One particular target that seems to consistently draw the ire of atheists is crosses, that quintessential symbol of Christianity.
The city council of King, N.C., recently voted to remove the sculpture as part of a settlement with the atheist group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. The settlement also included a $500,000 payment to the atheists to cover their legal fees.
“Both sides in this matter wish to avoid further costs, and this agreement will ensure that the City of King will not spend additional taxpayers’ funds to continue litigation in federal court,” the city said in a statement after the vote.
It should be noted that the sculpture, which features a silhouette of a soldier kneeling before a cross, was located on city-owned land, but the sculpture itself was created using private donations.
It is believed that city officials caved to the demands of the atheist group because they feared they would lose the lawsuit and would likely face much higher settlement costs.
“I feel this city has been sabotaged and bullied by folks who don’t believe in what this community stands for,” said City Councilman Wesley Carter, who voted against the settlement. “I feel like we have been pressured by insurance companies and attorneys who have never been to King. They don’t know what we are about and what this community stands for.”
The settlement has also resulted in the removal of a Christian flag that flew above the sculpture. The city is reportedly looking at finding a replacement for the sculpture that doesn’t include a cross or any overtly religious symbolism.
—Courtesy of The Conservative Tribune