After Family Removes Roadside Cross Honoring Dead Son, Several Nasty Replacement Crosses Take Its Place

This week, we saw a roadside cross taken down in Lake Elsinore, California. It was placed there nearly two years ago in honor of a young man who died in that location — and was kept there because 1) no one had the heart to tell the mother she had to remove it and 2) city officials appeared willing to bend their own rules about public signage for a Christian cross…

After the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent the city council a letter warning them about the possible legal consequences for “selective enforcement of its signage ordinance,” the cross was finally taken down by the young man’s family.

Almost immediately after the large cross was removed, in a sort of silent protest, two residents of the city, Emily Johnson and her father Doug, went to the scene to install several smaller crosses:

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In Memory of Eric

A couple of weeks ago, we lost a really fantastic atheist activist, Eric Broze. One of the co-founders of the Coming Out Godless project, Eric’s work was always meaningful and helpful, yet he never gave up his sense of humor in the process. (See: The United Church of Bacon, which he also helped create.)

I was looking back at my email exchanges with Eric over the past several years and what stands out is how committed he was to the work he was doing, even when his name wasn’t going to be the one in the spotlight. When he had an idea, he would pursue it wholeheartedly. Ed Clint has a beautiful writeup about Eric here.)

I had a chance to meet Eric and his wonderful wife Rose a few years ago in Las Vegas and they were as fun to be around as their online personas would suggest:

Appropriately, his memorial service was a celebration of his life, just as he would have liked. It took place at a bar, with his closest friends sharing their favorite memories of Eric:

You can read more about Eric here. Rose is accepting donations at the Paypal address rose@radful.com.

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Mother Who Put Up Roadside Cross to Honor Son’s Memory Will Finally Take It Down

A couple of days ago, I posted about a large cross that has been sitting on the side of a road in Lake Elsinore, California in honor of a young man who died there a few years ago. The City Council repeatedly said they would remove the cross from public property… but they never did, leading the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center to send a letter warning them about the possible legal consequences for “selective enforcement of its signage ordinance”:

Yesterday, the young man’s mother Ann Marie Devaney told city officials she would take down the cross she put up nearly two years ago:

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How Long Should a Family’s Roadside Cross in Memory of Their Son Be Allowed to Stay Up?

In May of 2012, 19-year-old Anthony Devaney was taking a nighttime walk when a car struck and killed him.

It wasn’t long before a large cross was placed at the scene of the tragedy:

Here’s a difficult question: How long should that cross be allowed to stay up? Forever? A few months? It’s not an easy discussion to have, but the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center believes it’s time for the city of Lake Elsinore (yep, them again) to take it down. In fact, the city did take it down last December… but they put it right back up after Devaney’s mother “demanded” its return.

In a letter to the Lake Elsinore City Council, the AHLC says that to leave the cross up now amounts to government promotion of religion:

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How Should Atheists Respond to Those Who Think We’ll Convert on Our Deathbed?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, responds to the idea that atheists will convert on their deathbeds:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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