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What makes a cache 'religious'?

Dru Morgan
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OK, I need some help here. I am bringing my problem to the forum.


Now, I have a worldview and a chosen religion as does every one here as well as everyone in the world.


I have 205 finds, so I am far from a newbie. I think I have some idea about what this sport entails. I also have 9 hides, so I think I am contributing to the enjoyment of this sport for many people.



My 8th cache placed is called Passion. I chose the name because the location of this cache is the top of a hill in Hollywood above the Hollywood Bowl where the city has chosen to erect a giant illuminated cross. For the benefit of anyone living in a cave for the last 2000 years, the cross was the instrument for the death of Jesus Christ, which is referred to as the 'passion'.


This has been here since before I moved to Los Angeles, and is quite the impressive landmark, as recognizable for anyone who makes the daily commute down the Hollywood Freeway as the Capital Records building or the Hollywood Sign itself.


For the Passion cache, I clearly labeled this cache and even gave away the final location in the first line of the description. This is the "giant cross on the side of the freeway'. If anyone is afraid of a giant cross, this would be their cue to stay away from this one.


But, somebody took it upon themselves to rid the geocaching community of this scourge of a cache. They stole the cache container, and replaced it with a nasty note, calling themselves AMFTRORFG (Anarchist Movement for the Removal of Religion from Geocaching)


Who is the one forcing their views on whom exactly? They didn't even have the courage of their convictions enough to bring up the issue here and complain about a legitimate cache and see what people think. They felt it was better to operate anonymously in the style of the KKK.


I don't understand this menatlity at all. I have looked at this over and over and the only thing I can find that would have any religious content was the quotes I put on the cache description page. If it is against gc.com's policy to allow quotes on a cache description page, they can let me know directly.


Many people have URL's, quotes, and pictures to help describe and set the theme for the caches that they have done. I think a cache that finds its final destination at a giant cross is augmented by a quote directly explaining what the cross is meant to symbolize.


Now, if the offensive item is the cross itself, then I think the beef is with the City of Los Angeles, and not with me. Like I said in my log, if it really is a problem to have a cross on a hill, then maybe the plunderers would be doing society a greater good by standing on the freeway and warning unsuspecting motorist to avert their eyes from the impending danger up ahead if they should happen to catch a glimpse of this landmark.


FYI, here is the cache in question...



stealyourcache.gif Ever notice that anyone that caches less than you do is a moron, while anyone that caches more than you do is a maniac? -Dru Morgan


[This message was edited by Dru Morgan on March 29, 2003 at 09:53 PM.]

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I personally don't see any problem with your cache placement. I thought it sounded pretty cool. Plus from the pic you supplied, the person would have a nice view from that location. His/her loss ... they should have enjoyed the view instead of playing cache police.


It sounds like someone just wanted to put a burr under your saddle. Don't let it get you down.


The only person that should be held accountable for anything, is the theif who stole your cache!


ASA/MI Veteran ... Geocaching for Uncle Sam ... we just didn't realize it at the time!


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I support you 100%


The people who demand 'tolerance' from religous people are the MOST INTOLERANT people in the world!


I have a cache I placed that is openly 'religous themed'. I thought it very appropriate because it is located, with permission of the land manager, at a little known religious shrine that is world famous in Covington, KY.


Look up 'Garden of Hope'- you aint gonna find too many with as solid a religous theme as this one. The cache is full of crosses, Christian symbols, tracts, and other clearly Christian items, as is clearly stated on the cache page. This is entirely appropriate because the site is a Christian site.


I have gotten nothing but complimentary posts on it.


We need not apologize for our religous views (people of non-Christian religions certainly don't), nor are we in any way, by virtue of placing a cache at a religous site or by its contents, 'imposing our views on everyone else'.




I do not have either the POWER nor the DESIRE to impose my views on ANYONE else. I am sure this is true of you also.


Wouldn't it be nice if these people, like your cache trasher, WOULD QUIT IMPOSING THEIR VIEWS ON US?


When they trahed your cache, they certainly WERE imposing their views on you. It's good for the goose but not goood for the gander!



