Man Ordered To Take 24-Foot Cross Down

BALDWIN BOROUGH (KDKA) – A homeowner in Baldwin Borough has been ordered to take down a 24-foot illuminated cross in his front yard.

However, he plans to fight the decision.

The cross towers over his neighbor’s property, affixed to a tree. After a complaint filed by the neighbor, Carl Behr has been told the cross must come down because it violates Baldwin Borough codes.

Behr believes his religious practices are being suppressed.

“I erected these crosses because of my faith and I’m not about to take them down. It’s about religion. That’s all it is,” Behr said.

“No. It has nothing to do with…we think religion is completely irrelevant to this. This is a matter of the physical structure on his real property,” Baldwin Borough Manager John Barrett said.

Barrett said after code enforcers inspected the cross, it was clear that it was in violation.

“A lot of it is safety related too. We need to have confidence that it is secure and it’s not going to become a dangerous obstacle for neighbors and the community,” Barrett said.

The notice gives Behr five days to comply or he’ll be fined and could face the magistrate.

While the cross has gained attention from the local media and the community, Baldwin Borough wants it to be clear that this is not a religious issue.

  • someone who drives past his house

    thats good he should have to take it down. he seems like a trouble maker an he uses god to make him look better. he answers all ? and uses god in the answer. White trash!!!

    • someone who defends his decision

      see comment below.

      • clown

        If you want to put junk in your yard, move out of the borough.

    • Mary Lyons

      No, he should NOT have to take it down. This is a FREE country that was foujnded on religious freedom. If I can’t display my faith in GOD, what’s next? The government decides where or if I worship GOD at all. If anyone is upset about a cross, maybe it’s because they know in their hearts that they haven’t been listening to GOD lately.

      • Heather

        There’s no reason why he cannot make a more structurally sound lighted cross to shout his belief structure to all :) The fact that he decided to go about this in the most white trash way possible – after arguing with the neighbor who’s home the light shines into – his reasoning is rather obvious.

      • Erin

        old people huh? I disagree…i’m 25 and God is my friend :)

      • Realist

        God is an imaginary friend for old people. They have better fairy tales at Disney World.

      • think

        no its about saftey.. its about a 24 foot cross falling on someone or something… one bad storm and this cross could be through your window!

      • Ignorance is Bliss in Pittsburgh

        Oh Goodness Mary, You must be out of your mind. Freedom of religion is strong in this country. So you support it? Does that mean I can but up a 24 foot pentagram on my lawn. No! There are laws sot hat people are protected. This man is having a dispute with his neighbor and is using a cross in the name of religion to torment her. I can’t wait to see how you react when your neighbors decide to express their religious rights with something that is menacing of offensive in the name of religion.

      • Lisa

        It is about safety it has nothing to do with religion. Would you want something like that next to your house I know I wouldn’t and I AM RELIGIOUS. A chuch doesn’t even display things like that why is that? People like you always make a big deal about things that is not the point.

      • Terrie

        You need to read the whole story. He is doing it to be MEAN!!!

      • elizabeth

        You clearly do NOT know your history. This country was founded on people who tried to escape from religious power over government. They pushed for seperation of church and state.
        Name anywhere in the Constitution that says they founded this country to protect religious freedom. “The Establishment Clause prohibits the federal, state or municipal establishment of an official religion or other preference for one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion.”

        Stop posting such malarky. Many of us do not believe in invisible men.

      • cronewinter

        If he was my neighbor I would just erect a larger and brightly lit pentagram to counteract the influence of the cross. Tit for TAt.

      • Number1dog

        Did you read the full story, it’s also impending on his neighbor property. If it was me and he ignored my request to move it, there would no need for government to get involved, I’d move it myself and toss it back on his property.

        One last note, I’d worry about anyone hearing voices from God, most likely they have mental problems if they are hearing voices..

      • Smartypants

        Cool ! May I build a Mosque where you live ?

