Americans United Asks Town of Frankenmuth, Michigan to Take Down Giant Cross

This is the 55-foot-tall cross resting in a city park in Frankenmuth, Michigan:

The city doesn’t even pretend it’s not Christian. When it went up in 1976, mayor Elmer Simon said this:

“[T]wo thousand years ago the Lord of all history established an unforgettable symbol… The simple cross of Christ assures us that life does not end with death… [F]rom our local heritage, this Christian symbol suggests that we are also a community under Christ.”

Oh, and two ministers delivered prayers at the ceremony.

After receiving a complaint from a resident, Americans United for Separation of Church and State is taking action, sending them a letter (PDF) warning that a lawsuit may be forthcoming if the city doesn’t remove the cross from public property:

Display of this cross in a public park at taxpayer expense sends the message that Frankenmuth is an officially Christian community,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “The city cannot have an official religion, and it can’t send that message.”

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time the city has publicly displayed crosses.

In April, 2008, resident Lloyd C. Clarke said that two crosses on either side of the Main Street Bridge were illegal — and the city removed them on the advice of their attorney.

Then, Clarke went after a cross on the city’s crest. In a dick move designed to intimidate him, a local church gave residents 800 small crosses to put around town. At first, Clarke didn’t care:

“It would be lovely if people put up crosses on their private property — that’s appropriate.”

But faced with opposition, he eventually dropped his lawsuit:

“After talking with family and friends, I have decided to discontinue my effort to remove the Luther cross from the Frankenmuth shield. It is causing too much turmoil in the lives of too many people. Although I think the city’s endorsement of a religion is a violation of the separation of church and state, I regret that my actions have caused such an uproar.

I can’t even imagine what he had to deal with in order to recant.

Americans United won’t back down like that, though. The city has 30 days to remove the cross or they risk losing a lot of money in a lawsuit.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Joe Zamecki

    Go AU!

  • Buck Stops

    We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, and earnestly desiring to secure these blessings undiminished to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution.

    • Randomfactor

      US Constitution, with ZERO mentions of any imaginary sky fairies, trumps the state one.

    • Barbara

      Some MI state documents are archaic. Michigan still has a law that considers a divorced person who shacks up with someone as being as adulter and is a felony charge. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/James.Sivers James Hans-Jörg Sivers

      I find it very arrogant of you to claim to speak on the behalf of anybody but yourself. Especially without permission. Were you appointed to some seat of authority that gives you the right to speak on behalf of all the people in the state of Michigan? — You should probably pass the buck on to someone who actually HAS been appointed to have the permission of the people(s) of Michigan, to speak on their behalf.

      • JohnK

        He’s just reciting the state constitution – one doesn’t need permission to do that. 
        Funny, I encounter more anti – freedom rhetoric in this forum than anywhere else . Anyone who isn’t in lock step with the atheist agenda is criticized in a very arrogant “holier than thou” way. I would think atheists would be more open minded!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609238798 Peter Eakin

          Atheist agenda? Please expand that notion.

          • CanadianNihilist

            You know of the evil atheist agenda don’t you? It’s all evil and scary.
            Things like equal treatment of citizens, and not throwing away tax dollars on big stupid eye soars that are also illegal to have of public property.

            Yes. fear the Atheist agenda! for soon we will have proper science taught to our students.
            Doctors will know of evolution and be better equipped to help people!
            Gay people will be married and pumping money into the economy with overpriced flower arrangements and needlessly expensive, yet fashionable, wedding parties!

            Mwahahaha. Cower as interracial couples get married as well.
            Lie awake at night worrying about better funded city infrastructure at the expense of pointless lawsuits that try to defend religious wrongs.

            Try to keep your sanity as child molesters and those who protect them are brought to justice!

            All will bow down to the sinister and extra special evil that is

            THE ATHEIST AGENDA!!!!

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/47IDX2QAR6VU6ZAILFU6I23ACQ Joseph

              Don’t forget to add that we’re all hopeless nihilists with no reason to live, and somehow we’re also doing a lot of indiscriminate fornicating because we have no morals.

              • Glasofruix

                I must be doing the whole atheism thingy wrong then. Where’s all this indiscriminate fornicating?

            • Findog53

              Again you were all well represented by the non-theists Jeffery Dahmer, the aurora shooter and the guy who shot up the Sikh Temple.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                People like that are notable for their atheism, because most of them aren’t atheists.  People in prison, and in particular death row, are disproportionately religious.  Granted, probably some of them are just converting to keep from getting harassed by the really religious.

        • ruth

          How are the atheists anti-freedom? Government is restricted from doing whatever it pleases.  The constitution places restrictions on government, so, for example, government cannot discriminate based on race, can’t make laws establishing religion,  can’t convict you without a jury,  etc.   Restricting government from doing bad stuff is pro-freedom, not anti freedom. 

        • Gunstargreen

          You caught me, my agenda is totally to make the country follow its own damn laws.

    • Piet Puk

       Just pray to your almighty god for the cross to stay, see where that gets you.

  • Joe

    Hello Fellow Atheists,
    As a native Michigander and Atheist I think this is actually a mistake. Frankenmuth is a great tourist destination with the largest Christmas store in the US. The town for the most part is set up to represent aspects of German Culture (specifically Bavarian culture). Many aspects of the culture they are trying to represent were heavily influenced by Christianity.  Please look into the city before painting them with the same brush you would right-wing evangelicals.  

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      It is never acceptable to allow violations of the First Amendment. Never, no exceptions, no matter how small the violation.

      Give an inch, somebody is going to take a mile. Let one town get away with something like this, others will point to it as precedent.

      I’ve lived in Munich, and I know that it’s completely unnecessary for a town in Michigan to celebrate its Bavarian heritage with Christian symbols on public property. The Catholicism of Bavaria is irrelevant here, since any business that wants to emphasize that is free to do so. FWIW, I’ve never seen a giant cross set up in a park in Bavaria. Lots of them on top of churches, but that’s about it.

      • Joe

        Wow, way to miss my point entirely. These aren’t some theocrats trying to take over government. The whole town is dripping with Christian influence. It is part and parcel with the theme of the town. Is the cross necessary? No.  Look into the town and consider the context before going on your overblown rant.  

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          How did I miss your point? I read your comment as suggesting that fighting the cross is a mistake. Did you mean something else?

          (I hardly think the points I made represent an “overblown rant”, regardless of whether or not I understood your comments correctly, however.)

          • Joe

            The Christian theme running throughout the city is part of the attraction. It’s the point of the town. Yeah, perhaps it is technically a violation when viewed narrowly but the cross makes absolute sense in the broader context of the town. 

            • Joe

              It would be like me showing up at a rock concert and than complaining about the guitars being too loud. 

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                Except that as a citizen of the United States, that town is in very small part mine.  All towns belong to all of us.  A private rock concert is a really poor analogy.

                Each town doesn’t get to vote on which laws to violate, or which religion to establish.

                • Joe

                  In hindsight I think you are right that I could have picked a better analogy. 

