach it to me. Don’t be so superior that you think your religion is better than mine, or my non-religion.”
    I got a question Sam. Why are you preaching?

  20. Toon says:

    I hope it starts an electrical fire and burns his shack to the ground.

  21. ok go says:

    well at least he isnt burning a lowercase t in his yard like my neighbor

  22. Ken S says:

    i love how everyone has a veiw. i think the cross is a little over the top, but the religous aspect is not what should be the focus. if it was a big 25 foot lit up steeler or pens banner they would complain also. people miss quote the bible without knowing the meening of it also. Matt 6:1 is saying that you dont do your deeds for people to see. you do them for god to see. As for the lady complaining about his work equipment. she should be happy her nieghber works.

  23. kabean says:

    It is not okay to run a business from your house especially one that produces noise from loud machinery and trucks coming and going. There are zoning laws to protect people in residental neighborhoods. Carl thinks he is getting away with hiding behind religion but he is a sleezeball. Your contracting business will go down the tubes due to your actions…God doesn’t like ugly.

  24. j-LO says:

    Who cares? It’s a cross! It looks better than some of the gawdy christmas displays, like the inflatable snowman or winnie the pooh! Not to mention the tacky christmas lights some people put up! Just deal with it Lady!

  25. CONCERNED says:


  26. italianbella412 says:

    Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to the world. Open Ur minds people!

    1. j-LO says:

      Italianbella: You call yourself a beautiful Italian? And you think Religion is bad?? You are an embarrassment to Italians everywhere. just sayin………..

      1. Jamie says:

        Italianbella: I’m Italian and you don’t embarrass me at all. Your open mindedness made me smile.

        j-LO: People like you are the reason that others don’t take religion seriously. As a Christian, you’re supposed to be an example of Christ to the rest of the world. But by that standard, if I were to look at you, I would have to assume that god is a judgmental, condescending, racist jerk. I find it extremely laughable that you can be so terrible while telling someone that they aren’t religious enough. Your hypocrisy and generalizations are what’s truly embarrassing and if anything, your hatefulness has only served to prove Italianbella’s point about religion. If I were you, (which, thankfully, I am not) I would concern myself a little more with what your god thinks, rather than on what other Italians may or may not think about a person you don’t even know. I hope the god of whatever religion you practice is really proud to be the driving force behind your arrogance.

  27. Jesus says:

    What Would I Do?

  28. Anon says:

    You would accept the man’s way of doing things but also respect the woman’s concerns and help them come to a compromise without being judgemental 🙂

  29. j-LO says:

    Jamie: you can ASSume all you want. Religion is a good thing. People like you unfortunately make the world what it is today; – so sad………… but I forgive you and I will pray for you.

    1. Jamie says:

      Thank you for saving me from myself, j-LO. I don’t know what I’d do without your prayer. I’m so glad I was able to connect with a wonderful Christian such as yourself to show me the error of my ways. Maybe once all your prayer kicks in, I can be saved, but more importantly, I can be a real Italian.

      1. A. Gabriel says:

        Jamie, why such sarcasm? Stop it now and open your heart. Mean spiritedness is so unnecessary. I, too, will say a prayer for you.

  30. A. Gabriel says:

    Praise God and take a stand for Him and you will be rewarded against the Godless.

    1. Jamie says:

      One sidedness is unnecessary as well. Why was it not mean-spirited for “j-LO” to tell that other girl that she was an embarrassment to all Italians, or to write “ASSume” to me? Or the condescending manner with which she “forgave” me, when all I really did was point out her hypocrisy. You honestly expect me to take her prayer seriously? Just because you agree that someone’s ultimate message is good, does not mean you need to agree with they way they chose to get there. That being said, atheists are not the ones who set the standard by which Christians ought to live, the bible that Christians believe in set that standard. When Christians make absolutely no attempt to live up to the very standard that they judge others by, how can you expect to be taken seriously? The bible is filled with messages of god being the judge and jury, and to concern yourself with your own affairs and to make sure you’re right before the Lord, but Christians rarely live that message out. So before you’re so quick to judge me, I’d ask you to find ONE example, in your bible, of Jesus telling anyone they are an embarrassment to their entire ethnicity, and even if you did, I’d ask you if you really believe that “j-LO” is so comparable to God that she’s in a position to make that statement. When Christians act like this, you can’t really be surprised when non-believers dislike them… You’d really think that, if Christians genuinely believe that atheists are going to hell, they’d hear them out in an effort to be more effective, rather than attack and then disregard them. If you find it so incredibly easy to disregard the fact that your religion preaches that people not like you are going to hell, I’d ask which of us really has the hard heart.

