Threats From Radical Atheists Force Tennessee Town to Remove Cross From Water Tower

Whiteville, Tennessee is removing a cross from top of the town’s water tower due to threatened lawsuit. (WREG)

Radical atheists are threatening a Tennessee town to remove a cross from its water tower.
FOX News reported:

The mayor of Whiteville, Tenn. said his community is under attack from a national atheist organization that is threatening to sue unless they remove a cross atop the town’s water tower.

“They are terrorists as far as I’m concerned,” said Mayor James Bellar about the Freedom From Religion Foundation. “They are alleging that some Whiteville resident feels very, very intimidated by this cross.”

Related Stories
Calling All Catholics — Opportunities for Lay Persons to Be God’s Hands and Feet Have Never Been Greater

The mayor told Fox News Radio that the cross was erected on the town’s water tower about eight years ago by a private group of citizens. They collected private donations to cover the costs.
It’s just a cross on the water tower,” he said. “All we’re doing is exercising our right to practice our beliefs down here but this organization is now going to stymie that. We’re not out here knocking on doors trying to convert people.”

But the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation said the cross is a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They’ve given the mayor until the end of October to remove the cross. If he refuses, they have threatened to sue.

“The law is very clear on this,” Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Dan Barker told Fox News Radio. “A secular city may not promote or hinder religion. We don’t have a problem with believers putting up crosses wherever they want, but this is a cross put up by the city on the city water tower.”

Barker said they’ve been sending letters to the city since last year demanding that the cross be taken down, acting on behalf of an unnamed resident who complained.

Get news like this in your Facebook News Feed,
Gateway Pundit

Commenting Policy

Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. As a privately owned website, we reserve the right to remove any comment and ban any user at any time.

Comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal or abusive attacks on other users may be removed and result in a ban.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments

  • Mary

    Next, the ACLU will sue to have the “racist” name of the town changed. Good Heavens what has happened to our wonderful Country?

    Attended the Beck/Palin event last night in Saint Charles. Really nice to be with like-minded Conservatives. No “mobs”, no “riots”, no “problems”, just Republic lovin’ people.

    Congratulations to the STL Cardinals!

  • Pingback: Threats From Radical Atheists Force Tennessee Town to Remove Cross From Water Tower | Tea Party Courier()

  • pinandpuller

    When is Al Sharpton going to threaten to sue the town for being named White-Ville?

  • Walden

    The atheists are not forcing them to remove the cross.

    The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution are forcing them to remove the cross.

  • retire05

    And how far does that ONE disgruntled, atheist have to stretch their neck to be able to see the top of a water tower in a town of less than 4,000?

    Perhaps someone should inform the Freedom From Religion organization that the U.S. Consitution applies to the FEDERAL government only, and that states, a number of them, had official religions. Also, we can thank a SCOTUS justice Black for finding a penumbra that doesn’t even exist in the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists was not part of the Constitution and was not meant to suppress religion, only to assure the Baptists of the freedom of religion.

  • Peggy R

    Aw. Mary and pinandpuller beat me to it. Too obvious, eh?

    Go Cards!

  • KOW

    Every citizen in the city should put one up in their front yards by the curb. Make it for every cross they want to take down, a thousand will replace it. If that one person was so affraid of that one cross, now they will have to pass 100’s each day, when they may of seen the one on the tower once a week.

  • Rock

    Just another attempt to erase Christianity/Faith from the American conscious. For the Left the destruction of Religion, allows that any deviant believe is allowed without guilt, or restriction from others.

  • pinandpuller

    If I’m not mistaken Whiteville has a medium security private prison. They could cover it with crosses.

  • Walden

    The First Amendment has been incorporated to apply to the States.

  • retire05

    Waldon, wrong.

    The 1st and 4th Amendments only prohibit the establishment of an official state religion, much like Europeans nations (England, Italy, Spain) had. It does not prohibit the expression of religion in any fashion. That is why Justice Black used the Thomas Jefferson letter as his reasoning.

  • Walden

    #7 Private citizens are free to do as they please.


    #9 If the prison administrators are acting as agents of the government, then they are similarly forbidden from imposing religion on others.

