Controversial cross comes down in Grass Lake

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GRASS LAKE, Mich. (WILX) - A large white cross, which some found controversy with, was removed on Monday in Grass Lake.

The cross was on Sackrider Hill in the Waterloo State Recreation Area.
The hill is well-known as a spot for hiking and sledding.

In March, News 10 covered the story of a resident that was upset about the cross, saying that it shouldn't be there on public property. That resident filed a complaint with MACRA, the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists.

Tuesday, May 15, MACRA is confirming that the Michigan DNR has removed the cross.

MACRA had sent a letter to the DNR stating that they needed to take "immediate action" to remove the cross. MACRA wrote that "religious symbols maintained on government property violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as Article I, Section 4 of the Michigan Constitution, which explicitly forbids the appropriation of public money or property for the benefit of any religious sect or society."

"We are pleased with the DNR’s action to remove the cross without further controversy,” said Mitch Kahle, MACRA co-founder.

MACRA also claims the park manager in 1992 that let the cross go up, did so in error. They were able to obtain public documents including an unauthorized and unconstitutional permit from '92 to put up the white cross.

"Obviously the park manager made a mistake by issuing the permit in 1992, but the DNR’s action today corrects the problem,” Kahle added.

Tuesday, News 10 received calls from residents upset that the cross was gone and taken down without any public knowledge or forum.