In an interesting (if unverifiable) development in the drama of the WWI memorial in Mojave, an anonymous letter was given to a local paper claiming responsibility and containing a numbered list of justifications for the theft. The author says
If an appropriate and permanent non-sectarian memorial is placed at the site the cross will be immediately returned…Alternatively, if a place can be found that memorializes the Christian Veterans of WWI that is not on public land the Cross will promptly be forwarded with care and reverence for installation at the private site.
Interestingly, a wide variety of groups have disavowed the theft, including the ACLU (they apparently wanted the cross removed, just not stolen) and the Atheist Alliance. The Atheist Alliance is even willing to contribute money, but only to erect a different monument in a different place.
However, even some who are quietly applauding the “civil disobedience” are saying the perpetrator should now come forward and accept the responsibility — and criminal liability — for his actions.
Another interesting development came from Michael Weinstein’s MRFF, which had participated in an amicus brief opposing the memorial because of its inherently religious nature. The same MRFF that called the “desecration” of an unmarked circle of rocks a “hate crime” had this to say about the desecration of what his organization believed was an inherently religious symbol:
Apparently, the man who said he “would give [his] last drop of blood” to defend even religious beliefs he found repugnant will vociferously call for action when a board is laid on a rock (the equivalent of “spray painting a swastika on a synagogue“), but remains silent when a cross is physically cut down and stolen from a federally-designated World War I military memorial.
In an interesting contrast, groups supporting the Mojave memorial, while condemning the theft, have eschewed the “hate crime” moniker.