Lars Larson announced today that his plan to erect a crucifix in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland next week has been scrapped. The stated reason is threats of vandalism against the display -- someone could get hurt, and KXL doesn't want to be liable.
I think the threats are despicable, but is that what scratched this project? Lars Larson, who carries a handgun on him after threats on his own life, is worried about threats of someone spray-painting graffiti on the cross? Since when does a guy like that back down due to threats? Didn't anybody foresee the possibility of threatened vandalism? Have the Portland police refused to provide adequate security? Surely Lars could have found lots of dedicated followers who would have stood guard over the display.
Lars's speech about "I didn't want to start a fight" was pretty funny.
I am sure the decision came from his radio station's management, but I really wonder if public safety was the main concern. I guess we'll never know. But it does sound like somebody's free speech has been chilled, which is a real tragedy.
I hope the churches who were aligned with the Larsmeister on this one find a nice Nativity scene and put it up instead. I'd even go down and help keep watch over that one. We can save the crucifixion imagery for Holy Week.
UPDATE, 12/16, 7:46 a.m.: Phil Stanford has some interesting input into this story here.