The city of La Crescent, Minnesota has this dual cross/star structure sitting on government property. On Christmas, they light up the star. On Easter, they light up the cross. How do they get away with that promotion of Christianity?
Simple. No one ever called them out on it… until now.
… “A cross cannot be displayed on city property to celebrate Easter,” [Freedom From Religion Foundation] Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert informed the city in a recent letter. “The religious significance of the Latin cross is unambiguous and indisputable.”
The star’s coupling with the cross “seems to suggest that the city is celebrating the religious aspect of the Christmas holiday, which is another violation of the First Amendment,” Markert continued. Displaying the symbols “confers government endorsement of Christianity, a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause.”
The simplest solution would be to take down the structure and leave the religious celebrations to local churches and citizens. At the very least, they could move it off city property.
Until the city council’s next meeting, though, we’re left with the sound bites of locals who have no idea how the law works:
“The star and the cross is saying that this is a good, clean, vibrant community. Even if they don’t believe in it they see it as a positive,” Dewey Severson, Treasurer of the La Crescent Lions Club said.
Both symbols perpetuate a myth that we’re all horrible sinners who deserve an eternity in hell. The cross represents a weapon of torture. How any of that is positive, I have no idea. I’m gonna guess Severson doesn’t hang out with many non-Christians.
It’s his group, though, that pays for the electricity and maintenance of the structure. They’re going to defend it however they can, but the majority doesn’t get to decide which religion the government promotes. I don’t see how they can successfully make the case that this isn’t a religious structure.
They can move it or pay up. Their choice.