A group of Texas county officials voted to keep religious crosses on its courthouse after a national organization demanded they take them down.
The issue of church and state now sparking a backlash from several people.
San Jacinto County officials greeted with the sound of cheers after unanimously voting to keep four crosses on its courthouse in Coldspring.
Hundreds of people had turned out for the commissioners’ court meeting Wednesday morning outraged that the Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded the symbols be taken down from the building.
“I am here today at this meeting as a servant of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and our Savior, asking that the crosses on our Courthouse in Coldspring be left on this building.”
The organization meanwhile saying in this letter to the county judge that the original complaint came from someone in the city.
They say the county “displays four Latin crosses on its courthouse all year round and even lights the crosses up during holiday season.”
Freedom from Religion Attorney Chris Line says, “The, uh, Constitution requires that the government not promote, endorse, um, or advance or endorse religion. By having these symbols up on the county courthouse, they’re, the county is violating the establishment clause.”
Pastor Phil Herrington from the First Baptist Church says the foundation’s position is ironic.
Pastor Phil Herrington says, “What they’re saying is that Christ followers cannot express their freedom, their voice of worship, their voice of God. Yet, they want to express themselves.”
But the foundation argues they’re not against all religious symbols they just don’t agree with the government taking a religious viewpoint.
Line says, “Right now, what’s happening is the government is endorsing Christianity, not the people.”
The freedom from religion foundation hasn’t threatened to sue just yet.
They say they are disappointed by the county’s decision and will evaluate their next steps.
The county says it will seek legal counsel if necessary.