    • Ka-Lynn

      you are so full of yourself! calling someone white trash because he expresses a love for God? look at your own life a little bit…

  • someone who defends his decision

    It’s a matter of the violation of free speech and freedom of religion. If it was a 24 foot menorrah or a 24 foot picture of Buddah, the ACLU would be all over this issue for his defense. And the law would be afraid to even touch his case, because they don’t want the ACLU jumping all over them. But today, anybody who is Christian is told, basically, to shut up and go away. To “someone who drives past his house,” Christians aren’t perfect, just “forgiven.” It’s a shame that you’ve been denied the opportunity to learn about Christ, or that you’ve turned your back on the faith.It doesn’t make us better than you, but we know that we have a place in heavan. I’m presuming by your statements that we won’t be seeing you there.

    • Right Move..

      Seriously… If you can’t see what’s going on here, then I don’t know what to tell you. She complains about his company trucks parked in front of her house, then all of a sudden there’s a 24′ lit cross pointing directly at her house… Some Christians that I know are so fake. Just because you go to church, does not make you a Christian.

    • Christian against using Christ as a weapon

      Thats not true. First of all, this guy is using the cross as a means to torment his neighbor whom he does not like. THIS HAS NOTHING to do with religion.

      Also, when you buy a home in a borough there are laws and codes. He is breaking them on purpose to be provocative. There is nothing faithful about that.

      The ACLU won’t defend people who are using ‘religion’ to hurt other people. This guy is doing it just to hurt his neighbor whom he has had a dispute with. He chose a weapon, the cross, because he knew Christians would support him without asking the real questions

    • Take back our country

      Seems like the only people who are free to worship their religion in this country anymore are the Muslims and Non-Christians. Remember what religous beliefs this country was founded on. I don’t necissarily support a 24 foot cross, but could you image the NATIONAL and WORLDWIDE outrage if a Muslim were asked to take something of religous significance down?

    • elizabeth

      Its spelled heaven, not heavan. And you sure pull BS out of your arse about oh the poor persecuted Christian?? LOL

      This thing is unsightly, and if he erected a 24 foot Santa, he would have to take it down. Its not safe. And it violates code.
      If it was an issue of RELIGION then every church would be told to take down their crosses, as most of them stand higher.

  • defender too

    I think we should all put up 24′ crosses and light them up.

    • Mary Lyons

      I agree. What’s next? The governmnet tells us if we can or cannot go to church? In God we trust is on every dollar bill — maybe we should make that illegal too.,

      • Larry Mines

        “In God we trust is on every dollar bill — maybe we should make that illegal too.”

        Now you’re thinking! It’s a step in the right direction

      • Jason

        They are trying

      • elizabeth

        Yeah it should be! It was slapped on there by religious NUTS, well after this country was founded. I do not believe in a god, so why would I “TRUST” in him/her?
        You are forcing your religion on me, which IS a violation. Its clear these religious NUTS who pushed for GOD on the money, were Christians. That is establishing one religion over another.
        . “The Establishment Clause prohibits the federal, state or municipal establishment of an official religion or other preference for one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion.”

      • cronewinter

        Of course you can go to can’t do much damage there. Just keep your ugly faith out of your neighbors face. If you want to believe in and worship a bloody, mean spirited and nosy look in your bedroom window god, go right ahead. Just leave the rest of us our of it.

  • Medoria

    There’s a difference between believing in God & Christ and using that belief as an excuse to be allowed to violate building & safety codes as well as harass your neighbor – which from previous articles seems to be this guy’s true objective. Do you think this guy is really helping spread the love of God and Jesus by creating an unsafe situation, violating codes and using a religious symbol to fuel a disagreement between him and his neighbor?
    As for you mr. defends his decision – condemning a man to hell because of a website post? Care to enlighten us to where exactly in god’s works he wrote you have the power and authority to do that?

