Church-state wall can’t keep out the Son


It was a most beautiful sunny day in mid-November as my wife and I were leaving the Somers Point library. As we were driving out of their parking lot, I noticed a large cross on the side of the building across the street.

I asked my wife, “Is that a church?” to which she replied, “No, it’s The Township Hall of Somers Point.”

Thinking about the controversies over prayer in public schools and sporting events, and over religious symbols in public places, I got an idea.

I parked the car and asked my wife to wait for me as I had a “mission” in City Hall.

In the building I found a few of the employees at a service window. Approaching, I proclaimed, in a somewhat annoying voice, “Is this not a government building?”

“Why yes, of course,” a woman answered.

“Well, then,” I answered, “who is responsible for the large cross on the side of the building?”

She said there was no cross on the building. I acted irritated and said, “There most certainly is, and as a taxpaying citizen I demand to know just who had the authority to put it there.”

I was acting boisterous enough that at this point she was reaching for the phone. (I’m sure to call the police across the hallway). But, seemingly as though to be calming myself I said, “Well, if you would at least accompany me outside I shall show you the cross.”

Surprisingly, she agreed. As we reached the sidewalk along the street, she turned and looked as I pointed at the large silhouette of the cross on the building. Her smile matched mine as I pointed at the sun and said, “Well, whoever put that there obviously is responsible”.

The sun was over the west side of the library and its rays caused this marvelous large shadow of the cross from the telephone poll with its crossing T tie at the top. The time was 2 p.m.

Truly, it was a curious and a beautiful sight to see. And most timely for our culture.

Dr. Stan Smith, a retired obstetrician, and his wife Bonnie attend St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Egg Harbor Township.