Should This Small Town Be Forced To Remove The Cross From Its Water Tower?

Photo: City of Wilmore
The city of Wilmore, KY, is facing a request to take the cross off the top of its water tower. Lex18, a local NBC affiliate, reported that the city mayor, Harold Rainwater, received an email from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) with the request. FFRF attorney Rebecca Market sent the email, and in part, wrote, "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 is not inclined to remove the cross, citing the fact that the water tower actually sits on private property. It is located on the campus of Asbury University, a private Christian college, whose motto is "Academic excellence and spiritual vitality." Market rebutted, saying that the FFRF was aware of the location of the tower, but that any "reasonable observer would understand the city's position to be one endorsing the cross and all it stands for, since it is stamped with the city's name as well as featured on the town's website." The cross, which is lit up at night, and the water tower were transferred in ownership from the university to the city in 1976. The contract in that exchange stipulates that the cross remain in place. Despite that, Market stated that FFRF will pursue legal action if the cross is not removed.

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