            • Barbara

              I go to Frankenmuth every year, as I live close to the city. I expect the businesses to represent the Christmas theme, not the secular government for that city. Taking down a cross on public property is really no big deal and won’t distract from the tourism.

            • Ken

              I kinda get your point, and do understand how the culture of the town is so “Christian” that the cross is just another piece of it.  But…if the culture is indeed that strong, then it doesn’t need to be propped up with support from secular government resources.  Doesn’t some fine upstanding citizen of Frankenmuth want this monstrosity in their front yard?  This is a case of put up or shut up for some pious church or individual to get the proper permits and waivers to sponsor a 55-foot cross in their landscape.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              Then I didn’t miss your point, and I stand by my original comments. There is no way to view the cross that makes sense. If enough people think they need crosses to convey some sense of Bavaria (nonsense, in my opinion), I’m sure there’s no shortage of private property to put them up. “Technically a violation” is another way of saying it’s a violation. It’s inappropriate, illegal, and needs to be fixed.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=628665833 Bill Santagata

              Towns can’t make Christianity their official “theme.”

              • Findog53

                Are you a Rhode Islander? I think you are the one who wined about the cross on Pleasant Valley Parkway.

        • http://www.facebook.com/James.Sivers James Hans-Jörg Sivers

           The point was not missed. Your point was just moot. It’s a violation of the first amendment. Period. That it has cultural heritage behind it is irrelevant. It belongs on private property. Period.

          • Joe

            I guess what I am arguing is that there is secular grounds to defend this on. The town has a very large historical/anthropological component to it. You can’t talk about the culture in that town separate from the religion because the culture they are trying to recreate or depict was a religious one. Seriously take a step back from the culture wars and understand the deep meaning of what I am getting at. 

            • http://www.facebook.com/James.Sivers James Hans-Jörg Sivers

              Fine. But it belongs on private property. THAT is my point. If you can’t understand that, then I don’t know what to say to you. The town is part of the state, which is part of the government… Therefore must be accommodating to ALL people. So unless they intend on allowing such statues from ALL religions on public property, which is absurd and very implausible, then the only reasonable action is to allow NO religious statues (etc…) on public property.

              Also, that is not a secular argument at all. It should stay because the culture was religious… — That is secular? Sorry dude, but you’re wrong there.

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/47IDX2QAR6VU6ZAILFU6I23ACQ Joseph

              Joe brings up a very interesting point here, and it is not without some merit.  However, I think the problem here is that Christianity is still very much alive and well in our society; so it is harder to distinguish between the use of Christian symbols as cultural/historical artifacts as opposed to propaganda.  By contrast, I don’t think there would be any stink raised about a statue of Wotan or Zeus in some town with Nordic or Greek heritage, because the overwhelming understanding is that these are mythological figures.  Until our society relegates Jesus, Moses, and Allah to the same category as Wotan and Zeus, it will be problematic to consider such a display to be legal under the constitution.

              • Marguerite

                I agree. Virginia Beach has a large statue of Neptune on the boardwalk. Given the current social and religious climate, no one is likely to see it as governmental endorsement of religion. A cross or statue of Jesus would have a very different feel to it.

            • shar12

              Perhaps if New Orleans had a pubplicly funded museum that contained a display involving voodoo?  While some might object that public funds should not be spent “promoting” that religion the argument could be made that it is so tied into the culture that it would be ridiculous not to recognize it?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jahremusic Jeremy Johnson

      The cross is on public propertry, isn’t it? It’s paid for publicly isn’t it? I don’t think that there’s much more to be said about it. If it’s a tourist destination, then the business or tourist association of Frankenmuth can have it relocated to private property on thier own dime. That would be the legal American resolution to anyone that takes issue.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=804730646 Geralyn Mott

         and if it marks a tourist destination, shouldn’t there be a neon jesus, all bedecked in lights hanging from that cross???

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tina-Loving/100001333023378 Tina Loving

      I’m from Evart, Michigan and I’m an atheist. The cross is on public property and needs to be moved to private property. Now.

      • Evrett

        Maybe the town could sell the 10 square feet of land that the cross is on to a private owner to pay back taxes. Then the cross would be on private property. 

        • UnNews

          You don’t want to open that can of worms.  That would pretty much allow government to do whatever they want with religion then just sell it off.

          Not to mention, how do you sell it?  An open auction?  And if an atheist, mormon, jew, etc… bought it could they tear it down?

      • T. Oidle

        So because you deem yourself atheist we should accommodate you and get rid of the cross. Why should your ideals be considered if you wont consider the ideals of others? You don’t live in Frankenmuth, nobody is making you come to the town and see the cross, so maybe you should just let it be. 

        • Heidi

           It’s not about anyone’s ideals. It’s about the law. And I’m sure you’d feel the same way if the giant town religious statue was Islamic in nature.

          • Findog53

            That’s a bunch of balogna, if there was a statue Islamic in nature it would be welcome by theists, just not your faction. Anything at all religious you all have a predetermined bias about. Are you saying a statue Islamic in nature would be ok in that same spot?

          • Findog53

            Can you please anwser my question Heidi?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609238798 Peter Eakin

      The Town can’t have an official religion. That’s the point being rightfully made.

    • Findog53

      A non-theist with common sense, thank you for the relaxed response.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elishakranz Elisha K.

    I am also from Michigan, only about half an hour from Frankenmuth actually. I don’t think the city needs a huge cross to show it’s heritage. The whole town shows it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/James.Sivers James Hans-Jörg Sivers

    No it doesn’t.

  • Miss_Beara

    Their giant christmas store, Bronner’s, spells Christmas with a capital CHRIST. I didn’t notice the huge cross when I did notice the strong christian-ness of things.

    There is also a plaque commemorating Lutherans moving to Frankenmuth to convert the Indians.

    • UnNews

      Remind them that the christmas tree was originally a Pagan thing.  Remind them that Dec 25th was originally a pagan holiday.  Remind them that greed and gluttony (which is all christmas is about) are both sins.

      • Technodinosaurnumber4

        I would like to remind you that Christmas is not about greed and gluttony. That is what it is sadly mistaken for. Everyone gets caught up in the gifts and the food and forget the real meaning for Christmas. The real Meaning of Christmas is CHRIST. We celebrate CHRISTmas because God gave his one and only son, Jesus, to die for all of us. On the cross. I live very close to the cross and pass it everyday when I go in to town. I am proud that our city has it. Even if you make them take it down or give it to a private company or something, What will you get from it? Knowing that when people come into town they don’t have to see it? It seems like there are much more important issues that you could be worrying about.

        • Glasofruix

          You just missed the whole thing about the “stolen holiday theme”, didn’t you? The tree? Pagan. The date? Winter solstice mothafuckers. Santa? Made up by CocaCola from, guess who, a pagan deity. Anyway, do you really think that jebus was born on Dec 25th?

          • Heidi

            The gift giving? Roman Saturnalia, where people gave gifts to each other. (As opposed to leaving offerings for a deity.) The parades? Saturnalia. Good thing all these gods were born on or around the solstice, huh?

          • Findog53

            You are without a doubt a dna defect.

