Posts Tagged ‘prayerbook cross’

The Quasi-Unconstitutional Prayer Book Cross of Golden Gate Park

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Just look at this monstrous cross, complete with rune grafitti, on govmint land in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park:

“The Prayer Book Cross was erected in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in 1894 as a gift from the Church of England. Created by Ernest Coxhead, it stands on one of the higher points in Golden Gate Park. It is located between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive, near Cross Over Drive. This 57 ft (17 m) sandstone cross commemorates the first use of the Book of Common Prayer in California by Sir Francis Drake’s chaplain on June 24, 1579.” 

Didn’t the City have to sell off the similar Mount Davidson Cross (Yelp-rated) after a lawsuit back in the 1990s? Yes it did.  So, do you think the Prayer Book Cross creates an “appearance of governmental endorsement of religion” as well, particularly considering that we’re living in a post-Everson world?

Do these trees help to make this cross kosher, cause fewer people see it? Potentially, yes. Click to expand:

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In other words, does the City’s ownership and maintenance of Prayer Book Cross violate the No Preference Clause and the Ban on Aid to Religion Clause of the California Constitution and the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution?

Or maybe it’s all good, because the  cross communicates “primarily non-religious messages” ala the shorter Mount Soledad Cross down in Fun Diego County? This is a close call.

Read all about the Mount Davidson case here, where the  United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit lays down the law. It’s pretty accessible.

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You see it on the right here, as seen back in the day, during the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. Electric Tower at Night, with Search Light on Prayer Book Cross in Golden Gate Park:

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The PB cross was a big deal back in the 1800′s, even making the New York Times.

But should it be on government land today?

Just asking…

Presented to Golden Gate Park at the opening of the Midwinter Fair, January 1, A. D. 1894, as a memorial of the service held on the shore of Drake’s Bay about Saint John Baptist’s Day, June 24, Anno Domini 1579, by Francis Fletcher, priest of the Church of England, chaplain of Sir Francis Drake, chronicler of the service. Gift of George W. Childs, Esquire, of Philadelphia. First Christian service in the English tongue on our coast. First use of the Book of Common Prayer in our country. One of the first recorded missionary prayers on our continent. Soli Deo sit semper gloria.”

Bay to Breakers 2008 – The Truth About Hayes Street Hill

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Here’s what they want you to believe: the route of the Bay to Breakers footrace is all downhill after topping the Hayes Street Hill. From the website:

ING Bay to Breakers is a 12K (7.46 miles) course. From sea level at the Embarcadero the course rises steeply along Hayes Street Hill. Around the 2.5-mile mark runners climb an 11.15% grade between Fillmore and Steiner, bringing them to the highest point in the race, approximately 215 feet above sea level. The remainder of the course gradually flows downhill alongside the Panhandle and through Golden Gate Park.

But that’s simply not true. Take a look at this elevation profile. See? After dipping down a bit the course continues to rise and reaches its highest point in Golden Gate Park. So there’s a reason why it feels you’re going uphill after conquering the Hayes Street Hill – you are going uphill.

Thousands of runners are in Golden Gate Park today preparing for tomorrow’s race. Going to the west uphill in the Panhandle:

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Why does the mainstream media repeat a falsehood year after year? Laziness, mostly.

But check for yourself, if you want. Mike did last year and came to this conclusion:

According to the Garmin GPS I was using, the highest point is indeed in GG Park, not the top of Hayes Street Hill.

So plan your racing strategy accordingly.

Have fun tomorrow!