The following comes from an April 5 Town Hall article by Robert Knight:

A large cross commemorating the landing by Spanish explorers in Monterey, California in 1769 was back at Del Monte Beach, erected anonymously over Easter weekend.

For a few tense days, vampires and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyers knew to avoid the area, while families took Easter pictures in front of the cross.

But last Tuesday, beachgoers discovered the cross missing, the victim not of hooligans but of a city crew that was ordered to tear it down earlier that morning before progressive legal sharks even began circling.

In 2009, vandals had cut down a 20-foot redwood cross that the city of Monterey erected in 1969 as part of its 200th anniversary celebration of the Spanish expedition led by Don Caspar de Portolá and Father Juan Crespi. City officials had moved quickly to replace it, but were stopped by the ACLU’s threat of a costly lawsuit.

Although the cross was a historic marker, the ACLU argued that its presence on a public beach violated the “wall of separation” between church and state. So the cross was moved to the Roman Catholic Church’s San Carlos Cemetery in central Monterey, which adjoins the second California mission founded by Father Junipero Serra.

Just before this past Easter Sunday, however, a steel version of the Portola-Crespi cross suddenly appeared on the beach in the same spot where the original was cut down back in 2009, according to It was a rare departure from current trends.

“The new cross comes after a number of religion-related acts of vandalism have occurred on the Monterey Peninsula, including the destruction of statues at the Carmel mission and a statue of Saint Junipero Serra at the Presidio,” the station reported.