A community along the Jersey Shore established as a Methodist retreat in 1869 is building a pier out of its boardwalk shaped like a cross, prompting outrage from the neighboring LGBTQ+ enclave.
Members of the small seaside town’s LGTBQ+ community and allies are saying the cross crosses a line, but many are afraid to voice their grievances with the Camp Meeting Association, said Douglas Grote, a local resident, and retired Presbyterian pastor.
Ocean Grove, New Jersey, broke ground on a project to restore a pier jutting out of the boardwalk in July that will feature a design that resembles a cross from above. The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, the Methodist organization that founded the community and still owns most of the land, has said that the design is an “improvement” that will allow more people to enjoy being out over the water, compared to the pier that it will replace.
The project is part of larger restorations still ongoing since Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the Jersey Shore in 2012.
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.”
Now if the pier were only allowed for use by Christians I’d have an issue. But come on folks.
This is Ocean Grove. If you live there you know the history. So what if the pier is in the shape of a cross? Does that mean you can’t use it? That you’ll combust into flames if you set foot on it? That they’ll manage to convert you by the mere shape beneath your feet?
I am supportive of the LGBTQ+ community in most things. The bullying and hate need to end. But this complaint is a bit ridiculous.
The LGBTQ+ community has rainbow flags at every Pride event. If we don’t feel that’s indoctrination (and we shouldn’t) why can’t a religious group have its own symbol?
I say save the complaints for the real aggression and the real bullying. There’s certainly been enough of it. Let’s not imagine more.