            • Glasofruix

               Oh name calling, care to try something “original” for a change? Like some facts based on evidence?

              • Findog53

                Which you haven’t supplied yet!

                • Glasofruix

                  Oh sorry, i thought the five rebuttals he got every time he used that “argument” were enough.

  • Valerie

    I’m sure if Jesus came back the first thing he’d want to see is the symbol of his torture and murder. Yup, that’s just what he’d want to see.

    • Glasofruix

      And let’s commemorate the victims of the holocaust with miniature gas chambers or decorative zyklon b containers.

      • Findog53

        Hey did I use the word there or their in the right in the above posts?

    • Thomas Fox

      Actually, Valerie, He’d want to see the cross.  The cross is a symbol of His substitution for us, and the cross is a constant reminder to us and Him of the covenant He entered into with and for us. 

  • houndies

    doesnt this guy know that the use of the cross far outdates the time of christ?

  • towercam

    YAY! Go get ‘em, Americans United! Where do I sign?!?
    America is going through a learning/awakening phase regarding freedom from parasitic memes. The chains are being broken, slowly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SkotSix Skot Six

    ALL religions or NO religions

  • UnNews

    If there was such a thing as Jesus, and if he did come back, I’d love to see his face when all he saw around was the torture device of his death.  100% think he would believe everyone wants to crucify him…..

  • stop2wonder

    At least there is a documented history of a citizen complaining about it. Thats one less dumb argument they have to attempt to justify their position.

  • Alfkjsdg

    the cross is not a reminder of death, its a reminder of dedicated faith. I PRAY FOR YOU.

    • Glasofruix

      Have faith or you’ll end up on one of those?

      • Findog53

        You had to have been conceived anally, being as much of an asshole as you are can’t come naturally

        • Glasofruix

          Are we feeling a little insecure here?

          • Findog53

            About what? I would say you are the  self conscience one. You haven’t brought anything intelligent  to the table yet other than mockery and sarcasm. I’m very secure with myself. Godspeed to your efforts to bringing nothing to the table but crap.

  • Djohnson

    If you don’t like the cross and you don’t live in Frankenmuth…..don’t bother to come to the town if it is so upsetting to you. It’s not like the town is sending out flyers to your house or community with this cross on it stating “Hey come view our cross so we can push our beliefs on you.” Of everything that goes on in our world, people want to create a fuss over a cross that is stuck on a piece of land? 

    • Bball246165

      It’s still violating the law. Religion doesn’t exempt you from following it.

  • Manning

    If you don’t like it, don’t go there. Those crosses are still around and have since spread to neighboring communities. It is a Christian town, started by German Lutheran ministers and its tourism is based on that German heritage. There is no major throughway that forces anyone to go through Muth.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      There are no Christian towns in the U.S. They are forbidden by the Constitution. There are only towns that have lots of Christians living in them. Big difference.

      This town is in America, and I have an absolute right not to be assaulted by any public support or endorsement of religion when I’m there. Simply avoiding the town is not something I should be required to do. It is the legal responsibility of town to be secular.

      • Ricnatmors

         Two words……Dumb Ass!!!  Just say’n

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Internet insults are free.  Real arguments are rare.

          • Findog53

            This one though will pass constitutional muster.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Perhaps we’ll find out.  I don’t agree, and I base that on the history of Church/State SCOTUS cases. 

              In particular, the cross will have to pass all three parts of the ‘Lemon’ test.  I think the big problem for the town will be demonstrating a secular purpose for the cross.  Given then mayor Elmer Simon’s statement in the article, that’s going to be tough.

              However, nothing is ever assured, or there would be no need for the SCOTUS.

          • Jodi Frank

             Some things simply can’t be argued

      • Jodi Frank

        Sooo, you won’t be insulted if we move the cross from the West side of the road to the East side?
         

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          If the cross is moved to private property, and no preferential zoning changes are made just to accommodate it, what’s the problem? There are millions of crosses on private property all over the country, and they generate no dissent and no controversy. Because they’re don’t violate any Constitutional constraints.

          You make the mistake of assuming this is about a cross. It isn’t. It’s about government endorsement of a religious viewpoint.

          • Jodi Frank

            So this would be pursued if a 55 foot Star of David/Darwins Fish/Crescent and Star was standing in it’s place?

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              Certainly for the Star of David or Crescent and Star. A Darwin fish isn’t obviously a religious symbol, so I guess in that case it would depend on context. There’s absolutely nothing prohibiting a government institution from raising a monument honoring Darwin, or supporting evolution, or supporting reason. On the other hand, if the intent was to endorse atheism, it would be inappropriate.

              • Findog53

                Which is exactly what it would be if it was raised in his honor. Remember the Supreme Court has ruled non-theist factions have religious tenets. That is why you can’t teaxch his theories in public schools.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Tell it to Francis Collins.

                • http://domgabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  Teach whose theories in public schools?

                  As I said, a government would not be in violation of the First Amendment if it put up or sponsored a Darwin fish, if the intent was to legitimately honor Darwin. If they did it to take a position in favor of atheism, they would be in violation. Not because it endorses any “religious tenets”, since atheism has none, but because it takes a position with respect to religion in general.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Findog53 and Sfugly think:

                  a) Kaufman v. McCaughtry means atheism is a religion.  I’m not going to bother ripping that one apart here.

                  b) Evolution is atheism.  Again, a ridiculously faulty premise not worthy of our time.

                  Therefore Evolution is a Religion so “can’t be taught in schools”.  Even Rick Perry thought TX taught “both sides”.

                  At least, I’m pretty sure that’s on of their biggest butthurts.  Neither of them has ever managed to put it all together like that, but if you read enough of them, I think that’s what they’e trying to say.

                • Findog53

                  Ok then, what is the problem with the cross staying if that is your response? The cross is there to honor tradition not endorse religion as you have stated in the above thread, is not a violation. Also all non-religious factions at one point or another have been declared to have religious tenets so says our highest court. Your factions are all tax exempt under the same law as religion.

          • Findog53

            Read my above post.

          • Jodi Frank

             I believe as a city we can make any zoning changes we chose.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

               The city can zone as it pleases. But it can’t zone a public area for a religious symbol. That’s illegal, and many cities have been forced by the courts to remove religious symbols because they violate the First Amendment.

      • Le1cj2

        You are not “required” to avoid it.  You have a choice.  A choice, is why the German settlers came here and founded their churches.  Remember, many of the founding fatherscame from parts of the world not blessed with freedom for all.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          Believe me, I plan on avoiding it. It doesn’t sound like the sort of place I’d be interested in. I’ve certainly spent enough time in Bavaria to know that the town in no way represents Germany!

          Even if I never set foot in the town or see the cross with my own eyes, it remains an offense against the Constitution, and therefore against me, so I support AU in their efforts to see it removed from public property.

          • Findog53

            And which constitution do you speak of? The one where there isn’t a mention of “seperation of church and state” in it at all.
             You must be another who who says it’s the “spirit of the phrase” bullcrap.
             The letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists was just that a LETTER.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              Thomas Jefferson was an atheist. He largely despised Christianity. It was his experience with religion that made him such a champion of keeping it separate from the government.

