Home Daily Buzz Cross Removal Battle in Texas Town

Cross Removal Battle in Texas Town

At Riverfront Park in Port Neches, Texas lives a 10-foot cement cross. It’s a monument that has been hanging out at the park for the last 45 years.

But recently the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based Atheist activist group, stated a concern about this monument. In a letter to Mayor Glenn Johnson, they wrote “The government’s permanent display of a Latin cross on public land is unconstitutional. The display of this patently religious symbol on public property confers government endorsement of Christianity, a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause.”

They closed the letter by requesting the removal of the cross.

“We ask you to remove the cross from Port Neches Riverfront Park immediately or direct the display [to] be moved to a more appropriate private location.”

But local Texans don’t succumb that easily. Instead of removing the cross, they created a group called “Little White Cross Mid-County Texas” to build wooden crosses to show their support and approval of the cross staying in the park. This group quickly grew to 1,000 requests to place a cross in their neighborhood yards, many offering their time, money and resources for the effort.

Advocates of the park’s cross formed a Facebook group with a little name: “Port Neches Christians and Advocates for The Cross at Port Neches Park.”

Their organizer, Sheila Ackley said, “We stand united to fight for what our beliefs are. They’re our beliefs. They are our constitutional right to do so. If we don’t stand for it, it’s no more.”

“And it won’t be long and they’re going to take our churches away. It’s not going to be long and they’re not going to allow us to have our Bibles. And I was placed on this Earth by God to fight for him, and over my dead body,” Ackley added.

Have no fear Texans, the mayor is standing with the cross.

Mayor Johnson told reporters, “I want to make it perfectly clear to the citizens of Port Neches specifically that this mayor and this city council will not fold, it will not bend, it will not roll over. We’re going to fight this all the way. And if it goes to court, then it goes to court. And we’ll fight it there as well.”

I think the saying runs true … Don’t mess with Texas.

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Esther Laurie is a staff writer at churchleaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.