I hope this post does not cause someone to plunder my cache or desecrate the site, but I'm willing to risk it to give you support in this.


(I'm not to worried about the person or persons of the 'KKK' who did yours, if they want to spend a couple hundred dollars on gas to travel to KY and trash it, I'm sure I can afford a few dollars and a few hours to replace it.- I bet your CA trashers run out of money before I do!)


GDAE, Dave

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Okay, even I don't have a problem with this cache. icon_smile.gif It sounds like a neat location regardless of the symbolism. Nobody should take it upon themselves to remove a cache in the name of removing religion from geocaching, and this is coming from a member of several organizations who would try to have a huge cross removed if it were on public property (like the one in San Francisco).


If a cache has a religious theme and is going to be loaded with pamphlets or other non-tradables, then I think it should be noted on the cache page. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't search for the cache, I would just like to know what to expect.


What bothers me is when proselytizing religious material finds its way into regular caches as an attempt to share somebody's "good news". To me, that is no different than business cards or political candidate campaign material. If religious items come in the form of a tradable item such as a cross necklace or bracelet, then that's no problem.


For the record, most nonbelievers do not want to force their views on anyone. We would just prefer that our governing bodies remain neutral and not endorse any religion. We're not something to be afraid of, really!


Your friendly neighborhood atheist,


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Take it from an atheist who is as certain in my views as is any evangelist is in his, what happened is wrong.


Obviously, I don't agree with the message religion-based caches try to communicate, but I just treat them like any other themed cache. I can't say I don't have a problem with people openly displaying their views, but I reconize their right to express them. Can't say I don't think less of a person who openly expresses their faith, but can those of you of faith say you don't feel the same about someone who expresses their atheism?


I'm sure you feel all of this honesty is ironic coming from a sockpuppet account, but there are fanatics on both sides.


Back on topic. It is not up to a few people, or single person for that matter, to decide what themes are allowed in geocaching. TPTB certainly can decide what they will list on their site, but on a whole, I feel whoever stole your cache are no better than the self-appointed eco-cops that pop up ever so often. That is just plain wrong and there really is no other way to look at it, IMO.


What's next, bulldozing churches because they are the basis of a virt? These idiots are no better than the freaks that have wished me dead because I'd prefer the Pledge go back to the pre-1954 version and move back from the devisive national motto to the all-inclusive, pre-1956 one, "E Pluribus Unum" (Out of Many, One.)


Quite frankly, what was done is wrong and you have my support for the termination of the accounts of those who did it if they can be found.


I say make it a virt and challenge them to walk off with that!

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I think it was summed up best...this is a game people, If you don't like a certain cache, don't go after it! Personally I am pagan but I do not have a problem with any sort of religious cache, I enjoy the hunt and the find and would sigh the log and TNLN!

Darkmoon icon_biggrin.gif


All you have to do to fly is throw yourself at the ground and miss!

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dadgum! I hate having to say this, but I'm with you, Dru. The cache itself was a micro, and didn't seem to have any religious theme to it. The location was very well described, if they are that unsure of their own convictions to be afraid of a location like that, they should have just not done it. I also gotta say I agree with what Marty said on the cache logs. dadgum! Marty too! That's almost as bad as agreeing with Dru! I might as well just go back to bed for the day.


Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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It looks like everyone is on your side in this one. And I agree with them. I don't like it when others take it upon themselves to censor things just because they don't have the same beliefs or opinions.

If it was my cache, I'd replace it. With the addition of a note to the person who removed it asking if they have the moral conviction, or guts, to leave their name or some way to contact them. They know they are in the wrong, or they would have been more open about what they did.

If it gets stolen again, consider trying for a virtual. I know that some cachers would be against a virtual when a container could be hidden, but it would show the the thieves that you will not be stopped by them.




Some people's idea of [free speech] is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.

Winston Churchill

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Originally posted by SE7EN:

What's next, bulldozing churches because they are the basis of a virt?

Exactly. Not to mention those near sacred Indian burial grounds or Buddhist temples. All such caches would be just as religious. I wonder if they'd go after Halloween themed caches, also technically religious.