  • retire05

    Walder, the First Amendment only applies to the states where it concerns the 18 enumerate powers granted to the federal government. The 10th Amendment protects the states (or is supposed to) from the over reach of a federal government that violates the powers granted it.

    The 10th Amendment was added to protect the rights of the states to deal with issues that were not the purview of the federal government.

  • Patty

    Water companies, Wow, won’t get into our problems today and yesterday, set that aside, but what a mess.

    On to this, separation of Church and State is something that has been used often by a small minority of Atheists and Liberal environmentalists. One, just one person looking for a cross, nativity scene, Ten Commandments, In God We Trust in a blink of the eye, tear it down.

    I drive by homes and see the Blessed Virgin Mary statues in our town. The flag flies high at another neighbors home in all its Glory. Nativity scenes during Christmas time and next to it is Our Flag in all its Glory.

    Well, sooner or later these Atheists will attack the individual at where they live.

    I say to Tennessee, Fly the Flag, on the top of tower. I would love to know what the Supreme Court would say. But I do believe they would say separation of Church and State would prohibited city to have a cross there.

  • Walden

    You don’t seem to understand how the this works. Start at Marbury v. Madison. The decisions of the US Supreme Court are part of the Constitution.

  • Patty

    In this instance, one minority group, muddies up the Waters for the Majority.

  • Walden

    The Fourteenth Amendment, being a later Amendment than the Tenth, has priority over the Tenth. That is what “Amendment” means.

  • Patty

    We who fight for our nation….God and Country are hurt by this. Truly, we are but even still, Separation of Church and State and these Atheists will win. We hate it but we cannot change it.

  • Sandy

    What kind of country are we if we have more understanding for radical Muslims than Christians?

    They same lunatics are attacking Mitt Romney for being a Mormon. Time for all decent Dems to look at their party and see what its become.

    A house divided cannot stand and I pray this hatred ceases before this leads to violence.

  • retire05

    Walden, “the decisions of the U S Supreme Court are part of the Constitution?” Where do you get that idea. The SCOTUS is designed to determine law based on its Constitutionality, not to create law.

    So, where is the part of the Constitution that talks about Roe, Kelo or any other law that has been placed on us that is not there? Be specific.


    people have got some big fukken issues

  • valerie

    Interesting that an organization from another state is involved in this threatened lawsuit. Why would they have standing?

  • Walden

    #20 Do you not recognize the validity of the ruling in Marbury v. Madison?

  • Enough Is Enough

    George Soros Buying Up, Controlling
    All US Arms & Ammo Makers

  • Sandy

    Walden # 4 — In this country you are free to be an Athiest. These people have the same right to be Christians. If Walmart wants to play Christmas songs during the Holiday Season – they should be able to do so without the athiests doing a war dance.

    The only way a Cross on a Water Tower can hurt a non believer is if it fell on his/her head.

  • retire05

    Walden, Marbury v. Madison was a bad ruling, must as was Roe v. Wade, Kelo.

    The First Amendment, as with the entire Constitution, dealt with the authority of the federal goverment only. It clearly states that Congress shall make no law that would establish a federal religion. It also state that it also cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion. Congress does not legislate laws that affect the states, or the cities.

    If you can find the part of the Constitution that allows the federal goverment to have purview over the religious practices of people in a city, quote it.

  • Rock

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    And allowing a cross to be seen, is Congress making law how? Nothing more than atheist forcing their view on others, whats new.
    The last atheist I really knew, died in the mud in the Nam alternating asking for God and his mother.

  • retire05

    Rock, there are no atheists in fox holes.

  • JPeden


    The Fourteenth Amendment, being a later Amendment than the Tenth, has priority over the Tenth. That is what “Amendment” means.

    Thus, dear Walden, according to the psychoderangement which you perceive as your “self”, the most recent Amendment overturns or supplants the rest of the Constitution as the one Law of The Land, including all of the USSC decisions, even though they themselves are not part of the Constitution. Read it.

    Walden, you are a freaking Narcissistic Moron. And unless or until you respond, my judgment about you is the given truth – at least according to “reasoning” very similar to that produced by your own grossly defective “self”, which is your main problem. And here you might consider suing Head Start. Or your Parents. Or your own genes. For you’ve surely been victimized! By someone….

