Tennessee hits the news again with religious controversy, this time in Whiteville, TN. After first saying that the city would take down the cross under pressure from the Freedom From Religion Foundation due to lack of funding, in a recent FoxNews story as of yesterday, it sounds as if the mayor is going on a whole new tear.
The mayor is convinced the town is under attack by atheists, and calls them "terrorists." FoxNews reports:
The mayor of Whiteville, Tenn. said his community is under attack from a national atheist organization that is threatening to sue unless they remove a cross atop the town’s water tower.
“They are terrorists as far as I’m concerned,” said Mayor James Bellar about the Freedom From Religion Foundation. “They are alleging that some Whiteville resident feels very, very intimidated by this cross.”
The cross was put on top of the water tower eight years ago by a private group of citizens. Apparently they collected private donations to cover the cost of the cross.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation says, however, that the law is very clear about separation of church and state:
“The law is very clear on this,” Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Dan Barker told Fox News Radio. “A secular city may not promote or hinder religion. We don’t have a problem with believers putting up crosses wherever they want, but this is a cross put up by the city on the city water tower.”
Barker said they’ve been sending letters to the city since last year demanding that the cross be taken down, acting on behalf of an unnamed resident who complained.