It’s a fight happening in, of all places, a town named Liberty — Liberty, Indiana — home of the Whitewater Memorial State Park, dedicated to World War II veterans.
A new, elaborately carved statue honoring America’s military heroes was recently placed near the park’s entrance, with the inscription “All Gave Some, Some Gave All.” At the base of the 8-foot-tall wooden statue is a small white-painted cross — a symbol that’s now in the legal crosshairs of a national atheist group that’s demanding the cross be removed.
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The Freedom From Religion Foundation last month sent a letter to Department of Natural Resources Director Cameron Clark telling him that a cross attached to a new war veterans memorial statute has no place at Whitewater Memorial State Park.
“No secular purpose, no matter how sincere, will detract from the overall message that the Latin cross stands for Christianity and the overall display promotes Christianity,” wrote Rebecca S. Markert, the foundation’s attorney.
Markert added that the cross “will send a message that the government only cares about the deaths of Christian soldiers.”
The article on indystar.com adds that no public funds were used to pay for the creation of the statue, which was donated to the memorial park:
Veterans’ groups and other residents donated money to pay for the carved memorial, Union County Development Corp. president Howard Curry said.
The Richmond, Ind., sculptor who carved the piece, Dayle K. Lewis, said he used his chainsaw to carve the cross because that particular section of the statue “was plain and needed something,” but he also wanted to set the scene of a soldier standing over a grave. The cross, he said, was a natural fit.
“We didn’t think this would be a religious thing,” he said.
Supporters of the cross on the statue have started a facebook page, “Keep the Cross on the Carving at Whitewater Memorial State Park.” One commenter writes:
“The atheist idiots are so short sighted. They don’t understand two points…ONE, in the event that the marxist/socialist/communist/islamist take over, they would be some of the FIRST executed, and TWO, their GREATEST hope, is that we Christian Americans would protect them and defend their life and liberty, to-the-death! Atheist, fools ALL!”
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