  • JPeden

    Walden, you are a discredit to all respectable Vampires.

  • Granny

    #15 October 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm
    Walden commented:

    You don’t seem to understand how the this works. Start at Marbury v. Madison. The decisions of the US Supreme Court are part of the Constitution.

    Really? I’m sorely afraid that it is YOU that do not understand how this works .. . . or do you perhaps not remember the several SCOTUS decisions that upheld segregation. Plessy v. Ferguson comes to mind –

  • Rock

    True, but often not proven until said foxhole fails in its primary role.

  • Moonbat_One

    The name ‘Whiteville’ is offensive enough. Why isn’t there a Brownville somewhere?

  • retire05

    Moonbat_ One, silly you. There IS a Brownsville, TN. It is about the same size as Whiteville.

  • Rock

    Actually there are several, better yet, there are a few Bushville’s, that ought to drive the Libs crazy.

  • retire05

    Rock, I find it amazing how atheist soldiers find God in a fox hole when facing the enemy and convicted criminals who had no respect for human life find God lives in their jail when they are facing the executioner.

  • Rock


    One of life’s little mysteries I suppose, but it sure seems to happens more often than not..

  • Craig

    I told you that the protest of Wall Street had people from all side of the spectrum. But the Establishment and MSM have sent some provocateurs to hyjack it. Here is the proof, you will see interview with Oath Keepers and many of the protesters.

    If you love your country and want to save it, you have to watch this video. At the end of the video, you will also be able to listen to a powerful interview with G. Edward Griffin, the author of “The Creature From Jekyll Island”, where the Act of the Federal Reserve was signed in 1913. Very instructive.

    Infowars Nightly News 2011-10-07

  • more freedom FROM religion.

  • bg


    remove all Atheistic symbols from the town squares, their Godless religion
    is not only a “cult”, but their censorship of all other religions offends me..



  • Earthmover

    I think it’s time to divide the country in half, and let these liberals have at their utopia.
    They would all be dead within two months. Problem solved.

  • bg


    they’d better be careful, they just might get their wish, too bad they
    don’t realize it will also cost them their heads in the end, as Islamists
    don’t recon kindly to godless sheeples in particular.. heh, guess they
    never read Osamas Fatwa mentioning them above all as the enemy..

    irony is what it is.. *sigh*


  • JPeden

    Yeah, freedom from the State’s imposition of a Religion, especially Progressivism. Ok, so maybe it’s only a Cult?

    Regardless, Obama/Waldens’s Progressivism wants to destroy Christianity – or, as usual, anything that actually works to better Humanity – because the latter is simply a much much much better Religion, and the Progressives sense it, though they can’t really comprehend why – lacking brainpower, they’re effectively ‘racist’ against individual free thought and thus also against the values expressed in the U.S. Constitution.

    In Evolutionary terms, Progressives are deathly afraid of getting wiped out by the superior competitor. Hey, Progressives, intentionally eliciting your own highly likely destruction is not a plan! As some “Cowboy” once said, “Dying is not a good way to make a living, boy.”

    Imo, Christianity directly opposes and easily transcends Progressivism, given Christianity’s knowledge and acknowledgement of free will and personal responsibility = personal salvation. But I’m not a Supernaturalist, so I stand to be corrected, although I see in myself the above two alleged critical attributes of Christianity. Progressives, as usual, see nothing.

  • A cross on a tower is not an attempt to establish a religion just as the statue of Lenin in Fremont WA is an attempt to establish communism. Both are merely reflections of the community in which they are honored, for the left the thought of a community honoring God is offensive enough to bring the full force of government to bare.
    I would also like to point out what Walden mentioned in his comments
    The 14th Amendment, although I’m not sure what it has to do with a cross on a tower, it does say something that might apply to those who support OWS from their offices in DC (Nancy, Barack and the gang)

    Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

  • BridgetGB

    The ACLU started threatening small towns w/ Christian references in their city seals w/ this kind of lawsuit. Due to restricted funds these cities opted to fold to these demands rather than empty the city coffers w/ cost of legal representation. Leftists are small minded, angry, intolerant tyrants.