"Winter's just the curtain. Spring will take the bow"

-- Richard Shindell, Spring

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Dru, that really is sad. I don't see how the cache itself is religious, besides the quotes. But people can skip them if they don't want to read them. These KKK-type people are ruining it for others, and I hope they come to see the error of their ways. I'm sorry about your cache. icon_frown.gif


Cache you later,



I feel much more like I do now than when I first got here.

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Well now. The cache is fine.


In my travels I've come across athiests more bound in dogma and less grounded in science that I am. Odly enough their athiesm wasn't limited to that. Nope they had to take time to be anti religiouse. Specificly anti christian. If you replace the cache the immoral extremist dork will steal it again.


Even though you might think that caves and a cross have nothing in common, I'm working on a virtual to replace a traditional because the local Cavers Guild is radical in protecting even a known teenage party cave. To the point they won't let new people in the Guild (that'w why I'm calling it a guild) and they will steal any cache placed there.


You can try another cache and if it's stolen, well there is no ban on a religiouse cache, do it as a virtual and tell more of the story behind the cross.


Wherever you go there you are.

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I have a couple of comments... icon_biggrin.gif


Drew, your post, aside from the title, contains only one question. I'm glad you got to air your frustration.


And... That's a no-find for CurlyKrakow.


I think those are the only points not already covered by others.



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I would just like to point out that the KKK analogy is inaccurate. The Ku Klux Klan is a militant Christian organization, much like the Nazis were. They believe that their point of view is ordained by god.

As for the removal of a cache, there is no acceptable reason to steal a cache container.




Do not extend your expectations unto others, you will not be disappointed by the stupid things they do.


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I am non-practicing; several years ago, I came to the conclusion that God is a divorced woman who doesn't like me very much.


A microcache that's placed next to a city-owned cross, with a couple of relevant quotes thrown onto the cache page, is not the type of religious cache that would bother me. Similarly, a traditional ammo box cache, filled with religious materials but disclosed in advance, made my list of top caches because it was cleverly placed in a beautiful wooded area.


The only type of religious cache that would offend me would be one that required me to do something affirmative, like enter a church and talk with someone, or researching something from a religious text with which I was unfamiliar, as a condition of completing the cache. I would be especially ruffled if those conditions were not clearly disclosed on the cache page. But even then, I wouldn't think of plundering the cache. I'd write to the owner if I had a complaint.


But I would like to note that all hydrocaches are unacceptable religious caches in my book. I don't own a boat, and I don't swim very well, so I'd have to have the ability to walk on water to log these.



I was formerly employed by the Department of Redundancy Department, but I don't work there anymore.

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Thanks for the support. To clarify a couple of things. The cache was an altoids tin that contained a logbook, a pencil and two batteries when I placed it. Nothing religious of any kind was placed inside the cache.


I also plan to replace it today.I told CurlyKrakow to make his log a 'find' as he found the note and alerted me to the problem. My thought is, I will count all logs as a find if they can identify the actual hiding spot and any note placed in it in case it gets stolen again. I will not let this guy win. Not wanting to get into a debate about virtuals here, (I even have one) but I prefer to place an actual container when there is a place to put one.


stealyourcache.gif Ever notice that anyone that caches less than you do is a moron, while anyone that caches more than you do is a maniac? -Dru Morgan

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The question was What makes a cache 'religious'?


I would say if one need to recite "The Lords Prayer" (or three "Hail Marys," a passage from the Torah, or something relevant to whatever the cache owner's faith may be) in order for the cache container to reveal itself or open, then it's most likely a religious cache.

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icon_smile.gif What makes a cache religious? I would think that the answer would be the contents of the cache. If it contained nothing but Jewish or Catholic or Christian or Islam or...whatever specific material then I feel it would fall into this category. Putting it on a hill in the vicinity of a cross does not make it any more religious than putting a cache outside a bar makes it or you a drunk or outside of a hospital give the cache any special healing qualities. Again, as stated, if you find the cache offensive, then leave it alone.

I do not see anything wrong with leaving a Bible in a cache. Again it is generic and does not push any specific beliefs. Again the geocacher can leave it if they do not like it. Just like you can leave the Mc Toy or the magnet or whatever else you see in the container that you don't like. I personally leave a small New Testament in caches so if anyone wants it they can have it. Example: I made up a small first aid kit out of Altoid tins that I put in my caches. That way if someone cuts themself looking for my cache they can take out a bandaid if they need one. If they don't need the first aid kit then they can leave it alone. The same is true with the Bible. Maybe someone is at a point in their life where they need the Bible. Then by all means take it and read it...if not then leave it alone.

My Two Cents Worth,

In His Service,

WARedBear icon_wink.gif


"He shall restore what he has stolen, or what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or the lost thing which he found. He shall restore its full value, add one-fifth more to it, and give it to whomever it belongs." Leviticus 6:4,5

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I was one of the first visitors to Dru's cache. In fact, I got to climb that hill twice in one day because my GPS felt out of my pocket. Back to the point---there are nothing religious about the cache. The cache page contains Biblical quotes. If the quotes or the location of the cache (a large cross) bother someone, don't visit the cache. I don't visit caches that have witch themes. I don't let them bother me, I just don't visit them.


Unfortunately, we are now living in an age where tolerance is a very misunderstood value. Let's not be so worried about a cache's religiosity. If a cache has or hasn't a religious nature, who cares. It you are bothered by it, don't visit it.

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icon_eek.gif What makes any experience "Religious"? The only problem with your cache was that some idiot wanted to ruin your day. I've never herd of that supposed group, and hope I never hear of them again. Sad for them.

Me personally, I think just about any cache has some kind of spiritual side. It's up to the individual to allow it in. They were of base, you were right on. It's as simple as that.



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There is a similar cross on a hill overlooking San Diego. It's called Mt. Soledad. Years ago, the city owned the land and were challenged by athiests to remove such a 'religious item' from government lands. The city sold the 10 foot square of land around the cross to a local church who maintains it. It is now not an issue because it is on private property.


Next time I'm in LA I'll try to find your neat 'cross' micro. It sounds like fun.



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I am glad that Dru is replacing this cache. I have it on my "to do" list. I am not a Chirstian, yet I am not offended by the either the location of the cache or by the Biblical quotes that Dru included on the cache page, or by Dru's overtly religious avatar, or by the fact that he describes himself as a Christian in his profile.

We're all grown up. As far as I can tell when small children go geocaching they are always with an adult, most often a parent. While one should try to avoid offending others with what you place in a cache there is no need to go overboard. Come on! This is begining to sound like the thread on putting dental floss in a cache.

In the first cache that I found, there was a keychain that I thought was a insensitive ethnic stereotype and I wrote about it in the log. Now I am begining to think how silly it was to complain about this. Frankly I am more offended now when I spend all day looking for a cache and it just has junk in it. But then I can log TNLN icon_smile.gif

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Sorry to hear about your cache. Rather than debate why it was done or if it is religious or not, just move on. Treat it as any other cache that was plundered.


Maybe it was too easy to plunder, religious or not. Since anyone with a browser can get the location, you need to make it harder for them to plunder. The solution is to hide it better.


The plunderer is like the forum troll, who just wants to get a rise out of you. If you don't feed them then they will go away. You should just replace it in a better spot and move on.

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I actually came upon this cache on friday March 28, but was beat to the punch on logging the news of it's removal. I left the note in place but snapped a photo of it before I left to head down to the Hollywood Resevoir cache nearby. The photo can be seen in my cache log (which I did log as a find). I'll have to go back and find it for real this time. But what happens if you find a cache twice in different locations???


We'll be watching you...

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I thought the whole purpose of caching was to show people places and things they might not see otherwise? The cross and the view from there qualifies it as a cache. It was wrong of that vermin to place judgement and impose his anti-religious view on the rest of geocachers. I've seen some caches here placed in trash dumps or in areas with human feces. No religious material. I bet your vandal would enjoy those caches. I certainly don’t. I’d rather have a nice location no matter how much religious content is there.


Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes

On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated -- so:

"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges --

"Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!"


Rudyard Kipling , The Explorer 1898

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