A group devoted to the separation of church and state has asked a Texas town to remove a 10-foot tall stone cross from a city park.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), asked Port Neches, Texas, mayor Glenn Johnson, in a letter dated Nov. 5, to remove the cross from River Front Park, The Beaumont Enterprise Reports.
“The religious significance of the Latin cross is unambiguous and indisputable,” FFRF attorney Rebecca Markert wrote in the letter. “The Latin cross is the principal symbol of Christianity around the world, and display of the cross alone could not reasonably be taken to have any secular point.”
Markert added in the letter that a Port Neches resident filed a complaint with them about the cross, and the organization acted on it. The individual who filed the complaint has not yet been named.
Port Neches City Manager Andre Wimer said research indicates the cross has stood in the park since 1970.
He told The Enterprise that he didn’t believe the cross’ installation over 45 years ago amounted to the city trying to “establish” a religion, but he would not comment further on the matter until it was reviewed by the city’s attorney.
Markert told 12 News Now that if the organization doesn’t feel the city’s response complies with the law they will consider litigation, but they prefer to handle such situations outside of court.
When speaking with The Enterprise, Markert added that the FFRF fought 15 such displays in 2014.
The group was recently behind a Minnesota town’s decision to remove a nativity scene from a city park for the holiday season, KARE News reported on Nov. 11.
The Wadena City Council voted earlier this month to remove the display from Burlington Northern Park and donate it to a local ministerial association after receiving a similar letter form the FFRF.