  • Common Sense

    It doesn’t matter if its a Cross, a Star of David, or a Star and Crescent. He has the right to do what he wants with his property. By all means, make him secure it better to make sure its not dangerous, but what rights do we have if we can’t even do what we want with our property?

    I agree its not about religion. Its about basic rights guaranteed to us in the bill of rights. If one can be taken away, all of them can be taken away.

    • FarmGirl

      I agree. It’s a shame we can’t do what we want with our own private property. If the cross is structurally sound, then he should be able to keep it.
      I live in a semi-rural area on an acre with no neighbors on top of me. Because of ordinances I’m technically not allowed to have my small flock of laying hens(because I don’t own 10 acres). They don’t hurt anyone, and provide me and my family with fresh eggs, but yet, I could be fined and made to get rid of them. Who knows what rights they will take away next!

      • Realist

        Go live on Farm, problem solved.

      • Debi

        I live in Baldwin, and you CANNOT do what you want with your own property, they have rules and regulations. Try to replace a shed thats already there with a new one and see how many hoops they make you jump through!

  • think

    As i replied above this is about saftey.. its about a 24 foot cross falling on someone or something… one bad storm and this cross could be through your window! the tree may stay but the extra lumbe may not

    • common cents

      your religious faith/beliefs should be more of a private/personal matter

      if you want to exercise you right to pray do it in the privacy of your own home or go to a church and stop subjecting others to your christian beliefs from a light display high above your roof top …………………..dont mean to hurt your feelings man but very few if any are interested in your display of faith ……..or even your faith at all !!!! take it down you have nobody fooled

  • Jim

    Simply placing a cross or multiple crosses on your property does not make you a Christian. There is a very simple Bible verse that addresses this issue, Matthew 7:12 – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you -. And depending on how you interpret the 10th Commandment, one could say that Mr. Behr is walking over that as well. How many people would like having bright lights shining into their home all night long, no one. If Mr. Behr is truly looking to spread the word, then put Bible quotes on the back of his construction vehicles and on his invoices, letter head and business cards, shine a respectful size light at the cross on the roof of his house, volunteer his construction skills with Habitat for Humanity, teach Sunday School, be a mentor, or simply set an example on how to be a good neighbor.

  • Realist

    Mary, god has apparently made you an irrational idiot. It has nothing to do with the bill of rights. There are reasons zoning, building codes, and ordinances must be obeyed. It does not matter if it’s a cross, antenna, windmill etc. Your welcome to express yourself in a reasonable manner. I’m sure “Common Sense” (or lack there of) would appreciate me building a 90 foot stripper pole in the yard next to his. Of course as long as it’s not dangerous..

  • tk

    what if were a 24 ft satanic symbol? would all you holy rollers be ok with that? freedom of religion, remember? :D

  • Lets see real news on TV

    This jackwagon is retaliating and stomping his feet like a little kid because he got turned in for being the farse he is…why does it have to be lit up…and why was it just built…lets see what happens if every church in Baldwin and every surrounding area shows up at his door looking for donations since he is such a religous person and see what he does then..this country wasn’t founded to argue with thy neighbor..why can’t we all just get along

  • Edward Culligan

    This is definitely another example of Government getting into the way of Americans peoples freedom of speech. If its a code violation then we can go and fix the structure and make a 30ft or greater cross with beaming bright lights. We need to setup a donation and help out them out. Everyone should start putting crosses up in there front yard.

    • et

      Ed, I am going to put up a giant middle finger in my yard

      • Edward Culligan

        I have no problem with that. Its on your personal property so be it.

    • elizabeth

      Are you the Culligan man?? Ha ha. What a stupid post. So, You wont mind me hoisting a 50 foot pentagram in my yard? With LED lights aimed into your bedroom window all night?
      So we should put crosses in yards, the way your KKK members did in the South to harrass black families?