  • Enough Is Enough

    George Soros Now Controls All Arms & Ammo Makers In The U.S.

  • dnb

    Next up: ACLU and NAACP sueing the town to change its name.

  • bg


    JPeden #43 October 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    believe it or not, that too is part of the ever
    -ongoing New World Order transformation..

    ie: Today, the responsibility, which used to be laid at
    the door of God, is fastened on the shoulders of man

    a bit more of much more here, also scroll
    threads for more, or not, your choice.. 😉


  • Molon Labe



    Enough of the living Constitution baloney. Please cite where in the Constitution it states the decisions of the Supreme Court are part of the Copnstitution. The founding fathers never intended for the judicary to overide either the judiciary or the legislative branches.

    As for the case you cite, it only demonstrates the over reach of the courts that Jefferson warned against. By the way you do realize what Jefferson did in response to this action don’t you? To also demonstrate that the founding fathers never intended the judicary to be the equal of the legislative or executive branches there is only one court required by the constitution. Only one. And this can be eliminated whenever either the legislative or executive branch decides not to fund it or abide by its decision. As Lincoln, Jackson and FDR all did.

    So please don’t push ssuch nonsense. Your knowledge of the American government and history is laughable.

  • Brian Westley

    What the atheists are threatening, of course, is to have the legality of the cross on a city water tower subjected to judicial review. I don’t see how anyone can be against checking whether the government is exceeding its authority.

    People might want to look up a case from 2007, American Atheists, Inc. v. City of Starke, Florida.

  • bg


    no no no people, you don’t “get it”..

    you see, this is not how it was supposed to work.. what happened was
    Bush not only beat the Goracle, and the purple band-aid hero Kerry, but
    then threw a huge monkey wrench into the NWO progress via wiping an
    Obama et al supported dictator off the map (btw, they’re still protecting
    Daffy al-Green)..


    reality is, people stand in the way of progress..

    “If the upper class is able to give it’s children, grandchildren more and more genetic advantages, they will move away from the people who are naturally born..” ~ Lee Silver

    a bit more of much more here, as well as in connecting links & threads..


  • bg


    re: #51 October 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm bg

    “I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”

    ‘We are God’s partners in matters of life and death’

    ‘my individual salvation is not gonna come about
    without a collective salvation for the country’ ….

    now, they just have to settle for a strong enough ‘created crisis’ to turn
    into a full fledged revolution that will collapse the system and lower the
    population count (sort of kill two birds with one stone deal).. /sigh sarc/

    oh yeah, “I’m Not A Fan”.. 🙂


  • DaveinPhoenix

    Newt Gingrich used to (somewhat jokingly) refer to a Federal Department of Happiness – and that is about what we’ve created in the past 20 years or more. A land where anything disagreeable to someone has to be removed, a land where everyone is guaranteed happiness by the government, where success is a guaranteed outcome. This promised land is a place where there is no individual responsibility, only “rights”. We have a right to be happy, and it’s the government’s responsibility to provide that for me. It’s a place where the words success, business, and profit are outlawed. Every type of personal behavior is encouraged here, no matter how disgusting it is to some. And there is no God. Only me, me, me, me, me. All about me, this place.

    Working out great for us , huh ?

  • johnb

    The solution is simple: Erect a crescent beside the cross. That’ll be the end of the demands to remove religious symbols. The ACLU won’t dare annoy the muslims.

  • mayhem

    Simple solution. Take down this one Cross and put up a BIGGER one in its place. That outta get their goat really good.
    God Wins!

  • Brian Westley

    “Take down this one Cross and put up a BIGGER one in its place.”

    And set it on fire! That’ll teach ’em.

  • Pingback: Threats From Radical Atheists Force Tennessee Town to Remove Cross From Water Tower | Liberal Whoppers()

  • Doug Indeap

    Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of the people (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (3) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (4), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. They later buttressed this separation with the First Amendment, which constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.

    That the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the text of the Constitution assumes much importance, it seems, to some who may have once labored under the misimpression it was there and, upon learning they were mistaken, reckon they’ve discovered a smoking gun solving a Constitutional mystery. To those familiar with the Constitution, the absence of the metaphor commonly used to name one of its principles is no more consequential than the absence of other phrases (e.g., Bill of Rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty) used to describe other undoubted Constitutional principles.

