Thousands of residents on New Jersey’s shore are outraged after a Christian special interest group built a pier that resembles a Christian cross on the public beach. Although the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association defends its decision to design the public pier in the shape of a Christian cross, the type that Jesus was crucified upon, thousands of Jersey Shore residents are furious that they are being forced into Christian worship.
Despite the backlash, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association defends its decision to build the pier to look like a cross because they make “no apology for that we love the fact that it looks like a cross.”
The original pier in the Ocean Grove community was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. According to reports, the pier was founded on religious beliefs, so the group wanted to reincarnate their Christian beliefs in the form of a Christian cross pier for the public to access.
Although the cross-shaped pier is available to the public, it is being built with private funds. Because the group was using dark money to make the Christian monolith, they did not have to go through the official approval process and therefore were able to skirt the first amendment and use their secret funds to bring the church and state closer together in the Garden State.
Nevertheless, critics argue that the $1.3 million cross-shaped pier, which is 500 feet long, is just another example of “Christian bullying.” These critics have asked state and local officials to intervene before the cross-shaped pier is completely built. The new pier is scheduled to open on December 7, 2022, but that may be delayed if the anti-Christian groups are able to use their power in the government to slow down the building process.
Presbyterian Pastor Douglas Grote called the new pier a sad example of “Christian bullying.”
“I fear that my faith’s lovely cross may soon become as toxic as a Trojan horse for Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, and all of New Jersey,” Pastor Grote wrote in a guest column for NJ.com on August 23.
The pastor added, “To me, any political power that would appear to bully its captive, vulnerable, secular citizenry into accepting a sectarian cross as the center of its cultural life is a likely human rights violator. With the pier’s construction set to begin soon, I fear that my faith’s lovely cross may soon become as toxic as a Trojan horse for Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, and all of New Jersey.”
Grote plans to take a stand against the Christian movement during the next Ocean Grove Home Owners Association, which is scheduled for September 24, 2022. He hopes to request a vote to halt construction of the pier “until matters are investigated, all of its citizenry are consulted, and approve the cross-shaped pier, or not, just like democracy ought to work.”
What do you think about this cross-shaped pier in New Jersey?