Battle over fallen soldier memorial in Rhode Island
Does cross display violate separation of church and state?
- Duration 6:27
- Date Apr 29, 2012
Does cross display violate separation of church and state?
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This transcript is automatically generated
I figured they wanted to move -- -- come -- air movement themselves.
There's one person that's complain about it I'm -- there are more important that's important it.
That's was disabled veteran Tom -- speaking out to save his -- World War II memorial in Rhode Island.
The memorial displays across the symbol an atheist group is now fighting to have removed they say this displays a violation of the separation of church and state.
Joining us out of time but it further is -- socket Mara Leo Fontaine -- Annie Laurie Taylor co president of the freedom from religion foundation an organization welcome -- you know.
Thank you hello.
-- either -- -- and in this in this you know particular display does include across it's been -- for 91 years so.
Why now is there app outrage for it being air why now the call for it to be notes.
I don't think there's outrage what we -- is educating the town of one socket that what they have.
Is something that is unconstitutional.
A non Christians and sends a message that Christians our insiders and if they die -- world where when we mourn them.
But if -- you -- Atheist or whatever forget about it and we are not saying to strike this memorial this cross that should go on private property.
And there are -- backed organizations that say they have room for this memorial.
If there's going to be anything on public property.
Whether it's two on infections -- and -- it should not.
Send a message that the town is that -- C that you are expected to be Christian that we -- christianity.
At what I'll be asking for is that this -- place someplace house and we have lots of taken this complaint on behalf of a citizen taxpayer resident.
Who has to drive past this every day and is very offended.
Is not a Christian feels this is wrong and -- a lot -- -- -- -- Right let's let's bring in the mayor here is that a viable solution being -- to move this to private property -- what your position on this particular -- Well clearly this this monument is -- there.
For almost a hundred years as you mentioned it was dedicated initially to a soldier William jogger who gave his life.
And then never made it home he's buried over in France right now under it's very similar cross and and this monument was never erected as a religious symbol it was done as a tribute to him.
It was re dedicated in 1952 to three other soldiers that died and -- war to.
And three Brothers so a mother lost all three sons and this was the way that our community at the time chose to pay tribute to these soldiers.
And I just don't see we're we should be taking it down at this point for for any reason.
We as a country need to continue to pay tribute to our soldiers and and I spoke went from members of the family that -- -- family.
There really are hurt by this and I think it's it's.
Really incumbent upon us as a community to try to defend their honor and integrity of this monument it's not -- -- Christian symbol.
It's there as say as an honor to dampen his represented.
Well you know you're clearly gonna ask you since it let me ask him are very very quickly and how to respond and asking others you know and sharing -- story about somebody who drives by every day it is -- -- there and is -- Sure you know again it's been their -- a hundred years without any complaints and I think that the Supreme Court has ruled in some of -- cases such as.
Down in Texas -- and Ord in vs Perry.
And does the cells are vs Bono where Christian -- that evoke other than that.
Are have been allowed in have been ruled constitutional.
Eight decrypt the Latin -- -- yeah Kenny holds not only that it -- woke up.
Excuse me if I could finish.
If I could finish my my point.
The crosses it has been shown to -- more than just a Christian symbol it's it's a symbol of honor for our soldiers.
And as was ruled on these two cases that I just mentioned.
As they -- as I was just saying -- -- -- in these two cases.
-- on I wish I could just finish.
Let me -- -- get our chance to jump in here because obviously she hasn't objections to what you're saying Hitler.
Yes well -- we have planted deep south latitude than me and who knows the facts then Harden is not.
Across there is no.
A court decision by any court in the United States that says that any public official -- permanently -- -- Christian cross.
On public property he and the -- -- case that he mentioned.
The land was divested there is not a cross on public property in the -- sect case so.
We had given the mayor -- the all the court precedent that courts have ruled over and over again that from Latin cross which is what people Wear costing tax.
Which is on every Christian -- Stands as the pinnacle symbol of christianity and -- -- income municipal.
Message of endorsement by the government if it is ever allowed on public property it is not allowed on public property.
So don't lie is with us and I think that the quarrel of the mail order and the people -- one -- it's not with at that are -- That freedom -- foundation that did this with our secular government that we -- have no god no christianity in our government -- -- -- court precedent.
We have to that we have to wrap this up I know that in this -- -- hoping that this will be resolved without some kind of court battle I know mayor that there has there has been a group that specializes in that's.
That is stepped forward to say they'll help you legally if you need representation in this goes to court.
This gala do you think you can resolve this or do you intend to go to court if.
I had one I have now that we have -- -- example.
In that island recently.
Taxpayer money wasted.
For no reason to defend something unconstitutional mayor William -- to political -- -- -- not you that it down there we take this down short of a court battle are you prepared to fight to keep it.
No we've been approached -- a number of groups that have offered to us support us in this court battle but more importantly we've been -- We see the outpouring of support from so many people would have come forward and and defense of this because clearly the people -- -- -- cross for nearly a hundred years have recognized that secular contact.
And we've been getting donate -- anybody.
After our rubble -- -- -- we know that and I I could have been here.
What we're gonna have to do we're out of time correct what I did this book but we're -- out what we'll do is we will watch this we'll watch to see if it develops into legal fight and we will have you back at that happens we hope you can find some peaceful resolution.
Thank people for coming -- I hope so too.
Thank thank you very much.