See if you can spot it. It might be tough. Good luck.
It’s not just the presence of the 60-foot cross that’s a problem. The city also illuminates it every night, according to the person who tipped off FFRF.
“A majority of federal courts have held displays of Latin crosses on public property to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion,” FFRF Managing Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert writes to outgoing Neosho Mayor Charles Collinsworth. “The inherent religious significance of the Latin cross is undeniable and is not disguisable. No secular purpose detracts from the overall message that the Latin cross stands for Christianity and that the display promotes Christianity.”
And even if the cross were only displayed and illuminated during the holiday season in December, there would still be constitutional concerns, FFRF adds. A Latin cross is not a permissible Christmas decoration for a city to display.
According to the Neosho Daily News, the City Council even helped pay for a restoration of the cross five years ago.
They may have gotten away with it up to this point, but that’s no excuse for letting them continue breaking the law by promoting Christianity on public property. The city would be wise to have a church pick up the pieces and avoid a costly lawsuit.