An atheist group demands the removal of a city cross in Wilmore Kentucky


The Freedom from Religion Foundation has set its crosshairs on the small town of Wilmore Kentucky, which consists of only 6,000 people. Their aim? To have a cross removed that sits atop a water tower which sports the cities name across it and hovers above the area like a town flag, seeming to proclaim unashamedly: We’re here! We’re Christian! Get over it!

… Upon hearing about this, the out-of-town atheist group, unsurprisingly, wasn’t too pleased.

A little more about the tower

The water tower is located on the campus of a private Christian school, named Asbury University (whose motto is “Academic excellence and spiritual vitality”, and it was they who originally placed the cross on top of it.

Right away, you must be thinking: well then it’s their right to display the cross. Their property, their cross, their tower, their privilege… right? Yeah. That’s what I was thinking, too. So...

Why does the atheist organization want the tower removed?

As it turns out, in 1976, ownership of the tower was eventually transferred from the university to the city, making this a government issue. And, as well all know, separation of church and state is a pretty big deal. Especially these days when Christian numbers are dwindling and the non-religious section of America is growing at a rapid pace.

With that being said, however, although the city now owns the tower, the university continues to pay the electric bill for the cross (which lights up at night), and the contract made when the towers ownership was transferred did stipulate that the cross remain in place. So perhaps the city has a legal loophole? I don't know. I'm not much of a Matlock in regards to legal issues.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation’s attorney, Rebecca Market, sent an email to the city’s mayor, Harold Rainwater, on September 29th, stating, among other things:
A cross can’t be on top of a city owned building, land, or water tower. If it’s a city owned object, it needs to be free from religion.” 
“The Wilmore cross, displayed on the city water tower, unabashedly creates the perception of government endorsement of Christianity. It conveys the message to the nearly 30% of the U.S. population who are not Christians that they are not ‘favored members of the political community.”

Mayor Rainwater wasn’t too down with the request to remove the cross, however, and plainly stated that he won’t take it down unless the city is forced to remove it by a federal order.

How are Christians reacting?

As usual, they feel their religion is under attack. As a way of pushing back against the atheist group, the citizens are having a “Pro-Cross Rally” in Wilmore on Saturday, October 17th. According to one resident,  Sheilia Nagy, who began making wooden crosses this week to put up around the city, “We call ourselves the city under the cross, because the water tower sits above us. We’re tired of Christians being pushed around.”

Yes. America: the nation of anti-Christianity (oh brother).

So far, hundreds of white crosses have already begun appearing on residents front lawns throughout the city to show support. One man, Rick Jones from Whitley City, even drove two hours to help Nagy make her crosess.

“I was watching the news,” he said, “and God spoke to me. These people need help and the Lord laid it on my heart to help.”

Yes, Rick Jones, they need help; serious, psychological help. But, I suppose, that's besides the point.

What does this KY Gutter Monkey and atheist think of the whole ordeal?

I could give less of a hoot. Take the cross down, leave the cross up, whatever. Although, I am naturally inclined to stand by my atheist brethren during this time of pointless effort. Why, you ask? Because I enjoy the publicity for the non-religious, of course! It’s good to hear our side hogging the spotlight for a change, whining about irrelevant little things. Usually it’s just the homosexuals, feminists, African Americans, and, who could forget, the Christians.

I suppose this kind of fight is understandable, though, as far as the big-picture is concerned. Sometimes we — all of us, from every little-noticed minority — have to yell and scream like a crazy person about trivial things in order to be heard at all. Especially in this mess of a world where everyone is too busy making an overblown fuss about their own little problems to notice anyone else. If it further helps us get a voice and get noticed, then so be it. After all, if you complain about enough things enough times, the irritated people of the planet are bound to be more respectful of your views in the future; if only to avoid your collective complaints and nagging later one (hey, it works for my girlfriend — and all those other aforementioned minorities).

So go right ahead, Freedom from Religion Foundation, keep up the fight! Atheists are the last minority to be heard, so it’s about time that we are. Besides, you probably do have a good legal point here. Even if it is over a less-than-important matter.