              Our law is not defined by the Constitution, but by the interpretation of the Constitution by courts. The law is pretty clear about the extent to which religion and government are prohibited from mingling.

              • Findog53

                That’s the problem, it should be defined by the constitution not interpretations.

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  Happily that is not the case. A country needs a balance between flexibility and stability in its guiding principles. That’s what our system seeks to provide.

      • Jodie frank

        I surely hope you’re not assaulted when in the Muth. And you’re not required to avoid our town, we’re just praying you do.

      • Dexter

         So you do not want to be “assaulted” by any public support or endorsement of religion….do you spend American currency?  Last time I looked every piece is adorned with the phrase “In God We Trust”.  I suppose you might barter for the things you need but I bet if I were to look in your wallet I’d find that “assaulting” currency…am I right?

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          I find what is written on currency to be offensive. I black it out with a Sharpie on my paper money. I’m optimistic that as more people in the country move away from religion, this unpleasant motto, which stands in opposition to the principles our country was founded on, will be eliminated. It was only added to coins during a bout of religious fervor around the Civil War, and wasn’t made the official motto of the U.S. until the Red Scare in the 1950s. A very immature move, and highly disrespectful of the much better motto, E pluribus unum.

          • Findog53

            ….”which stands in opposition to the principles our country was founded on”
              Your history knowledge is lacking some.  Never never never will you see that motto taken off our currency or “under God” taken out of the Pledge Of Allegiance or the mentioning of a creator 4 times taken out of the Declaration Of Independence.
             If that ever happened, there would be a civil disturbance like no other.
             The Founding Fathers would be livid if they heard you say that. They’re probably turning in their graves right now.

          • kaye

            I thought it was against the law to deface money? So you would much rather be a criminal??

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              It is not strictly illegal to deface money; illegality depends on an intent to commit fraud, or damage that prevents a bank from reissuing the bill… neither of which apply here. People write on money all the time, and nobody gets prosecuted.

              That said, if it were made illegal, I’d have no moral problem breaking that law, and would continue to black out the obscene motto.

              • Jodi Frank

                 As Jeff Foxworthy would say “Here’s your Sharpie”.  Oh, right, “Here’s your sign”..

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Palucci/690597224 Linda Palucci

            we’ve been moving away from God since the mid 60′s and how’s that working?      The streets are not safe to walk,  senseless mass killings, drugs are common place,  family life in the toilet, multiple natural disasters, crime is so common, we hardly react to it, the government is corrupt.   sex and disease spread by casual sex is at  epidemic proportions.     In other words the country is a mess.    

      • James daniels

         Where, exactly, does the constitution forbid this, you idiot?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Palucci/690597224 Linda Palucci

        if ya don’t like it don’t look,     Pictures of demons and rock bands named after them insult me.   So I don’t look at them.     Why is it only the Christians get picked on?    

  • Travman326

    I’m from Frankenmuth, as not of the Christian religion. I’ve never once been offend by such things. True it may be a small violation of the law but still. The town was built on Christian values and it is part of the cities root founding.

    • Bball246165

      Violation is a violation. No government endorsement of religion, so no towns are christian.

  • LFSFAITH

    It’s time to push back!!!!  I AM TIRED OF my RIGHTS to have the Cross on PUBLIC property being violated!!!!  IF YOU DON’T LIKE LOOKING AT IT..THEN DON”T!  YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOOK, keep your eyees on the road and drive!

    • Pustulio

       You have no such right, and you’re a liar to claim otherwise.

    • Glasofruix

      Look at those caps and all the exclamation marks. Well then if you don’t like people having a different opinion don’t read the interwebz.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      It being in public VIEW is not the issue.  I see crosses on churches all the time when I walk down the PUBLIC sidewalk.  And I often drive by a PRIVATE CHRISTian bookstore that has crosses in plain view.  And nobody cares.

      What I don’t expect is for OUR government to be endorsing a religion.  A cross on PUBLIC property (nothing to do with view) does that.  I suspect you would complain about a town putting up a monument to the five pillars of Islam.  Different poison, same result.

      • Smmorse

         In God We Trust is printed on every piece of currency printed in the Federal mints…going to boycott that next or would that be too much of an imposition for you?

        • Bball246165

          Originally our money didn’t have that phrase on it.

          • dexter

             Ok, weak argument because it is there now and I have yet to see any group or individual lobbying for the boycott of US currency or for nationwide support to get it changed.

      • dexter

         You don’t expect our government to endorse a religion??  Have you been to Washington DC and toured the memorials, the capitol, the other buildings that are full of religious references in their architecture? It seems that if people really wanted to oppose the endorsement of religion by a government agency they would start at the heart an not in some out of the way town in Michigan.

        • Bball246165

          Doesn’t matter how significant the situation is. The city should not have violated the law in the first place.

          • dexter

             The point I am trying to make is that if people really wanted to change the way things are done they would go the source and change it there first.  Going to an out of the way town that is not on the national radar, to fix this problem, is like putting a bucket under a leak in the roof…you’d fix the roof to stop the leak, not just hope it will go away because you put a bucket under it.

        • Findog53

          Well said dexter, that will never ever happen. They always try small potato towns that are financially strapped and no probable means of appeal

      • Findog53

        Theists won’t because it is freedom of religion. Non-theists will because you all think it is an endorsement of religion.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Yeah, right…

          That’s why Americans are so welcoming of Mosques on private property.
          And why Jews and Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses never complain about issues of Church/State.

          Heck, you do know what the Danbury Baptists were afraid of that caused Jefferson to write to them?  Other Baptists :-)

          • Findog53

            Yes Mr. Wilson, I know all about that letter to the Danbury Baptists. Also you are quite the detective lol. In that letter to the Baptists if you read it thoroughly, TJ assured the baptists the only time the Government will interfere in the name of religion is when one is “ill towards thy neighbor and gave several examples of it. For $64,000 name 4 of them. 

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              You’re reading a different letter.  If you want me to read something on wallbuilders.com, give me the link.  Their search is crappy and I get a ton of Jefferson links back.  I’m not going to do your research for you.  Whatever you’re reading, it is not the Danbury Baptist letter, which is 
              http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

  • Frankenmuth Resident

    Bring it on!!!

  • !!

    Why are there so many people that want to make a big deal about having a cross up! At least there isnt Jesus too. There have been more wars about religion then anything else. Why do so many people make it there life long goal to argue or kill people over where they go after they die!!!! It is Frankenmuths heritage and even if the cross has to be moved to private property it isnt a big deal. The people who founded Frankenmuth were very Brave and love God and Jesus. They were missionaries who lived with the indians. Our children are the 7th generation to live at our home in Frankenmuth.  Our family shared land with the indians! There was still 1 indian living in our woods until 1966. When the indians didnt have food they would come to the house and my great grandpa would give them food. When you drive down the country roads remember that at one time there were only tree’s. These people from Germany had to dig up one tree stump at a time to make fields. This town isn’t trying to make other religions feel unwelcome. Or cross over the law between Church and state. We welcome everyone with loving arms, that is what God wants us to do. But, we also want to keep our heritage. Unfortunatly for most people that is hard to understand. The Cross is a symbol of where we came from. It might mean something else to you but that isnt our fault!  