    James Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

  • Joanne

    Let them sue. What about churches with crosses and bells? Whooooooo – scary.

  • My first question is what harm is being done? Is the cross casting down some dangerous spell against non Christians. The super majority have no problem with it, lighten up and grow up. Are we going to let a very small group of people change our values?

  • BJ

    If they have to take down the cross. Make the one LOUD mouth remove every thing in her front yard!

  • Pingback: Blog News- Left and Right Views » Threats From Radical Atheists Force Tennessee Town to Remove Cross From Water Tower()

  • Christina

    This Freedom From Religion Organization is also harrassing my Tennessee town. An “unnamed citizen” was offended by a prayer offered at a kindergarten commencement. This organization demanded that the school board submit paperwork proving that this “problem” has been addressed and will not happen again. This is outrageous. If you go to the organizations website you will see that they have lots of lawsuits threatened.

  • chuck in st paul

    This RACIST CITY must be renamed!!! “Whiteville” indeed! These evil crackers need to be taught that they can’t get away with blatant racism like this!

  • chuck in st paul

    #58 October 8, 2011 at 8:55 pm – Doug Indeap
    You could have said all that in twenty five words or less. You still have not stated your position clearly. Here’s the reality, not some collection of cut and paste.

    America was founded as a Christian nation, not an egalitarian, agnostic nation. The founders were men of Christ. What they did do and mean is that there would not be an official state religion like the Church of England. That’s all they meant. There is NOWHERE a call for freedom FROM religion. Those who are offended by religion should go off somewhere they’ll be more comfortable and stop bothering the other 99% with their bleating about non existent verbage or concepts in the Constitution.

    I am SO-O-O-O-O-O-O overdosed on ‘offended’ people. Did you not know that the First Amendment guarantees someone will be offended? It’s why it is in there – to guarantee that you can’t use the force of law to shut someone up. duh. It also guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion – IN PUBLIC. Those who are offened by the majority can bugger off to some remote enclave and be at peace. It’s their right to do so.

  • Doug Indeap


    While the First Amendment undoubtedly was intended to preclude the government from establishing a national religion as you note, that was hardly the limit of its intended scope. The first Congress debated and rejected just such a narrow provision (“no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed”) and ultimately chose the more broadly phrased prohibition now found in the Amendment. In keeping with the Amendment’s terms and legislative history and other evidence, the courts have wisely interpreted it to restrict the government from taking steps that could establish religion de facto as well as de jure. Were the Amendment interpreted merely to preclude government from enacting a statute formally establishing a state church, the intent of the Amendment could easily be circumvented by government doing all sorts of things to promote this or that religion–stopping just short of cutting a ribbon to open its new church.

    A word should be added about the common canard that this is all about people easily offended. We’re not talking about the freedom of individuals to say or do something others find offensive; we have that freedom. We’re talking about the government weighing in to promote religion. Under our Constitution, our government has no business doing that–regardless of whether anyone is offended (and regardless of how many or few favor or disfavor any particular religion or religious event). While this is primarily a constitutional point, it is one that conservatives–small government conservatives–should appreciate from a political standpoint as well. While the First Amendment thus constrains government from promoting (or opposing) religion without regard to whether anyone is offended, a court may address the issue only in a suit by someone with “standing” (sufficient personal stake in a matter) to present the court with a “case or controversy”; in order to show such standing, a litigant may allege he is offended or otherwise harmed by the government’s failure to follow the law. The question whether someone has standing to sue is separate from the question whether the government has violated the Constitution.

  • Colint

    In WW11 ringing of church bells was banned in UK because bell ringing was to occur only if there was an invasion.

    The Muslim Call to Prayers occurs five times daily at a time that changes according to the time of sun rise. This is broadcast by loudspeaker in many US communities. Where I live in Canada (Vancouver), I don’t think this is allowed. Atleast I have not heard it. Rarely hear church bells which were needed in times past when most peoplew did not have a means of knowing the exaxt time.

