Government Battles Crosses

A pair of controversies involving Christian crosses have citizens and government leaders squaring off over issues involving the U.S. Constitution.

The California Dept. of Transportation announced plans to remove three crosses near the town of Julian after they said several motorists complained. The crosses have been located on state-owned property adjacent to State Route 79 for decades. Locals refer to the area as Inspiration Point - and have held Easter services next to the crosses for quite some time.

But Caltrans officials determined that the crosses were erected without a permit and were an encroachment violation.

"Because our crews cannot be at all places at all times, we often rely on motorists to let us know when possible encroachment violations take place," Caltrans spokesperson Cathryne Bruce-Johnson said in a statement to Fox News.

The state's decision has stirred up lots of controversy, according to County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

"I think it's ridiculous, and it makes me question whether or not Caltrans has nothing better to do than take three crosses that have been there for decades," she told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Dorinda Smith has launched a grassroots effort to save the crosses.

"I don't it's very fair that a few people can come in and go completely against the wishes of the town," Dorinda Smith told Fox News. "They're a historical icon in our community and we need them to stay right where they are at."

As for now, the state has reached an agreement with Hillside Community Church to relocate the crosses to their property.

"We are grateful that Pastor Hill stepped forward and made the offer," Bruce-Johnson said. "The next step will be for the pastor and his congregation to select the site and take ownership within the next month."

Listen to the full story from Fox News Radio's Todd Starnes:

Audio clip:

And in Allegany County, VA, a pair of George Washington portraits have come under fire because of a small cross logo.

The portraits were a gift from the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization. Their logo, about the size of a dime, includes a Christian cross.

The school system said the logo could be a violation of the Constitution so they glued parchment paper over the cross.

Now the historical society is claiming the portraits are ruined.

Listen to the story from Fox News Radio's Todd Starnes:

Audio clip: