Atheists Demand Removal of Cross from War Memorial. Again.
Update: Liberty Counsel has agreed to defend the town of Woonsocket for free.
was erected nearly a century ago to honor the city’s war dead, including three brothers killed in World War I.
The town’s mayor had an interesting response to the call to tear down the 91-year old memorial:
Mayor Leo Fontaine told the Woonsocket Call he will not remove the cross “under any circumstances.”
However, the town is reportedly strapped for cash and may not be able to afford a legal defense.
Atheists and critics of various stripes — including Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and Jason Torpy — have called for the removal of crosses around the country. These crosses are on lone mountains in the California desert, military bases, town squares, and Arlington National Cemetery. Yes, atheist and former Army Captain Jason Torpy wants to yank a cross out of Arlington — something even the ACLU won’t touch. Naturally, the presence of a cross establishes a religion and creates a state church, therefore it is unconstitutional. Right.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
Somehow it seems a bit of a stretch to say that means tear down crosses in front of town fire departments. The US Supreme Court has previously agreed, saying
The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm…The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion’s role in society…
A Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs. It is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people…
That’s from Justice Anthony Kennedy, sometimes called the “swing” vote on the Court because of his position “between” the traditionally conservative and liberal “blocks.”