    • Glasofruix

      “The people who founded Frankenmuth were very Brave and love God and Jesus. They were missionaries who lived with the indians.”

      Yeah, they came to exterminate an entire culture, how DARE those vile atheists to question the emplacement of the torture device.

      • !!

        I really think you should do more research on that.

        • Glasofruix

          Let’s see, a bunch of europeans pop near an indian population, forcibly “enlighten” them, dig and build on a land they don’t own and then the native poulation just disappears, like that… I’m not even mentionning blankets and clothes filled with diseases that probably were offered as a gift.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            When I was a young child, older members of my family told me about the tragedy of the civil war.  Seems some slave owners were bad, but many slave owners were good and kind, and after the Civil War all those slaves who had had good matahs had to go live on their own with no one to care fore them.

            • Glasofruix

              And that would’ve never happened if christian values of love didn’t dicatate to bring skyfairy to Africa.

      • !!

        Over the 1810s, the indigenous Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi tribes increasingly decided to oppose white settlement and sided with the British against the U.S. government.After their defeat in the War of 1812, the tribes were forced to sell all of their land claims to the US federal government by the Treaty of Saginaw and the Treaty of Chicago. After the war, the government built forts in some of the northwest territory, such as at Sault Ste. Marie. In the 1820s the US government assigned Indian agents to work with the tribes, including arranging land cessions and relocation. They forced most of the Native Americans to relocate from Michigan to Indian reservations further west.
        If you are dont know what you are talking about you should stop talking!!! Frankenmuth was settled in 1854!!! The indians that were still living on the land in 1854 were no troubles. They lived there lives in the woods and my family lived on the farm. LIKE I SAID!!! If they needed food they would come to the house. Other then that they never really saw them.

        • Glasofruix

          And how’s that making the people who founded the city on a stolen piece of land brave exactly?

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          After their defeat in the War of 1812, the tribes

          Well, ‘lost’ depends on who you’re talking to, and exactly what you’re talking about.  For the most part the US ‘lost’ that war.  Although even Natives on the ‘winning’ side lost their sovereignty in the end.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyMFtn1mIs0

  • http://www.facebook.com/apoellet Andrew Poellet

    I am a citizen of the great city of Frankenmuth Michigan, i find it rude and downright disrespectful that you people who havent even been here are critisizing us for something that has been a part of our city’s and our Nation’s heritage for over two centuries, if you have such a big problem with government endorsing religion then why not go after the gov’t putting one nation under God on currency, dont go after an innocent community that has a giant cross.  maybe if every town was a little bit more like Frankenmuth, there wouldnt be so much crime… i mean everyone failed to mention that there hasnt been a reported murder in the town since they started records… so dont pick on a little community just because were better than you.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      We do go after the government for putting an illegal motto on our money. And we go after pathetic little towns like yours that don’t understand the foundation our country was based on, towns that have no respect for the Constitution.

      • Sue Kern

        Check your history facts C Peterson. The U.S. was founded by Christians and Christian principles. To deny this is to deny the truth.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          The primary founders of the U.S. were mostly deists and atheists, and went out of their way to create a governmental system that is specifically opposed to Christian principles- a system that was voted in by the Christian founders, as well. There is absolutely nothing in our system that is related to Christian principles.

          • Sue Kern

            We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
            that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
            that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

            Hmmm, wonder why all those atheists wrote that.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              It was the only way to get Patrick Henry to stop whining.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              Really? That’s the best you can do? That Jefferson (a deist certainly, probably an atheist in modern terms) used the word “creator” in the Declaration? If you knew a bit of history, you’d know that the term was often used by Enlightenment thinkers as a synonym for nature. Jefferson was defining the idea of a natural rights, as opposed to those granted by a king (George III in particular).

              Of course, the rights enumerated here, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are about as unbiblical and un-Christian as any principles can be! You’ve chosen a passage that supports my position that the government was founded on principles opposed to those of Christianity.

              Of course, as Rich correctly points out, it doesn’t really matter what the religious persuasions and motives of the founders were. They made it absolutely clear that we are a secular country.

              • Brandk

                I was under the impression that it was freedom OF religion. For some reason our society is confusing freedom OF with freedom FROM. Christians are the most persecuted group in our country in the modern day. The above article is just one more example of it… ” In a dick move designed to intimidate him…” I see no need to call names, especially since St. Lorenz was trying to stand up for their beliefs, the very same thing you are trying to do through this lawsuit, no matter how misguided your attempt.

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  Your impression is wrong. Constitutional law holds that we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Freedom to have any religious views we want (but not any religious actions), and freedom from any government support or endorsement of religion.

                  The suggestion that there is any persecution of Christians in the U.S. is complete hogwash, of course.

                • Brandk

                  Persecute: to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/persecuteHere is one example: Every day, Christians are harassed because we are told we are intolerant for not believing in gay marriage. We are called stupid for not believing in evolution ( I say believing because it is a theory that requires faith in it since it is not based on scientific fact). We are made fun of in the mainstream media constantly. That absolutely is the very definition of persecution. That said, I don’t agree with how some of my fellow Christians have been expressing themselves with so much anger.  We are told to “speak the truth in love” and that is what we all need to stand up and do. And here is the truth: Frankenmuth was founded by Christians and is proud of their heritage. Are they an official Christian town? No. But are they allowed symbols to commemorate their heritage? Absolutely. My question is, why is this cross so threatening to others? Why is the very existence of Christians so troubling to so many atheists? We have an Eternal Hope, one we would love to share with all around us. We cannot and will not force it on anyone, but it cannot be taken away from us.

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  Rubbish. You are not harassed. For the first time in your life, you have people challenging your beliefs. Most people would see that as healthy. That you see it as persecution simply reveals just how tenuous your beliefs must actually be.

                  Are you denied employment because of your Christianity? Does it make it unlikely you could ever hold public office? Are you denied building permits? Are you unwelcome at social gatherings? Is your life or liberty at risk because of your religious beliefs?

                  Persecution my ass!

                • http://profile.yahoo.com/47IDX2QAR6VU6ZAILFU6I23ACQ Joseph

                   “I say believing because [evolution] is a theory that requires faith in it since it is not based on scientific fact.”

                  Don’t confuse mockery with persecution.  And with ignorant comments like the one above (and others commonly made by religious folks), mockery is certainly deserved.

                • Findog53

                  Well said!!

                • Brandk

                   This reply is showing me what I already knew- that you have not lived as a Christian. My husband lost his job for practicing his Christian faith. Unwelcome at social gatherings because of our faith? Absolutely. We have had people refuse to come to parties because they knew we were Christians and were going to be there (yes, we were told this was the reason) and also were not invited to other gatherings because of our faith. And that is just me and my husband in a small town in Michigan.  Don’t even get me started on what is happening to the CEO of Chik-Fil-A simply because he stated marriage he believes marriage is between one man and one woman.
                  http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/colleen-carroll-campbell/colleen-carroll-campbell-so-much-for-tolerance/article_d7d1b8b7-97c4-5b6e-83be-c96a22757f25.html?fb_ref=.UBrk6XusdSY.like&fb_source=home_multiline

                  Persecuted based on his beliefs? There is no other way to describe it.

