Guess what? Chicken butt!
Just kidding. Something is up, though. Rather, it was up. Just a few weeks ago, a huge controversy regarding a cross sitting on top of a water tower in Whiteville, Tennessee (love the name of this town!) stemmed from almost an entire year of warning letters letting Mayor James Bellar know that legal action would be taken if the unlawful symbol was not removed.
Dan Barker, co-president of the FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) made the comment that the cross, “offends many residents. Many of them think the cross symbol is an offensive symbol—that it’s an insult to humanity.” Off the record, I do agree with those few residents. And, note the fact that it existing there violates the First Amendment.
But, apparently, the mayor doesn’t believe Barker. James Bellar: “We don’t have people of that belief here and if we do they’re not going to cause that kind of ruckus for the rest of the town.” The mayor admitted that the FFRF had been writing since December of 2010, and he told Fox News Radio that FFRF’s “cause in life [is] to ride up and down the highway and find small towns that maybe have a religious symbol somewhere on public property. I have to admit—checking their website, they’re batting 100 percent on this stuff.”
The Foundation sent 3 letters of complaint to the town of Whiteville, and after they were ignored, hired Alvin Harris, a lawyer from Nashville, TN, who then sent a letter to the Mayor, demanding that the cross be moved or removed within 30 days. The FFRF threatened to sue if nothing changed.
Originally, on October 3rd, Bellar said that he would move the cross, but later decided to allow the Alliance Defense Fund to “explore other options.” He later told a reporter for WBBJ-TV in Jackson, TN, Daniel Wilkerson, that he had changed his mind and would fight FFRF in court. October 17th, he said, “Somebody has to stand up to these atheist sons of bitches, and you can quote me on that.”
Hold up. Isn’t this guy a Christian? Isn’t that the whole point of leaving the cross there in the first place? And yet, he is being, in my opinion, extremely hypocritical by giving atheists such a cruel nickname.
Mayor Bellar told Fox, “They [the FFRF] are terrorists as far as I’m concerned. They are alleging that some Whiteville resident feels very, very intimidated by this cross!” A little later on, the mayor decided not to spend the money on fighting the FFRF in court (probably because he knew that he would lose), he spent around-about $4000—four thousand dollars—to rent a crane and cut one of the arms off of the cross.
Bellar wrote to Alvin Harris (the FFRF’s hired Nashville attorney) and said that this “sad chapter” could “best be described as terroristic, cowardly, and shameful.” Barker responded by saying that, “He’s [Bellar] the one who is against diversity, against religious freedom, and yet because we complain, and point out the fact that he’s breaking the law, he calls us the terrorist?”
My whole take on this is that Whiteville is being ridiculous. (With the exception of the people who stood up to the Christians. Right on!) Why are they going to call law-enforcers terrorists?
Why do Christians and/or other religions worship the cross? I’ve never understood that. I’m guilty of it myself, of course. I have a cross necklace. Back when Silly Bandz were in style, I had one shaped like a cross. But once I started thinking about it, I realized that it really doesn’t make any sense.
According to Christians, Jesus died on the cross for “our” sins. If a large man with a gun was trying to kill my best friend, and I jumped in front of her and took the bullet, I doubt that after my funeral she’d get a tattoo of a gun on her person. I doubt she’d have a necklace or other form of jewelry made with a gun on it. I doubt she’d have a large wooden gun placed atop her house in my “honor”.
So, people, please comment and tell me what you think! And, if you have another reason for why Christians worship and adorn themselves with a cross, please let me know. I’d love to try to find a way to refute it (:
Vol. 28 No. 8 October 2011 edition of Freethought Today