“Love thy neighbor”

Making national news today and as seen on WTAE, a Baldwin man has refused the borough’s order that he must take down a 24-foot illuminated cross that he erected on his property.

Mr. Behr said the cross, which is nailed to a tree on his property at 1210 Robbins St., is “about the Lord.” Those who want it removed, he said, are against God.

“This is a message I have to deliver,” he said, and thanked his neighbor who complained because he said it allowed him to share his message with more people.

Here is a message I have to deliver, from one Christian to another:

God doesn’t want you to loudly and blindingly shove your religion down your neighbors’ throats in a way that reduces their property values via a giant cross you built that doesn’t adhere to any building codes whatsoever and thereby may fall down and kill someone at any time from any sustained exceptionally strong winds or that may burst into flames from faulty wiring.

Much the same way that you, Mr. Behr, would probably take issue if your neighbor chose to erect on her property a 24-foot illuminated tribute to say, Satan. There are other, less in-your-face, world, ways to profess your love of Christ.

The moral of this story, kids: Don’t erect 24-foot illuminated tributes to anything on your property if your property can be seen from your neighbors’ yards.

Unless it’s a 24-foot illuminated tribute to David Conrad, because this puppy I’m building is going to BLOW YOUR MINDS.


  1. JustCele
    February 16, 2011 2:49 pm

    No one was ever led to Christ with a 2 x 4 upside the head which is what this cross makes me think of!

  2. unsatisfied
    February 16, 2011 2:49 pm

    can we nail mr. behr to it?

  3. Al Lambrini
    February 16, 2011 2:56 pm

    i wonder if god can see it from outerspace ?

  4. gorillagogo
    February 16, 2011 2:57 pm

    Yesterday the PG had a piece with additional details:

    “Lisa Fera, a neighbor across the street, said the large, lighted cross shines into her living room and bedroom. She said the problems started after she complained about Mr. Behr parking vehicles from his construction business in front of her house.”


    I really have to wonder if Mr. Behr is doing this just to piss off his neighbor. Some people really get off on spite.

  5. BB
    February 16, 2011 3:08 pm

    i swear i saw this news clip a week or so ago on a national news station. when i saw the PG run the article i was all “wtf? that’s HERE? right next to ME??”

    the dude claims it has nothing to do with her complaint. i think he’s full of crap and this is his way of getting her back. i hope someone rips that cross down and beats him with it. nobody likes religion shoved down their throats.

  6. Joe K.
    February 16, 2011 3:16 pm

    That thing looks like it could be on the set of a U2 concert.

  7. BeauJacques
    February 16, 2011 3:18 pm


    now if he was willing to take it down once a week or so and carry it on his back up and down rt. 51 while being whipped
    I might buy his sincerity!

  8. mfj
    February 16, 2011 3:50 pm

    So it shines into his neighbor’s bedroom. I bet that’s why he got it in the first place. Sick bastard.

  9. Gina
    February 16, 2011 4:14 pm

    I saw him in an interview, and the whole time he was professing his love of God and Christian Values, and claiming it had nothing to do withe the neighbor, he had a big, smartass smirk on his face. I think it has everything to do with spite, but he chose this particular eyesore, so if people complained, he could cry religion.

  10. Ken
    February 16, 2011 4:28 pm

    people like to say freedom of speech and religion until someone else says or practices something they don’t agree with.

  11. toni
    February 16, 2011 4:32 pm

    He found Jesus right about the time she complained about his vehicles.

  12. Cassie
    February 16, 2011 5:06 pm

    @BeauJacques: You made me laugh!!! Holy crap, you made me laugh!

  13. Leenyburgh
    February 16, 2011 5:13 pm

    I heard an interview with him on the KDKA (morning show) this morning. At the end of it, he said that Jewish people are sons and daughters of Satan. Needless to say, there was an awkward pause.

  14. BB
    February 16, 2011 5:22 pm

    nobody is saying he shouldn’t be allowed to have a cross outside of his house. nobody is upset about the cross itself. it’s the HUGE GLARING LIGHTS SHINING IN TO THE NEIGHBORS WINDOW that is the problem here. i would shank a bitch if my neighbor shined a light in to my bedroom every night!

  15. Butcher's Dog
    February 16, 2011 5:22 pm

    @BeauJacques: once a WEEK or so?!?! You won’t just settle for every Good Friday? Man, you’re a tough grader!