      1. Really???? Wow!!!! says:

        Jamie….I hope you don’t come to think that all Christians are like those who choose to be so condescending towards someone’s nationality! I can see why some non- believers would find it hard to “like” those who claim to be Christian. A true Christian…..heck, a true loving/compassionate human being….wouldn’t be so mean, or choose to stoop to those types of methods! Too many people make judgements against others because of a person’s belief’s, skin-color, religion, sexual preference, etc…..instead of judging individuals by their abilities to be compassionate, loving, accepting, understanding, etc! I’m a Christian (catholic), and I was utterly appalled by the negative-derogative statement towards all Italians! I won’t apologize for the comment that that person made…..they NEED to do that themselves. I just wanted to let you know that not all Christians feel that way….and that I am sorry that that person would ever state themselves to be Christian. That’s where the true embarrassment really lays… ignorant words such as theirs!!!! I’ve got MANY Italian friends & they are truly some of the most loyal, loving, and passionate people God ever created. Truly heart-beautiful!

  31. summersoltice says:


  32. Really???? Wow!!!! says:

    Being a Christian myself, and a catholic one at that, I couldn’t help but leave a few thoughts of my own on here. For one…I have always been taught (as a catholic) to respect EVERYONE’S beliefs (religions or not), respect their cultures, customs, creeds, feelings, thoughts, individualism,etc. But most importantly I was was taught to respect every “human being” for being just that….a human being. I would also like to say, that although there are some individuals out in the world that wouldn’t stop to help someone in need…I don’t think it’s right to say that that is what “Catholics” do. I have NEVER bypassed someone in need, most especially if I had the means to help myself! Infact, more times than not I have gone up & beyond what was needed or required. Our society as a whole needs to stop categorizing people by what they believe-or-don’t believe in, by how much $ they make-or-don’t make, by what their sexual preferences are-or-aren’t, ETC! ETC! ETC! The one true thing that is going to help a soul get to Heaven (if you choose to believe in Heaven)… LOVE!! Love in the context of kindness, compassion, forgiveness, understandance, etc. We, as fellow human beings, all have similar feelings. We feel pain, joy, sadness, anguish, enthusiasium, etc. We’re not that different from one another……”when you cut me, my blood runs red like EVERYBODY else’s”!!! Now as far as the issues that are portrayed in this article go….I don’t really know if there is a real “correct” answer that belongs here. The only thing that I do know, is what I would do in this situation, if it were me. If I were the neighbor that had the cross in my yard….as a Christian, I would try to come to a compromise and ask if it would be better if I placed the lit-up cross in a different location on my property & try to reason about an appropriatetime to turn the lights down and/or off. If no compromise could come of it all….as a Christian & someone who respects & “love’s thy neighbor”, I would probably remove the cross altogether. To cause angst, hatred, & animosity is a sin. Because that is what “I” believe in. If I was the opposing neighbor…I would, again, try to come to some type of a compromise. If that didn’t seem feasible….I would do what Jesus most likely would have done….purchase a proper window treatment to keep out as much light as possible, and offer whatever sacrifices that were continuing to bother me, up to the poor souls in His name & honor; and pray for my neighbor that he finds the peace, love, & compassion that God has instilled in all of us. There are other options out there….we don’t need to hate on someone, or judge them for the things they choose to have/believe in their lives. Yes….I would choose to be the bigger & more loving/understanding person here. But then again…that’s just the type of character& integrity that I have. I’ ll definitely say a prayer for these two!!

  33. Jamie says:

    I really appreciate your kind words. I would never judge an entire group of people based on one person. I’ve spent my entire life in the church, and both of my parents are pastors. I know that there are good Christians, such as yourself, as much as there are bad ones… it just kills me that the bad ones do and say horrible things for the sake of honoring their god. I can’t really imagine that god would want it that way. My point is simply that non-believers just don’t care about how often you go to church or how many crosses are hanging in your house (or lit up in your lawn) or how often you listen to worship music, they care about you being a decent human being, they care about the things that affect their every day life. They notice the small things that are seldom about god, but rather about being nice. I personally think that a lot of christians need to concern themselves a little less with prayer and a little more with being the answer to prayers. I don’t personally care what anyone believes, but I do care when people take their opinions, call them god’s words, and then use them to attack people. If no one can tell that you’re a christian, I’d have to sincerely question whether or not you are one. Considering what christians believe that Jesus did for them, you’d think they’d be a little nicer and more gracious with other people.

