“Keep the cross…”
That’s the chant that has been resonating from the residents of Knightstown, Indiana since Sunday, when the town council announced that the symbol atop the public Christmas tree would be removed, following a lawsuit initiated by the ACLU of Indiana.
The suit was filed on behalf of resident Joseph Tompkins who believes the cross violates the first amendment. According to Fox59 news.
The town council released a statement saying they didn’t believe they could win the lawsuit or afford the legal cost that would be involved.
“It is with regret and sadness that the Knightstown Town Council has had the cross removed from the Christmas tree on the town square and is expected to approve a resolution at the next council meeting stating they will not return the cross to the tree.”
According to the suit, the cross violates the separation of church and state.
“The cross is the best known symbol of Christianity and Knightstown’s prominent display of this symbol represents an establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
On Sunday morning, residents started gathering near the tree in protest.
On Monday they tried to block the bucket truck that was there to remove the cross. The police were called to remove the crowd.
One of the protestors Aaron Magee explained the scene, “There was nothing we could do about it,” he said. “The police didn’t want to take it down, the town workers didn’t want to take it down. They still took it down.”
A local Facebook page posted the following statement in response:
“The Cross will come down, but we can still light the town with crosses. Look on the bright side, instead of just one cross, we can now have hundreds, we can light them everywhere in town. All things happen for a reason, and this has united the town citizens. Make a statement and put your lit cross out for everyone to see.”
Town citizens began handing out wooden crosses.
Crosses started popping up all over town.
The town council said they would meet on Thursday regarding the removal. According to WXIN, many of the citizens said they would be at that meeting, but the town council made it clear they will not be putting the cross back up.
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