                  I also find it interesting that you feel the need to comment on the strength of my faith. I know that it is a commonly held belief that Christians don’t know much about what they believe or believe just because their parents taught them to. It may make certain people feel more comfortable to believe this. I however have studied in depth the Christian
                  faith, so my beliefs are by no means tenuous. And they have been made stronger
                  and stronger as I have battled cancer. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt where
                  I will be for eternity and am just trying to get as many people to be able to experience
                  the peace I have. My husband, a former atheist, now pastor, has studied all religions
                  at great length. I
                  would hardly call our beliefs “tenuous”.

                  From your posts it seems that you (and many of the others on this site) view Christians as ignorant or uninformed people who blindly hold on to beliefs they know little about. Is that fair to say? I have told you why I don’t see this to be the case at all. Now I will admit that I have viewed Atheists in the past as angry, bitter, disrespectful people who view atheism as the only intelligent viewpoint and are unwilling or unable to even consider other viewpoints as intellectually valid. I would  be interested for you to point out a post to me that proves my stereotype to be incorrect.

                   would hardly call our faith “tenuous”. And contrary to popular
                  belief, we are highly educated people.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  I have lots of Christian family, friends and co-workers, and we get alongfabulously.  And none of us harass the otherwith our theistic position.  I don’t hide my atheism, but when I’m not commenting on a blog, I keep it to myself unless there’s someone else brings it up.

                  Since I don’t know you, I obviously can’t know the details of your examples.  But basedon my own experiences with Christians,both good and bad, I have to wonder what the otherside of the story is.

                • Steve

                  My first visit to Frankenmuth. Worlds biggest Christmas store. Big cross in town. Cool. And I’m a bloody Jew. I know this history of this town. No need to whitewash history of any kind.

                • Findog53

                  In a 1984 lawsuit in pennsilvania a town was sued for having a nativity scene and a menorah on city hall property. In the ruling a judge said the nativity scene had to go, because it was a symbol of religion, yet the menorah wasn’t.What’s up with that?

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Citation?

                • Findog53

                  Sorry, the 1984 suit was Lynch v. Donnely Pawtucket R.I. the Supreme Court ruled a creche was constitutional, yet in 1989  County Of Allegheny v. ACLU, the Supreme Court ruled a creche unconstitutional and a menorah constitutional. Please do not insult intelligence by saying this is not an attack on Christians. Why was this heard in the first place, seeing the court ruled as they did in 1984. lets hear the nihilistic responses to this.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  SCOTUS decisions are public record.  “What’s up with that” is givenin the decision and dissent.  You don’t have to agree, and I myself don’t  agreewith the decisions, but ‘why’ isn’t a mystery.

                  I’d agreethat Judaism gets a little more leesay in these kinds of cases than Christianity, simply becuase nobody has ever claimed that this is a Jewsih nation.  Since people keep claiming this is a “Christian nation”, I think the courts are more careful aboutthe wall of seperation between Christianity and government than they are aboutotherreligions and government.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Freedom OF your religion means necessitates freedom FROM all other religions.  Atheists just have one more religion to be free FROM.

                  As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, if you don’t believe in freedom FROM religion, then you have no argument against monuments to the five pillars of Islam on government property.

              • dexter

                 I think that it is funny that you keep espousing the fact that this country was not founded in Christian principles when that is the exact reason people came to this country.  This country was founded by individuals that wanted to escape the religious persecution from the Catholic church and the Church of England (the king’s personal religion).  Yes the founding fathers wanted to keep the church and state separate in order to ensure that there was not another “Church of England”, but that doesn’t mean that this country was not built on Christian principles.  And how are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness unbiblical or un-Christian?? Not sure how much of the bible you might have read so here are a few passages relating to those unbiblical terms:

                Life––

                Concerning life,
                Jesus said “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true
                God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17.3).  “The Son of Man must be lifted up, that
                everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
                that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”
                (John 3.14–16).  Paul said to the
                Ephesians, “As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you
                used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the prince of the
                power of the air…But because of His great love for us, God Who is rich in
                mercy made us alive with Christ” (Ephesians 2.1–5).  Thus, the fullness of life is in us as Christians, and by living
                in response to the Holy Spirit within, we will show forth the glory of God to
                this generation.  Truly, then, our words
                will be the words of our Lord, and they will bring life to the nation.

                 

                Liberty––

                Concerning
                liberty, Jesus said “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John
                8.36).  “If you continue in my word,
                then you are my disciples, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall
                set you free” (John 8.31–32).  The Jews
                responded that they were slaves of no one, interpreting His words in a physical
                sense.  Now it is true that the Bible
                contains many illustrations of the deliverance by God from physical slavery.  The most celebrated deliverance is the
                Passover as described in Exodus.  In the
                book of Leviticus, the year of Jubilee every fiftieth year was instituted to
                free the people from all debts, and restore the original distribution of land
                ownership.  For the Israelites, property
                rights were permanently vested.  Through
                the prophet Isaiah, the Lord promised to “bring out the prisoners from the
                dungeon” (Is 42.7), “to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of
                prison to them that are bound” (Is 61.1).

                 

                But the Lord’s
                deliverance is even greater, because He frees us from spiritual as well as
                physical bondage.  The Lord says “I am
                He that blots out your transgressions for mine own sake, and I will not
                remember your sins” (Is 43.25).  For the
                apostle Paul, the doctrine of the cross meant freedom from the bondage of sin.

                 

                Happiness––

                On happiness, our
                Lord is beautiful indeed, because it is His Divine Will that we be blessed and
                happy (Matthew 5).  The fruit of the
                Spirit is love, joy, and peace in an abundant life, complete in Him.  Our situation in the Lord is symbolized by the
                marriage supper, a time of inexpressible joy and happiness, full of rejoicing
                and gladness (Rev 19.7).

                Just saying…

                • Findog53

                  Excellent!!

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  People came to this country to escape the religious oppression of their own country and start their own oppression. There was precious little religious freedom in the early colonies!

                  It was when we became a nation, when great thinkers (mostly non-Christian) constructed our system of government, that we truly got religious freedom.

              • Findog53

                Wrong on both points, TJ attended religious services on a weekly basis. Also if reading the constitution and the Declaration Of Independence, you’ve interpreted this country to be secular you are all on some serious mind altering substances.

              • Findog53

                Sue Kern doesn’t need to do any better. You are a mountain of misinformation.

          • Findog53

            Again your history knowledge is severly lacking.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli
          According to the (unanimous) US Senate as of June 7th 1797.

          ‘By Christians’ and vague ‘Christian principles’ don’t matter.  What matters is the official state religion, which is “no comment”.

