Small town stands up to militant atheists
The community of Neosho has had a cross on a hill in a municipal park for over 80 years. But the city recently received a complaint. Mayor Ben Baker says from the time of the cross’ construction in 1930 to now, neither the mayor’s office nor the city council has heard an objection from any resident.
Mayor Baker says the city learned of the complaint through “a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation stating that there was a concerned citizen who wanted to remain anonymous. And they were asking us, basically demanding, that we take down the cross citing the Establishment Clause and First Amendment.”
Baker is convinced FFRF was trying to bully or scare the city into complying, but he says the atheist group picked on the wrong town.
“That probably works with a lot of cities. Fortunately with us there’s pretty strong Christian representation on the council. I myself teach and am the dean of students at Ozark Bible Institute here in Neosho,” Baker notes.
After considerable discussion and much supportive input from residents, the city council voted unanimously to send a letter to the atheist organization saying the city disagrees with their interpretation of the Constitution and will keep the cross. Several Christian legal non-profits have offered to represent the city if the bullying intensifies.