A Vietnam Veteran’s memorial erected in 1972 in Coos Bay, Oregon, is the focus of a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The FFRF is demanding the town remove the memorial because it has a cross.
The [FFRF] sent Coos Bay City Manager Rodger Craddock a letter saying the memorial itself isn’t the problem, it’s the cross resting on top.
They say it’s an “endorsement of Christianity over other religions and over nonreligion,” and must be removed “immediately”.
The presence of a cross on a public display does not “make [a] law regarding an establishment of religion.” But these asinine attacks will continue, and in some cases will be successful — generally because a town chooses not to fight those who oppose religious liberty. Others have taken gymnastic efforts to assuage the offense by, for example, selling the plot of land under the memorial to a private group. Such a move is unnecessary and only eggs the critics on — because it appears to validate their original complaint.
Just as with Jason Torpy, the former Army Captain and current atheist vicariously offended by crosses he reads about in the news, nothing will ever stop actions and accusations against memorials that bear crosses. That’s why one Congressman actually sponsored a bill explicitly making such displays legal; in the least, it would protect small towns from expensive legal defenses.
One of the great thing about America is you’re free to feel offended, and even express that feeling. The other great thing is no one is obligated to act differently merely because you are offended.
There is no virtue in scrubbing any semblance of religious reference from public view in the United States.