  34. Keith says:

    I suppose if she had a street light in front of her house that she would complain about that also. I have one in front of my house and that is just the way things are. The light is about the same height. If you don’t like it then close your curtains. There is no difference and I think she just likes to complain. The fellow with the cross complied immediately when asked to turn them off earlier. That does not sound like something a nut case would do.

  35. cp says:

    I love how no other neighbor is asked if this bothers them. I live very close to these crosses and i enjoy them. The one on top of his home can be seen in my daughters window and has been up since before christmas, she tells me it helps her feel safe at night to know that the lord is there lighting the night. Nor do i have any issues with his home based buisness, I have never seen a dump truck by his home only a few work type regular trucks which to my understanding he drives with his older sons. She is much more composed in this video because the one she did a few days ago she was calling for sympathy for being a single mom and this being an attack on her being a woman. Yes she once was a single mom but her Child/ren are grown and do not reside with her. I have never seen small children by her home. I’m not sure why she doesn’t just talk with Carl for her issues instead of calling the police and news and everyone else. As for his home based buisness, i have seen many small children in his yard, So i’m sure hes out there making money to support his family. Alot better than being on unemployment. As for the 24 foot cross if she was a true christian she would work something out with Carl on when its appropriate to turn it off. I wish that she can find peace and I wish carl the best of luck with his calling. I also hope the crosses stay. I’m not even a hard core christian but if my child can find the good in this then it worked 🙂

  36. Joey Bagadonuts says:

    Hey…. anyone else out there also think that Sheetz’s has the BEST chicken fingers around???!!!

  37. Richard says:

    Beyond the religious aspect of this issue, is his contracting business within code? If it is she should be informed of such and any further harassment by her regarding such business should result in her being fined. As to his lighted crosses, he should respect his neighbors and turn off the lights at a reasonable hour. Praise the Lord and pass the peas!

  38. Joey Bagadonuts says:

    Can everyone put aside their differences for Valentime’s Day, because from what we’ve all been taught from the time we were in diapers, big lighted crosses were brought by The 3 Wisemen as gifts, on Valentime’s Day!! HAPPY VALENTIME”S DAY EVERYONE!!

  39. IN THE BURGH says:

    I saw in an interview that she’s a single mother….her child is grown & no longer lives at home! She needs to focus on her life & let her neighbors do their own thing. Sounds like she has TOO much time on her hands. Maybe she should consider moving!!!

  40. summersoltice says:

    Amazing how many people blog about they are Catholic but not one person mentions that the corpus is missing . Across is just a cross. It would not surprise me if this guy Carl claims that he is running a church just to keep this thing,prove what ever point he thinks he has to. but why doesn’t he offer to buy out his neighbor?

  41. darlene says:

    hang in there…..people need more religion in their lives……continuous barking dogs are more annoying than the cross could ever be

  42. summersoltice says:


  43. Suzzanne says:

    Personally- I hope hje wins.

    What harm is the man doing really??? It”s on his property & I see nothing wrong with showing how you feel about your religious beliefs– maybe if everyone was so strong in their faith –the world would not be in the shape its in.

    If she don’t like it she can always move–

  44. summersoltice says:


  45. j-LO says:

    I agree with you darlene and Suzzane. The neighbor lady needs to get a life and leave this man alone. He can do what he wants on is property.

  46. summersoltice says:


  47. j-LO says:

    wonder why people don’t complain about the ugly christmas lights/decorations people put on display. I guess that’s ok, but a cross is not.

  48. Peggy says:

    This is what’s wrong with our world, our community. A shooting takes place in Baldwin, 1 1/2 lbs. of marijuana is seized. It’s a botched robbery, and we’re worrying about a cross in someone’s yard. Right or wrong, there are much bigger issues is this part of the world!!!

  49. Tim Foli says:

    Carl is a coward. His motive is pettiness. He has about as much religion as a flea on a bull’s as$.

  50. Bishop says:

    Um, Carl. I believe it goes love thy neighbor, not light thy neighbor!

  51. The Pope of Caste Village says:

    I like this Carl guy, he’s got the right idea, but if he really wanted to knock our socks off he would crucify himself up there.

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