    Shoving religion down someone’s throat is what the clerics who run most Islamic countries specialize in. But to pretend there’s not at least a touch of that in the US (on many levels) is beyond naive. Meanwhile, if “nailed to a tree” is exact and accurate, by my understanding it’s illegal. I don’t think it’s legal to nail anything electric to a live tree. At least that’s what we were told about the outside light my dad put up back in the ’50s when we came to sell the place in the late ’90s. And it’s so far out in the sticks that you’d be hard pressed to find any kind of code or zoning ordinaces anywhere.

  16. Me
    February 16, 2011 5:38 pm

    “people like to say freedom of speech and religion until someone else says or practices something they don’t agree with.”

    @Ken — here’s the thing about individual rights, though, they end when they infringe on the rights of others. i.e., you have a right to listen to the radio. You don’t have a right to listen to a radio so loudly at 1:00 a.m. that it infringes on your neighbor’s right to get a good night’s sleep.

    In this case it appears that no one has an issue with the man’s religion or his right to practice it freely. It’s that the way that he has chosen to practice interferes with the rights of his neighbors in a multitude of ways. One is the simple lights shining into the neighbor’s house. The other is the safety issue of nailing a cross that is using electricity to a tree. There’s probably a fire hazard and also the issue of how secure is this thing and will it become a projectile at the first spring storm. No one is suggesting that this man has any less right to practice Christianity. I certainly do not remember “thou shall nail a lit cross to your tree” as any edict of any church or as part of the Bible.

    WWJD? He’d never have put the damn thing up in the first place.

  17. unsatisfied
    February 16, 2011 6:02 pm

    “….he said that Jewish people are sons and daughters of Satan. Needless to say, there was an awkward pause.”

    well, then that would make jesus — the king of the jews……the son of (channeling the church lady)…….ssssssssssssss-SA-TAN!

    kids, kids, kids. this gots nothing to do with religion.

    or, God.

    or, G-d.

    or, buddha.

    or, justin bieber.

    this has to do with a nutbag.

  18. bluzdude
    February 16, 2011 6:09 pm

    Jesus would think that was tacky.

    Speaking of “WWJD,” I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, “Jesus would slap the shit out of you.”

    That’s Church.

  19. facie
    February 16, 2011 6:28 pm

    Ginny, you sing it, sister.

    I like that bumper sticker, Bluzdude.

  20. eileen
    February 16, 2011 6:57 pm

    This man is a white trash piece of shit who doesn’t care one ounce about God. It’s all about the neighbor complaining about him parking his construction vehicles in front of her house. I’ve seen hundreds of arguments over parking spaces growing up in Pittsburgh. Some got pretty crazy. This guy just took it over the top. What a jerk.

  21. tim
    February 16, 2011 8:13 pm

    Umm . . . so who does this “contractor” work for anyway? So glad he knows anyone who doesn’t agree with him is just against God. So cool him and the Lord are so tight like that. Maybe he is the second coming? Or maybe just the Anti-Christ.

  22. betoon
    February 16, 2011 8:15 pm

    Maybe some creative neighhbor could shine helicopter lights into his bedroom and say it was the burning bush – and if he’s against that, well you know! I think for punishment he should have to carry that cross up and down 51 – he’d never make it past the intersection of 88 and 51. Problem solved.

  23. Cassie
    February 16, 2011 9:32 pm

    Jesus would think that was tacky.

    Speaking of “WWJD,” I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, “Jesus would slap the shit out of you.”

    That’s Church.

    Awesome, Bluz. Awesome.

  24. LeeInIrwin
    February 16, 2011 10:34 pm

    To quote the movie “Hannah and Her Sisters” : “If Jesus came back and saw what’s going on in his name, he’d never stop throwing up. ”


  25. Ginny's Dad
    February 16, 2011 10:36 pm

    Sadly, Mr. Behr is doing more harm to true Christianity and the meaning of the cross. Jesus said that we should not only love our neighbors but also love our enemies. The cross is the epitome of God’s love because He allowed His Son to die for us. I hope that Mr. Behr will realize that his method of proclaiming the gospel is contrary to the life and teachings of Jesus.

  26. Julia
    February 16, 2011 11:13 pm

    Ugh. This has nothing to do with religion or free speech and everything to do with a douchebag. I am going to the next Baldwin council meeting just so I can tell this guy he’s a jackwagon.

