The Freedom From Religion Foundation, America's largest organization of atheists and agnostics, continues to use the legal system to purge the nation of references and symbols related to faith and religion (as we reported yesterday, the group will hold its 34th annual convention this weekend).
In one of the foundation's latest assaults on faith, FFRF is demanding that the town of Whiteville, Tennessee, remove a cross that stands at the top of a local water tower. The atheist group first requested that the cross be taken down last December, citing a citizen who is uncomfortable with its presence. The Jackson Sun reports:
The Freedom From Religion Foundation says the cross, located on public property, is in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..."
If the town refused to remove the cross, FFRF threatened legal action against both the local government and its mayor, James Bellar. In a letter to the town, Alvin Harris, who is an attorney for FFRF, wrote, "This letter is my clients' final demand that the cross be permanently removed from the Whiteville water tower."
In the letter, Harris gave the town a 30-day time frame during which the organization wanted to see the cross come down. If the town didn't comply, FFRF planned to file a lawsuit, citing a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Bellar harshly responded to the atheists' and agnostics' claims, saying, "They're the terrorists. It's not us...It will be a shallow victory for them if they win."
According to WREG, Bellar also said,
"Whiteville is a religious town. I'm just sorry we have one individual here who is offended by this. I just think it's a sad day when people in a small rural Western Tennessee town like Whiteville have to be the object of attention for non-believers."
Despite his opposition to FFRF, Bellar has decided that the cross will be taken down and moved, as the town cannot afford to battle the organization in the courts. While this is certainly the downside for those who support its presence, the mayor has announced that the cross will be placed on private property on a local highway. It is here, he says, that the cross will actually be seen by an even larger audience.
(H/T: Jackson Sun)