    Looking up “Muslim Call to Prayers” I find that mosques provide a cell phone prayer time signal service. This is fine as it does not force all to hear the “call to prayers. I think the US should ban broadcasting the call to prayers by loudspeaker.

  • Henry

    Frickin Atheists.

    The day will come AH’s

  • Molon Labe

    Are you ignorant or just asecularist tool? I suggest you review the Northwest Ordinance which set aside funds to build churches and pay ministers to convert Indians. Sorry I really can’t grasp your arguement it wasn’t included in the Constitution because it was so obviouc. It wasn’t included because it wasn’t what the Congress or our Founders intended. This is why church services were held in the capitol building. This is why there were chaplains in the military and why every meeting of the Congress starts with a prayer.

    As far as mangling history, the courts didn’t act to prevent the establishment of an official religion, its right there in the 1st amendment.

    Do you work for the Ministry of Truth or merely occupy the Howard Zinn chair of History at Amherst?

  • Doug Indeap

    I am well acquainted with the Northwest Ordinance, enough so to know that it was not used to set aside funds to build churches, nor to pay ministers to convert Indians.

    With respect to the founders’ intent, check my comment #58 and note that, in his Detached Memoranda, Madison not only stated plainly his understanding that the Constitution prohibits the government from promoting religion by such acts as appointing chaplains for the houses of Congress and the army and navy or by issuing proclamations recommending thanksgiving, he also addressed the question of what to make of the government’s actions doing just that. Ever practical, he answered not with a demand these actions inconsistent with the Constitution be undone, but rather with an explanation to circumscribe their ill effect: “Rather than let this step beyond the landmarks of power have the effect of a legitimate precedent, it will be better to apply to it the legal aphorism de minimis non curat lex [i.e., the law does not concern itself with trifles]: or to class it cum maculis quas aut incuria fudit, aut humana parum cavit natura [i.e., faults proceeding either from negligence or from the imperfection of our nature].” Basically, he recognized that because too many people might be upset by reversing these actions, it would be politically difficult and perhaps infeasible to do so in order to adhere to the constitutional principle, and thus he proposed giving these particular missteps a pass, while at the same time assuring they are not regarded as legitimate precedent of what the Constitution means, so they do not influence future actions.

    In its jurisprudence, the Court has, in effect, followed Madison’s advice, though not his suggested legal theories. The Court has confirmed the basic constitutional principle of separation of church and state, while also giving a pass to the appointment of chaplains for the house of Congress and army and navy and the issuance of religious proclamations, as well as various governmental statements or actions about religion on one or another theory.

  • Leatherhelmet

    I believe they will have to allow other symbols up there and then the atheists are going to have a tough time with the case.

  • Bob

    “If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.”

  • Sk8eycat

    Religious symbols may be displayed anywhere EXCEPT public, taxpayer-supported property. That includes courthouses, public schools, and city-owned water towers. It was silly to allow a cross to be placed on top of the water tank in the first place; after only 8 years up there, it’s not exactly a historic monument, and should be removed to private property.

    If the citizens of Whiteville are so fond of the thing, they should at least make it true to the legend and add a human body to it. Protestant believers are too squeamish to acknowledge what their empty Roman Crosses really signify; death by torture.

    As a 72-year-old ex-bookkeeper, I hardly consider myself a “radical atheist.” I’m just a woman who has had a long time to study the buybull, realize that it’s 99% fiction, and feel ashamed that I wasted so many years of my life believing what I was told without asking questions and checking for evidence and facts.

    I am so very tired of ignorant, loud-mouthed Christians claiming that the founders of this country were as superstitious as the Puritans who ran the Massachusetts Colony with more intolerance than the Church of England did in their original homeland. The Plymouth colony was founded almost 200 years before our constitution was written and ratified. A lot can change in 200 years…like the spread of the Enlightenment.

    I like Lenny Bruce’s comment that if “Jesus” had been executed in the 20th Century, Christians would all be wearing little gold electric chairs as advertisements of their faith. And that’s all that cross is, an advertisement. Or maybe it’s a warning to non-Christians to live elsewhere. Nice town.

  • ed-words

    “We’ll put up crosses on our front lawns!”