  27. Legally Pittsburgh (Kathy)
    February 16, 2011 11:20 pm

    In my neighborhood there is a house that has a HUGE wooden sign in their front yard painted red and what that says in large capital letters “JESUS.” I think that is a stretch to allow such a sign, but I cannot imagine if it was lighted. In my experience, those who feel the need to profess to everyone how religious they are end up being the worst human beings…

  28. Legally Pittsburgh (Kathy)
    February 16, 2011 11:21 pm

    oops…I meant “white.” Time for bed!

  29. The Cable Guy
    February 16, 2011 11:23 pm

    So a guy in the construction business built that thing? The irony is that is should cause his present and future customers to run away from his business!

  30. unsatisfied
    February 16, 2011 11:35 pm

    jesus loves you, mr. behr.

    everyone else thinks you’re an asshole.

  31. bucdaddy
    February 17, 2011 12:54 am

    The headline way up there says a lot, but it doesn’t say it all. There’s also:

    “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”


    “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”


    “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

    I think that last one’s in Dude-eronomy.

  32. empirechick
    February 17, 2011 1:21 am

    Inspired as always, bucdaddy!

  33. LeeInIrwin
    February 17, 2011 7:42 am

    @unsatisfied #30 – that should be on a t-shirt.

  34. bucdaddy
    February 17, 2011 8:21 am

    *blush* You flatter me, empirechick. Keep it up.

  35. LeeInIrwin
    February 17, 2011 8:36 am

    That ‘your either with the Lord or against the Lord’ kind of ultimatum – didn’t Anakin declare something like that when going to the dark side? and George the W before starting the Iraq war? …what will be mr. Behr’s consequence?

  36. Marcy
    February 17, 2011 10:45 am

    If more people just understood that their right to do what they want, where they want to, has to stop when it infringes on the rights of others, this world would be a lot less complicated. As they say “your right to swing your fist stops at my nose.” If this nutbag lived next to me and those lights were shining in my window I would go all ninja on him.

  37. SpudMom
    February 17, 2011 10:57 am

    I wonder if the neighbor has considered going out in the dead of night with a pair of clippers and cutting the wires to that monstrosity.

  38. SpudMom
    February 17, 2011 10:57 am

    Oh and if that guy were my neighbor, I’d set up a good pair of speakers and blast “Satan Is My Master” by Ben Folds out the windows on a continuous loop.

  39. steve in denver
    February 17, 2011 11:22 am

    Don’t any neighbors have some old Sunday papers that could, maybe, be crumpled at the base of that thing and lit on fire?

  40. bucdaddy
    February 17, 2011 3:39 pm

    A good old-fashioned cross-burning?

    I’d check the demographics of the neighborhood verrrrry closely before I did something like that or you’ll start a RAAAAAAAAAACE WAAAAAAAAAR.

  41. spoon
    February 17, 2011 4:27 pm

    @bucdaddy Aw, what is this? If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a whining platoon! “We don’t wanna do pushups! We don’t wanna get up early! We don’t wanna have you take naked pictures of us!”

  42. Dan (Not Onorato)
    February 17, 2011 4:53 pm

    @bucdaddy….regardless of what the demographics are…if that thing goes up in flames, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will be in Baldwin so fast….

  43. Bob
    February 17, 2011 4:57 pm

    Baldwin boro won’t win

  44. Moxie Bestos
    February 17, 2011 5:09 pm

    As a daughter of Satan, I’m not sure that I should really be weighing in like this, but I’m not so sure that Jesus would be cool with everyone calling this man a nutbag (or various other names), or making sweeping generalizations about Baldwin, or destroying the cross. Isn’t that kinda like the un-Christian behavior everyone says he is guilty of?

  45. Ginny's Dad
    February 17, 2011 5:51 pm

    Daughter of Satan or not, Moxie makes a good point.

  46. geeves
    February 17, 2011 6:11 pm

    Jesus was an alien-zombie who suffered from dissociative identity disorder who thought he was his own father as well as a ghost.

    He ascended into the sky when he received word that he was needed on his home planet.

  47. unsatisfied
    February 17, 2011 7:48 pm


    he’s a nutbag.

    even jesus would be cool with that. he told me.

  48. JJ
    February 17, 2011 9:55 pm

    A sound AMEN to Ginny, “Me” (#16) and Ginny’s dad.

  49. AJM
    February 18, 2011 11:00 am

    #25 @ Ginny’s Dad– THAT’S church.

  50. bucdaddy
    February 18, 2011 11:26 am

    He’s taking it down.

    Yippie! The forces of evil win!