Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 25, 2014

Feb. 25, 2014: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Court should dismiss case of river crosses

A church in Evansville wants to erect crosses on public land along the riverfront. To be decorated by their vacation Bible school children, they were to be part of the “Cross the River” display.

But two area residents objected, and with the help of the ACLU filed a suit to stop this. They said the city should not endorse or advance religion, the cross was an unmistakable symbol of Christianity and violated the constitutional separation of church and state. The case is now in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Our government operates from our written Constitution, and that Constitution recognizes the God of the Bible, acknowledges our rights come from that God, ensures that all of us receives those rights, and conducts its business from God’s principles. It is constitutional, fitting and proper for our government to advocate, encourage adherence to, refer to, and reflect that God. It is a natural thing to do, to promote and speak well of the God who is acknowledged as the source of our existence. There is nothing unconstitutional about this, in fact just the opposite is true.

Why does anyone object to a church putting religious crosses on municipal property? One of the rights everyone has, that God has given and the Constitution guarantees, is that no one is forced to accept God, his principles or religion. These people may drive or walk by the crosses and no one is forcing them to look at, pay attention to, respond to, or believe in anything they represent or the one whom they represent. In no way are their rights being violated, the government will continue to operate constitutionally, without mandating religion to them.

In fact, why do these objectors even care if something they apparently do not believe in is placed in view? If they don’t believe in the crosses or in God, if God doesn’t mean anything at all to them, then why should placing crosses mean anything to them? If they have no vested interest in God one way or the other, then the crosses should mean nothing to them, no matter where they are placed. They can’t feel threatened by something or someone that they deny even exists!

As long as the right to reject God if one wants to is guaranteed by our Constitution, then it is constitutionally proper for the government to refer to and reflect God in its proceedings. Indeed, to not do so would be hypocritical for the government to separate itself from the acknowledged source of its being.

The case should be thrown out, the objectors must be told the court cannot constitutionally uphold their objection to a creator whom the Constitution acknowledges as existing, and the crosses should go up, everyone may go by them, and constitutionally the ones who want to may cherish what they mean, and the ones who do not want to may think nothing at all about them.

If anyone’s constitutional rights are being denied here, it is the right of the people to put up the crosses on public land. Our Constitution allows it, encourages it, see’s it as a manifestation of the one on whom the realization of our proposed existence is accomplished, and hopes — not orders — everyone to be in harmony with what this is. It would be unconstitutional to refuse to allow the crosses to go up.

Watch for the ruling in this case, see if our Constitution is losing or retaining its meaning as written.

Jeff Hatton


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