ONE FOR OUR TEAM
Msg to atheists: Don't cross this Tennessee town
Several years ago, the residents of Whiteville raised money to erect a large cross atop the town's water tower. An atheist group has sued a small town in Tennessee over a cross on a city water tower.Freedom From Religion Foundation objected, and finally Mayor James Bellar had one arm of the cross removed.
"As a result of what they had done to Whiteville, the people in Whiteville just more or less took it upon themselves to start a campaign to put crosses up all over this part of Tennessee that they could," the mayor explains. "And it's just been like a crusade down here with people making crosses and sticking 'em in their yard, putting 'em on sides of buildings, and everything else."
In front of city hall, citizens placed two other crosses on the right of way and the mayor put up a cross outside his business. That action made the atheist group angry, so they filed suit on behalf of a lone atheist.
"[In] the letters that I received originally, this person was identified as a 'Whiteville resident and taxpayer,'" says Bellar. "In the lawsuit, that person has now morphed into a 'John Doe who occasionally comes to Whiteville to transact business.'"
In short, it is one atheist trying to shut down the speech of the town's majority who happen to be Christian. Mayor Bellar says the town will not stand for it and will defend itself against the lawsuit.