by Dr. D ~ May 3rd, 2012
(Image Credit: WPRO)
An estimated 1,500 people _ many of them veterans _ turned out Wednesday in the Rhode Island city of Woonsocket to defend a war memorial topped with a cross whose constitutionality is being challenged by an atheist group.
Speaking before a crowd of people bearing crosses of their own and signs including one that warned "Don’t Cross God," Mayor Leo Fontaine said he has a new resolve to fight to keep the monument where it is _ on city property, in the parking lot of the fire department.
He and others stressed that the 1921 monument isn’t about religion, or forcing it on anyone, but rather honoring four local residents killed in World Wars I and II, including three brothers _ Alexandre, Henri and Louis Gagne. He urged those in the crowd to donate to a legal defense fund the city has set up in case there is a legal challenge; firefighters canvassed the crowd seeking to fill their boots with contributions.
"If Mrs. Gagne can give her three sons," Fontaine said, "I can give a fight for her sons’ monument."
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has called for the cross or the monument to be taken down, saying it violates the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. The group said it complained to the city after receiving a complaint from a local resident who is not Christian and who is offended by the cross.
Also here’s a post about this event in The Blaze: ‘Don’t Cross God’: See 1,000+ Christians & Veterans Defy Atheists’ Demands & Rally In Support of RI WWII Cross
Response: Attacks upon our religious heritage are going on all across the country. There are literally thousands of crosses and memorials on public lands in America. The Wisconsin atheist radicals are insisting that crosses on public land are an establishment of state religion and demand that they be removed wherever they find them.
The constitution supports freedom of religion and religious expression. However, the courts in this generation have at times turned the provisions on its ear to mean freedom from religion instead. The battle goes on and will continue for sometime. There was a time when America was nearly 95% Christian and the crosses offended no one.
My question is this- why can’t we continue to honor our past religious heritage. Memorials put up 60-150 years ago really are not establishing a state religion in the 21th century America. They merely reflect America historically as it once was. The crosses and memorials are everywhere in every state and in most communities.
They are also all over the place in our national military cemeteries like Arlington. I was at Arlington National Cemetery last year and observed thousands of crosses on display in memorials there. I also observed crosses all over Washington DC. The Wisconsin group doesn’t dare go there. Instead they are picking on small communities.
I also visited the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, PA which is a national park. There are literally hundreds of memorials with crosses there. The Wisconsin folks could have a field day at Gettysburg but I doubt they are ready for the fallout that would come with that attack.
Taken to its logical conclusion, this battle could one day demand that all crosses be removed from the graves of veterans in national cemeteries. Can you imagine the outcry and bad PR? The atheist groups are far too smart to take it that far. Instead they will continue to push their agenda upon small communities that have limited funding for litigation. *Top