          • http://www.facebook.com/apoellet Andrew Poellet

             So your giving statements from Wikipedia…  maybe you should use a real source for your information next time…

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Seriously? You doubt that wikipedia has the correct text of the Treaty of Tripoli? How about the Yale School of Law?

              http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bar1796t.asp

              Or would you prefer I hand deliver the original velum do your doorstep?

          • Findog53

            In 1892 in the “Trinity Decision” the Supreme court declared “we are a Christian nation” .

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Those were the words of 
              Justice Brewer.  There are many cases where we are left in the present day to try to figure out exactly what someone meant in history.  When the 2nd amendment says “arms”, does that mean any possible weapon that could ever be invented?  Or does that mean flintlock rifles?

              In this case, Justice Brewer saw the danger of people misunderstanding that statement, and so he further clarified:

              But in what sense can [the United States] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that ‘congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. [...] 

              Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions.

              From “The United States a Christian Nation” by Justice David J. Brewer.  Available on Kindle for $2.25 http://www.amazon.com/UNITED-STATES-CHRISTIAN-NATION-ebook/dp/B004MDLSNY/

              Judging from popular highlights, I don’t doubt Justice Brewer was a devout Christian.

              I got that quote from http://atheism.about.com/od/churchstatemyths/a/AmericaChristianNation.htm

              but I also just bought a copy of the book.  Looks interesting.

        • Findog53

          Well said Sue, Jodie and others who get it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/apoellet Andrew Poellet

         your saying that I dont understand what our country was founded on?
        Ha.  Your the Pathetic one here and our heritage in our great town of Frankenmuth hasn’t seemed to anger anyone before in its 150+ year history, until a few pathetic selfish attention whores decided to make a big deal out of it!

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          You didn’t even read the article, did you?

      • Buddydavisgirl

        Peterson…you are pathetic…..You’re proud of “going after”…Such a little person you are and yes God loves even you!

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          I didn’t say I was proud. I support removing references to gods from money, removing “Under God” from the Pledge, prayer from public meetings, and crosses from public land. In other words, I support the Constitution. The word I’d use is “patriotic”.

          • Jodi Frank

            I wouldn’t be proud if I was you either.  Let me ask you…as an Athiest Extremist do you teach your children to hate others that are different from you or to tolerate and love all?

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              I teach children to respect the right of others to believe what they want to believe, but that they need have no respect for the beliefs themselves, nor to tolerate the beliefs of everyone. I certainly don’t teach them to love everyone, which I consider a silly and impossible proposition.

              BTW, my position with respect to this cross is in line with mainstream Constitutional law. There’s nothing remotely extremist about it. Neither is there anything atheist about it- plenty of religious people speak out against government endorsement of religion. It is those who wish to maintain the cross on public property that are the extremists in this case.

            • Findog53

              I’m loving this, others with my views joining in on the debate and these non-theists taking a little step back.   You Rock!!!

      • Jessica

        illegal motto…. check your facts it was kinda voted on…. and if the people of frankenmuth had a problem with being a ‘christian community’ then something would have been done with the cross…. if u don’t like it then don’t come here. thanks.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          The town is welcome to be a Christian community. They just can’t be a Christian town in any legal sense. The town can’t display a Christian symbol on public property. That is well established law. It has a choice: remove or relocate the cross, or lose a lawsuit. Because it will lose, and that loss will end up costing it a lot of money.

          • Findog53

            Sorry C Peterson, this will easily pass constitutional muster.

      • dexter

        You go after pathetic little towns because they do not have the funds to fight.  Have you been
        to Washington DC and toured the memorials, the capitol, the other
        buildings that are full of religious references in their architecture?
        It seems that if you really wanted to oppose the endorsement of
        religion by a government agency they would start at the heart an not in
        some out of the way town in Michigan. But then again Washington DC has much deeper pockets huh?

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          There are some First Amendment violations in D.C. that have been challenged in court, or are currently being challenged.

          • Findog53

            Survey says!!  X wrong answer.

          • Findog53

            Citation please!!

      • dexter

        I am not sure why you keep going back to the founding fathers regarding this case against the city of Frankenmuth.  The original constitution and bill of rights did not extend beyond the federal government.  It wasn’t until after the adoption of the 14th amendment and it’s Due Process Claus, did the Supreme Court make the decision that the Bill of Rights should extend to States and Cities.  And that was almost 100 years after the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified.  That’s the thing about the Constitution, it is a living document that we are capable of changing to cover things that the founding fathers might not have had to think of.  So saying that the founding fathers were against any government agency from associating itself with religion is wrong, they only specified federal agencies, it was a group of supreme court judges that made the decision to extend those restrictions to the state and local governments based off of an amendment added after the founding fathers were gone.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          I go back to the founding fathers because others bring it up. I agree that the beliefs of the founding fathers are not all that relevant to the legal question. That is largely settled with the understanding that no government entity, at the federal, state, or local level can do anything that endorses or directly supports religion.

          It’s almost certain that if this case goes to court, the town will lose. Just as others have under similar circumstances.

          • Findog53

            DiCenso v. Robinson, Lynch v. Donnelly and Lee v. Weisman is the reason the town will win.

            • Findog53

              I’m a moron. I’m not  very good at multi tasking. I’m debating 2 others on another site. Kill DiCenso v. Robinson and Lee v. Weisman as a reason. Lynch v. Donnelly is the case to show why the town will win there case.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                I think more than anything it will come down to the current makeup of the court.  We can find previous examples that would seem to push it either way, and like this one, most of them are split decisions.

                The differences I see between the cross and Lynch v. Donnelly are a) the creche was temporary and b) the creche was part of a larger display that included secular elements.  Or at least that was the argument behind the ruling.Where I disagree strongly with that court is

                because the crèche been displayed for 40 years with no problems

                 Past history with ‘no problems’ should never be a reason for any legal decision.  They also noted that no money was paid to any church organizations.  That, too, should be irrelevant.  The first amendment doesn’t say anything about finances, and many displays that have been privately donated have been ruled unconstitutional.

      • Findog53

        You must love the Ku Klux Klan.

  • ____

     This is unbelievable. All of you people that say that this cross is illegal can go fall in a deep hole. We have freedom of religion and this town of mine can do whatever we want. If you think that the citizens don’t like it that’s another problem… but you guys have probably never even been to Frankenmuth to even know what we here are about. We may be a small town but we will rise above this nonsense, every single citizen will dig deep and prove to everyone that we will keep this. God is obviously on our side. Good luck little tiny “Americans United” Bring it on!

    • Glasofruix

       “We have freedom of religion and this town of mine can do whatever we want.”

      You, as an individual yes, you as a town, not so much. I suggets you read that part of your constitution.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      We have freedom of religion and this town

      Exactly!  That that’s what American’s United fights to protect.  

      Your freedom to practice your religion.  But in doing so, they also protect the rights of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Pagans, Native Americans and yes, even atheists.

    • Shane Guilkey

      “This is unbelievable. All of you people that say that this cross is illegal can go fall in a deep hole.”

      What is believable and always a part of your degrading belief system my x-tian friend is the desire for those that don’t proscribe to your dearly held fallicies and illusions should suffer some tragedy or torment.