    Great. You can do that.

    With the atheists’ “blessing”. Enjoy!

  • TNM

    To sidestep slightly into a new argument:

    Is “Terrorist” the new “Nazi” or “Communist”?

    What makes it ok for the Mayor to suggest that the FFRF are terrorists or even radicals? These are very strong words in this day and age, very strong, very slanderous/libelous allegations which require evidence and should be taken seriously, or not used incorrectly.
    Is nobody offended that this mayor is slinging around the word terrorist with such wild McCarthyist abandon?

    For that matter, what was going through his head, suggesting that the FFRF are terrorists for defending someone who he says ‘feels very, very intimidated by this cross’? What is it exactly that makes defending someone who is very, very intimidated, via sending a year’s worth, of non-violent letters, a terrorist?

    Nobody is threatening to destroy the cross, the tower, or anybody’s lives. Nobody is attacking the christian community of this town. They are simply asking that the government (via the religious icon’s prominent location on government property) be removed or relocated to a non-state owned location, thereby disconnecting state endorsement from the symbol.

    And they have been asking, peacefully, “since last year”.

    That is not terrorism. Choose your worlds more carefully, Mr Mayor. You might offend someone.

  • TNM

    Correction in final large paragraph of post #75:

    Please note the correction CAPS characters:

    “They are simply asking that the government NOT ENDORSE A RELIGION (via the religious icon’s prominent location on government property) AND THE ICON be removed or relocated to a non-state owned location, thereby disconnecting state endorsement from the symbol.

  • Kobayashi Maru

    I’m very grateful that we have organizations such as Freedom From Religion Foundation keeping an eye on those who, if they had their way, would turn this great nation of ours into a one-sided theocracy. Keep up the good work FFRF!!!

  • lsl

    The citizens of Whiteville are free to put crosses on the tops of all their churches, and I’m sure they have done that. What do they gain by sticking on on top of the city water tower? It will not assure a constant supply of holy water, and it does serve to alienate those persons who have helped to pay for the tower but don’t share in the religious views implied by the cross.

  • T. Bordelon

    keep separation of church and state SEPARATE, just like the constitution states! it doesn’t bother me that you are dumb enough to believe in a fictitious character, just keep it out of politics and we’ll all be fine.

  • David

    It seems quite apparent to me that Christians don’t believe in our secular form of government and our constitutional laws.May I suggest that Christians move to a Dominionist theocracy.

  • Personal religious icons belong on PERSONAL property period. Even a small town of a few thousand will have some people with differing religious beliefs. This is America where the majority does not get to dictate their religious belief onto the minority.

  • bg


    Rodney Hinds #81 October 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    does that give the minority the right to dictate their
    religiously held non beliefs onto the majority??


  • Doug Indeap

    This is not about any side dictating anything to the other. Simply assuring that our government does not weigh in to promote or oppose religion is quite different than a minority dictating anything to a majority (or vice versa).

  • TNM


    The FFRF is requesting the removal of the icon, not the supplanting of it with another.

  • Tom

    Wow, a lot of you have a problem distinguishing the issue of PUBLIC vs. PRIVATE. Put a 10-story 5-ton cross on your front yard if you wish. Just keep your religious symbols off of public property where the law has clearly stated they do not belong!

    I also find it to be extremely sad that you refer to FFRF or anyone who agrees that this cross is a violation of the separation of church and state as “radical atheists.” Since when is it so radical to protect the rights given to all Americans as dictated by our constitution? Would Christians be idle if their town was publicly promoting Islam, atheism, Bhuddism, or some other religion? Just remember that the law is there to protect ALL of us, not just us “radical atheists.”

  • Oklahoma

    To Doug Indeap
    Thank you for your calm, respectful, and informative responses. While it is not clear from your comments, I can hope that you are a fellow freethinker. A reasoned fact based analysis beats rhetoric and name calling anyday.
    To the believers out there:
    The first amendment protects you from the government promoting one version over another. You should celebrate it! How would you feel if the mayor selected one sect over the one you believe in. Christian science vs Church of christ vs catholic vs methodist vs baptist vs mormon etc… where would it end if we let the government choose sides?