STRATTON, Ohio – An atheist activist group has insisted that Stratton’s officials take large crosses off the village’s municipal building.
The formal request came last year from a Wisconsin-based organization of “free-thinkers” called the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and warned that if crosses remained on government buildings, the organization would pursue a lawsuit.
Stratton’s Mayor Abdalla believes that a local person or organization complained to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but has expressed frustration that he “can’t find out who” is behind the complaint.
Abdalla has outspokenly upset about the request, noting that the crosses have decorated the building “for years.” In fact, although he eventually complied with order, he initially refused to remove the crosses.
However, it seems that the atheists’ demand for the removal of the crosses might actually backfire.
Rather than the crosses being removed from the village altogether, they might be given to local landowners, who, of course, will be at liberty to display them on their own private property.
As village solicitor Frank Bruzzese described it, the crosses will now be “actually more visible to the public than they used to be.”
A lone cross still remains atop the town’s water tower, but is scheduled to be removed once temperatures warm up.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has pursued similar cases in past years. In July of 2012, the Foundation criticized Steubenville, Ohio’s city emblem for featuring a “silhouette of a cross atop the Franciscan University chapel.” Notably, the city had decided to include the chapel and the cross in its depiction because the chapel is one of the top employers in the city.
In the hopes of avoiding a costly lawsuit, the city complied with the Foundation’s request, and changed their emblem to one without a cross.
Sources: The Blaze, Fox News
Photo Source: www.examiner.com