Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Atheists Defeat Veterans Memorial in N. Carolina

The city council of King, North Carolina voted to remove a privately-funded sculpture of a soldier kneeling at a cross and a Christian flag from King Central Park rather than fight the costly lawsuit against Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“I feel this city has been sabotaged and bullied by folks who don’t believe in what this community stands for . . . we have been pressured by insurance companies and attorneys who have never been to King. They don’t know what we are about and what this community stands for.”
-- Wesley Carter, City Councilman
For background, read Atheists Force Christian Flag Out, King Citizens Respond

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Atheists Want WWI Memorial Cross Demolished in Rhode Island

Atheists Want Marine Memorial Demolished at Pendleton

Atheists Sue to Remove Christ from 9/11 Memorial

Federal Appeals Court Rules Memorial Cross Unconstitutional

Jesus Banned from Sterling, Colorado Cemetery

Also read President Obama Opposes Prayer for Soldiers in Battle

-- From "North Carolina town agrees to remove sculpture of soldier with cross" by David Ng, Los Angeles Times 1/13/15

Documents show that in settling the case, King agreed to remove the sculpture. In addition, the town's insurer will pay $500,000 to the Americans United for Separation of Church and State to cover legal fees and costs. A nominal $1 in damages will also be paid to the plaintiff.

King has denied it violated laws regarding the separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution and the North Carolina Constitution.

A news release from the city said the City Council preferred not to settle the case but nonetheless approved the settlement on Jan. 6. The city, population 6,906, said that it had already incurred legal costs in excess of $50,000 to defend the case, and that litigation costs were expected to reach $2 million without any guarantee of a favorable verdict.

As part of the settlement, King has also agreed not to fly a Christian flag at the memorial park. The Christian flag typically features a cross in its upper-left corner and is intended to represent various Christian faiths.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "King settles flag lawsuit; Christian flag, statue to be removed" by Meghann Evans, Winston-Salem Journal 1/7/15

The King City Council on Tuesday voted 3-2 to approve a settlement agreement in the lawsuit, Steven Hewett v. the City of King.

The council voted in King City Hall before a mostly filled room of about 60 people. While the crowd never got out of hand, many people shook their heads in frustration as the board voted to settle. A few people interjected, saying such things, “What else are you going to give up next?”

Council members Charles Allen and Mayor Pro Tempore Dillard Burnette voted in favor of settling, while Brian Carico and Wesley Carter voted against it.

Mayor Jack Warren broke the tie, voting in favor.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "King settles - Citizens ask council to fight for flag" by Nicholas Elmes, The Stokes News (Walnut Cove, NC) 1/6/15

“I fully believe in the right of flying our flag,” said Danny Newsome. “Continue to fight for them to give us the right to fly the flag.”

Jack Westmoreland, a veteran who served in Beirut, said . . . “This country was founded on the freedom or religion and the freedom of speech. I ask that you give me my right to freedom of religion.”

David Keaton, a long time King resident, said “ . . . don’t take mine away from me. God all mighty has blessed King and we do not need to turn our back on him. I encourage you to do everything in your power to keep that flag flying one way or the other. Just do what is right.”

The two council members voting against the settlement agreed that settling made good financial sense for the city, but said they could not vote “yes” due to their faith.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Feds Fail to Ban Jesus from Memorial Day

And read Atheists Inundated by Jesus' Cross Symbols in California