• April 19, 2024

[PHOTO] Veterans’ Memorial Being Removed Because Of One Small Symbol

Last year, the anti-theists at Americans United for Separation of Church and State came to Missouri because there was a county there trying to establish a state religion and force people to attend church.

And by “establish a state religion and force people to attend church,” I mean there was an Operation Desert Storm memorial on county grounds that had a Jesus fish on it, which totally does the same thing, or something.

So, being ever so dedicated to keeping church and state separate, these anti-religion zealots started a campaign against the memorial, threatening a lawsuit. Initially, the county covered the symbol with a slab of stone that read “Dedicated 1992.” The parents of Steven Farnen were willing to accept that, but said they“hated the idea.”

Someone eventually attached an ichthys to the stone, however, as you can see here.

Now, they’re just removing the memorial:

Commissioners plan to move the memorial to a private Columbia cemetery on Broadway. They plan to design and build another similar one for the courthouse lawn without any religious symbols.

Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill said, “I’m concerned that we caused emotional upset with the families that are involved. That isn’t something that we wanted. At the same time, we are faced with a decision based on facts and law.”


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The memorial sat on the Boone County Courthouse lawn for 22 years, honoring the lives of two Missourians who died for their country. It wasn’t until this anti-theist organization threatened a lawsuit that the commission suddenly felt a need to do something about it.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a radical, left-wing anti-theist organization. They have multiple law-suits across the country, always taking the far left position. They are fighting against school vouchers in Colorado and they have numerous lawsuits across the country going after religious institutions from attempting to exercise their faith in contradiction to Obamacare.

More than fighting for the separation of church and state, they have gone after churches for alleged political activities. For example, they work to revoke the non-profit status of churches when they believe they support candidates, as long as those candidates are conservatives:

In 1992, for instance, the organization told the IRS about one New York church that had run full-page ads in USA Today and the Washington Times soliciting tax-deductible contributions to help defeat then-presidential hopeful Bill Clinton. The IRS investigated the matter, and it revoked the church’s tax-exempt status. Said Barry Lynn: “This decision is a major blow to TV preacher Pat Robertson and other Religious Right leaders who have tried to politicize churches. From now on, houses of worship that consider risking their tax exemption to get involved in electioneering had better realize that it’s a gamble they’re likely to lose.”

Similarly, AU has condemned the Christian Coalition “Voter’s Guides” that are distributed to churches during election seasons. In an October 2001 letter addressed to nearly 300,000 houses of worship nationwide, Barry Lynn warned churches that they “should be extremely wary of distributing voter guides” lest they lose their tax-exempt status like the aforementioned New York church.

AU responds very differently, however, when restrictions against church electioneering are violated by leftists. For instance, the organization chose not to file a complaint with the IRS after presidential candidate Barack Obama had given a speech at the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) 2007 national convention. In fact, when the IRS eventually announced that it would be investigating the UCC, Americans United protested the decision. “We saw no evidence of UCC officials seeking to appear to endorse his candidacy,” said Barry Lynn.

Nor did AU complain that candidate Obama had spoken to congregants at Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) in Chicago, or that TUCC pastor Jeremiah Wright had aggressively supported Obama’s candidacy from the pulpit.

There is a difference between establishing a religion and memorializing two dead war veterans, at least in the eyes of most rational Americans. However, when the fight isn’t really about keeping the state from dictating your religion, but eliminating religion, you take the fight wherever you can find it.

Most places you’ll find people like the Boone County Commissioners, who are scared by the idea of opposing a well-funded political machine from Washington, D.C.

Ironic that in this case, it wasn’t about a cross or a crucifix, but a fish used by persecuted Christians to mark meeting places and to identify friends from enemies.


IJ Review 

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