  • 3:00

    The crosses are only a mask for this evil man to hide behind. I hope for his sake his love for God is as over the top in his heart as it is on his property. There are jerks like this guy hiding his true evil behind religion or something on every block in every city in this entire country. He would prefer having a lited sign that displays FU B!+ch! but that would unmask him and he’s not that stupid but more sly. Where is this man’s Preist, family and friends to back him on his true love for God? Come on people, this guy is every neighbors worst nightmare. I say fight fire with fire and feed this fallen angel a taste of his own medicine as the best way to beat the Devil is to force him to look himself in the mirror….

  • Marc

    This is damn ridiculous. This idiot sounds like he is aware of this as a safety violation, but is using that pompose “religious freedon” BS as an excuse to annoy his neighbors. No one is telling you not to exercise your religious freedom; just don’t make it a burden on others. I hope the borough cites him out the ass.

  • clown

    He is just doing it out of spite. You can see all the junk in hi yard and if you google map his property you can see the rocks and garbage he puts in his street. Also all of his equipment lines the bourough streets. His kids also run around terrozing the neighborhood. It has nothing to do with God.

    • tommie

      I agree with you clown. He seems like a spitefull man.

    • JT

      Well since Mr. Behr has literally put himself in the spotlight, I hope the police and code enforcement officers take full advantage of the laws they presently have on the books to address the Behr family. I would suspect that there are multiple zoning issues being violated at this address, such as building between the street and building line; parking commercial vehicles in a residential neighborhood; operating a business at a location zoned for residential use only; having construction materials and construction waste on a property without an active building permit; and I’m sure the township can find more. Imagine Mr. Behr if you would have just stopped parking in front of your neighbors house. I hope you will be able to afford your “freedom of religion”.

  • jose

    You can not light a cross on fire in your yard either. This protects people

  • perri j.

    What a great idea. Be putting up a cross in MY yard soon.

  • YinzOnFifth

    This is clearly a code violation and is UNSAFE. It is also cleary he is another religious extremist trying to cause contraversary. If his neighbors were Jewish or Islam and had a 24 foot structure of their religious symbols towering over his house I wonder how much he’d be preaching about religous freedoms in this country. I’m a Christian and people like him I beleive make the Lord Jesus Himself just shake His blessed head in wonder.

  • William Campbell

    The order to take down the cross in no way infringes on religious freedoms. This man can be Christian if he chooses to be. THAT’S religious freedom. A 24-foot cross is simply a ridiculous attempt for attention. If all Christians needed to display a 24-foot lighted cross in order to prove their faith, every neighborhood would look like Times Square.

  • Harris

    So many tea baggers here. The things that make our nation great are its laws. They are not saying he cant place a religious cross in his yard. Just not this absurd 24 foot object in the sky. God Bless.

  • Ken S

    i want to know what code he violated.

  • Ken S

    I think they might have to go site all the residents with tree swings. maybe everyone with anything in their trees.

  • Brooklyn

    I was at the meeting tonight and the man is crazy. He seems to think it is his job as he said it’s his mesage to everyone to teach about God. I thought that was the churches job you know the building with the real cross on it.

    THis is not about religion this is about complying with borough ordinances. There are rules for a reason. If you are infinging on your neighbors rights to enjoy their property then it is ilegal. I can see the cross on the top of his house from my house several streets away. That one does not bother me but I saw the one on the ground for the first time tonight and I can see why the neighbors complain it is massive and bright.

  • tameka

    That thing looks like it’s going to tip over at any minute. I wouldn’t want my kids walking past that house, for fear that a strong wind will blow and that thing will tumble to the ground. And plus it’s an eyesore. Yeah, this is a free country, but safety and funerals aren’t free. Take that thing down….god wouldn’t care one way or another.

  • canaduhgurl

    If he actually read the Bible, he would see that Jesus was impaled on a stake, not a cross. People that use God as an excuse to try & get away with being idiots & trouble-makers should be fined/charged with mischief just like other trouble-makers are.

  • Denouement

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi

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