Atheists in Texas said that Christians holding a prayer vigil ripped up their letter asking for an “amicable solution” to complaints about a cross in a public city park.
In a letter to Port Neches city government last week, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) argued that a Christian cross standing in RiverFront Park violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
“The Latin cross is the principal symbol of Christianity around the world, and display of the cross alone could not reasonably be taken to have any secular point,” FFRF attorney Rebecca Markert explained in the letter.
Over the weekend, a Facebook group calling themselves “Port Neches Christians and Advocates for The Cross at Port Neches Park” organized a Sunday prayer vigil in support of the cross.
Although the city’s legal team was reviewing FFRF’s letter, Mayor Glenn Johnson insisted to KFDM that the cross wasn’t going anywhere.
“I want to make it perfectly clear to the citizens of Port Neches specifically that this mayor and this city council will not fold, it will not bend, it will not roll over,” he remarked. “We’re going to fight this all the way. And if it goes to court then it goes to court. And we’ll fight it there as well.”
KBTV reported that a local atheists and agnostics group placed a letter and cookies at the foot of the cross asking for an “amicable solution” to the conflict. Following the prayer vigil, the group said that the letter had been ripped up.
“We stand united to fight for what our beliefs are,” prayer vigil organizer Sheila Ackley explained. “They’re our beliefs, they are our constitutional right to do so. If we don’t stand for it, it’s no more.”
“And it won’t be long and they’re going to take our churches away,” Ackley added. “It’s not going to be long and they’re not going to allow us to have our Bibles. And I was placed on this Earth by God to fight for him, and over my dead body.”
Watch the video report from KDFM.