(DailyDig.com) – On April 15, the town of Ocean Grove, on the coast of New Jersey, which just had its seaside pier damaged and rebuilt in the style of a cross, planned to officially open the pier.
Following the devastation in 2012 caused by Hurricane Sandy, the dock in the town on the Jersey Shore that is recognized for its Christian heritage underwent a process of redesign and reconstruction. It would seem that the ‘Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association,’ the owner of the property on which the pier is situated, did not have any intention of constructing the dock in the form of a cross. Michael Badger, the president of the organization, claimed that it evolved naturally after designers added extra ends to the former pier in an effort to construct the greatest pier that was physically feasible.
Ocean Grove's old pier was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
It's new—and controversial—cross-shaped pier finally opens to the public this weekend. https://t.co/89jTxqpVMU
— Asbury Park Press (@AsburyParkPress) April 12, 2023
According to Badger, he is of the opinion that the unintended design is appropriate for the Christian goal of the organization. They will constantly make an effort to make people feel welcome and are always looking for new methods to get people interested in the gospel, which is the gift they need to offer.
The ‘Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’ paid a total of $1.3 million to build the 500-foot-long dock. Although it was financed with private funds, the pier will be publicly accessible to all. Badger said it is “privately owned, publicly accessible.”
According to reports, some neighbors have voiced their disapproval of the pier’s design because of its Christian references in a publicly used location.
At a committee meeting of Neptune Township in the autumn of 2022, Ocean Grove resident and attorney Shane Martin warned that the ‘Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’ was heralding extremist Christian nationalism.
Some people nowadays, Badger stated in reaction to the criticism, believe that churches should bring their religious symbols inside and lock the doors. That’s just not an opinion we embrace. According to Badger, the pier has never faced any formal challenges in court.
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