San Jacinto County lawmakers rejected the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s demand to remove crosses from a county courthouse amid furor from hundreds of Christian locals.
The county legislators voted unanimously Wednesday to keep four white crosses on the county courthouse in Coldspring, Texas, despite the FRFF’s April 26 demand that they be immediately removed. The FFRF’s challenge stoked the ire of hundreds of locals who turned out in droves at the Wednesday Commissioners Court meeting to decry the organization for what they saw as an attempt to violate their freedom of expression.
A group of about 600 locals attended the meeting and gave approximately two and a half hours of public comment pleading with legislators to keep the crosses.
Hundreds of people at the community shelter in Coldspring to protest demands to bring down four Latin crosses from the San Jacinto County Courthouse. Some ppl here carrying crosses. @FoxNewsMMR pic.twitter.com/n385EQ34x5
— Madeleine Rivera (@madeleinerivera) May 8, 2019
“Their religion is humanism. What they’re saying is Christ followers cannot express their freedom, their voice of worship, their voice of God. Yet, they want to express themselves,” said Pastor Phil Herrington of First Baptist Church, according to Fox News.
“I am a Christian woman, a child of God. I’m here today as a servant of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, asking that the crosses on our courthouse in Coldspring be left on this building,” a local woman pleaded.
The FRFF argued in its complaint that the crosses constituted a government promotion of Christianity and therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
Chris Line, an attorney for FRFF, denounced the county’s decision to keep the crosses and claimed that the organization would challenge it.
“It is extremely disappointing that the County has decided to continue violating the constitutional rights of its citizens,” Line said Wedensday. “FFRF will be following up with our local complainant and evaluating our next steps.”
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