      I have been to Frankenmuth many times and it is a lovely city. But being in Michigan and with the winters you must deal with, I have to ask; Does your
       x-tian smugness keep you warm in the cold dark winters?

  • http://www.facebook.com/apoellet Andrew Poellet

     ummm Declaration of independance?
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
    equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
    unalienable Rights”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550806170 Jodi Plamondon-Frank

    I am also a citizen of the beautiful town of Frankenmuth and find it offensive and sad that you must have nothing better to do…You won’t win in this town!!!!

    • Bball246165

      No your town will lose. It is violating the law. Remove or move the cross to private property.

  • fred

    So let me get this right,  if this cross was on the mayors personal property you would not have a problem with it. 

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Of course not.  Unless (speaking generally) the town provides the mayor with an official residence for the duration of her/his time in office, like a Governor’s Mansion.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        The Executive Director of AU is a minister.  Many members of AU are theists, including Christians, Jews, and anything else you can name.  This isn’t ‘anti-Christian’ or ‘anti-Cross’.  This is about religious symbols on government (i.e. public) property, which is tantamount to that government endorsing that religion.

        The city can’t put a sign in a public park saying “Jesus is a Zombie” or “Allah Akbar”.  I can do that on my front lawn, but not in a public park.

    • shar12

      But they would apparently refer to his putting the cross up as a “dick move” and assume it was done to intimidate somebody.

  • fred

    So if the city sells the 5 foot by 5 foot parcel of land to the mayor that this cross is on everything would be fine.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Probably not.  The court would have to take a number of things into consideration, such as the legality of the city selling a tiny parcel like that with the obvious purpose of preserving a religious symbol.  Would they sell someone else a 5′x5′ parcel to erect a Star of David?  Is the move just a way to circumvent the letter but not the spirit of the law?

      If the city sold the entire park to a private entity to make it a private park, or an apartment complex or something, and they want to keep the cross, that’s probably legal.

      The Mojave Cross case was working on some of these issues, until some idiot stole the cross.

  • Stephen

    Really..Im sure those who are against this have checked the plat book map to see who owns the parcel of land it resides on. Come on!!

  • George

    The President of the United State of America takes the oath of office on a bible.  Fight that one and let me know how that one works for you.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      He is not required to do so. It is purely the choice of the individual. If a Muslim were elected President, he could choose to take the oath on a Qur’an. The oath of office contains no reference to any god.

      In fact, the President is not even required to take an oath, but can make an affirmation instead… and some have.

      • Findog53

        I guess you forgot Obummer is muslim.
         A Muslim, An illegal alien and a communist walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “what would you like Mr. President”.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Even if you were to buy the argument that he doesn’t qualify as a “natural born citizen”, he is quite clearly a “citizen” even if he were born in Kenya.  Nobody disputes who is mother was or where she was born.  The only dispute (such as it is) is whether he was born on US soil or not.

          • Findog53

            Hold onto your ass Rich, I have to agree with you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=733274078 Jon Genow

    Read the letter you speak of before you misreport – the city has 30 days to respond to the letter, not 30 days to take down the cross.  Also, visit the city before you pass judgement.  The cross isn’t displayed in the middle of the town square, it’s not displayed at city hall – it’s on a small chunk of land on the south edge of town.  If you’re not looking for it you likely never see it, even at 55 feet tall.  My question is this – why after 36 years is this an issue?

    • Bball246165

      It doesn’t matter how long the cross has been up. Violating the law is still violating the law. If the cross is on private property then there is no issue. It can’t be on public property because that would be government endorsement of religion.

  • Patrick

    Frankenmuth is a thriving community with low almost non existant crime, excellent schools, great people, it is home to the worlds largest christmas store.  That cross overlooking the town has served those people well, I will mention that all of the towns surounding muth if not all towns in MI total will be 100% behind the cross staying right where it is.  But good luck anyway!!!!!

    • Bball246165

      If the town wants to lose lots of money in a lawsuit, then go ahead. I hope your schools don’t lose funding trying to pay legal bills.

      • Patrick

        what Im getting at is this – The town will have an enormous amount of support ie.. monetary, logistial, legal to name a few.  Once this story starts to spread people will do what they can to help the city,  if the A.U decides to really go after this then the support for this town will grow (just ask Mr. Clarke)  I dont think paying the bills will be a problem.  The question is does the A.U want to spend a ton of money going after this?  Im not going to debate the constitutonality of it with you because it is futile.  But take a look around at current events – people are tired of Christians being pushed around,  just look at the chic fil-a so called controversy.  Is the A.U going to go after Rahm Emanual for crossing the line on seperation of church and state over what he said about chic fil-a and not being welcome in his city. I doubt it!!!!!  And I also highly doubt you are worried about Frankenmuth schools!!!!!

      • Findog53

        Again the make up of the Supreme Court suggests this will easily pass constitutional muster

  • shar12

    Since the private citizens decision to display crosses on their private propery is decribed as a “dick move” – I am skeptical. The assumption that it was done as a move to intimidate anyone as opposed to exercise the same constitutional rights you love is pretty interesting.

  • Meganroney

    This makes me sick. If you don’t like the cross stay away. Seriously it is ppl like you that make religious freedom not ao free anymore. Don’t you have any tea party conventions to boycott?

  • Margo

    Then all the other religions need to take down their symbols too. Hemant, you do not believe in a Higher Power but you are held responsible too it.
    Margo
    In Lovely Frankenmuth, MI

  • fat rum keith

    the cross in frankenmuth is on privet property not city property…keit

  • mr know nothing

    This is a big deal why?  There are men and women giving their lives every day so you can make a moral stand on THIS?  The country is spending more and more money then it has, the percentage of single parents living below poverty is on the rise, our elderly can’t afford pills and homes anymore, the list goes on and on.  But oh no, there’s a cross on public property.  For the record the cross is on property owned by the city, and if that city wants to have a cross there, then I think most of us don’t care.  But please, drag a city to court for an expensive lawsuit, make a big fuss, and claim the moral high ground over the symbol of Christianity because you don’t like where it sits.  The rest of us will be sure to live in a way that fits with your life style, unless of course you have nothing on a piece of public property; since nothing is what you believe and I find that UN-constitutional.

    • Findog53

      Well said sir

  • Guest

    Hate mongers is all this site is for!  Jesus would want to see that cross… it is where he give you the grace of forgiveness… for your sins you commit every day!

  • Ckwirng

    The cross is a symbol of the devil’s defeat. If you don’t believe in God, or believe that Jesus paid the penalty of your sin on the cross, what difference does it make to you? Why does it bother you, unless maybe it is just a reminder to you that you do need a savior?

  • Ckwiring

    It is a symbol of how much Jesus loves you and His willingness take the wages of your sin, that you earned, upon Himself so you wouldn’t have to suffer the price of your own sin. That love can never be removed! It is eternal. All you have to do is receive what he has done for you and you too will love to see the cross as a reminder of that. It’s not religion – it’s relationship.

    • geralyn mott

       boy, you’ve bought in to all that crap hook, line and sinker, haven’t you?  i feel sorry for you.  a life wasted


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