Mayor of Kentucky ‘City Below the Cross’ Vows to Ignore Secular Complaints About Religious Display
The mayor of Wilmore, Kentucky, has made it clear that he will ignore the complaints of secular citizens who are calling for city officials to remove the cross on top of the town’s water tower.
“In nearly 40 years, no one has ever complained about this cross except this group from Madison,” said Mayor Harold Rainwater. “It means a lot to us, it’s important to our town. There’s nothing that’s drawn our town together more than the possibility of losing this cross.”
Raw Story reports:
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent an email Sept. 29 to the mayor, saying the cross should be removed from the water tower and that pictures of the water tower should be taken off Wilmore’s official website.
But Rainwater said he didn’t plan to take any action on either request.
“I’m not going to reply to an email,” Rainwater said. “I’m not going to respond to a leftist, liberal foundation that wants to tell me in Wilmore what is appropriate.”
The mayor said several area lawyers have offered to represent the city for free if the group sues Wilmore, and evangelist Franklin Graham offered his support in a Facebook post.
“These anti-god activists are trying to get their way against the will of the people,” Graham complained. “Let’s pray that they get nowhere!”
Attorneys said the FFRF successfully sued Whiteville, Tennessee, in 2011 over a similar display and settled the case for $20,000 after city officials there ignored the complaint.
The secular group’s attorneys recognize that the water tower sits on land owned by a private Christian college but said that’s irrelevant because the city’s name is painted across the tank and is prominently featured on the city’s web page.
The mayor argues that Wilmore wouldn’t even exist if not for the university, which was founded in 1890, and he said the water tower and its cross were important to the town’s identity.
“We literally call ourselves the city below the cross,” Rainwater said.
Photo credit: Miseeharris.com