Indiana Atheists Protest over Cross in Indiana

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Indiana Atheists Protest over Cross in Indiana

 The Freedom From Religion foundation is stating that this type of memorial conveys the message that the country only honors Christian soldiers. What do some of you think ? I had a biker bro in the military once that said there is a subtle hint of Christian God and Country in the Army, but he did not really seem to mind it and he is an Atheist. In fact, he even said a lot of the soldiers used the services on Sundays to get out of work detail. In other words, while the religious influeunces were there, he did not seem to think of it as a major problem then, but he was in it back in the 1990s. I had read somewhere that has changed but am not really informed about it, to be honest. 

www.indystar.com/story/news/2014/09/01/cross-indiana-state-park-prompts-atheist-protest/14933081/

 

A 14-inch white cross on state park property has thrust the east-Central Indiana town of Liberty into a national debate over religious icons on public lands.

And a national atheist group has jumped into the fray.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation last month sent a letter to Department of Natural Resources Director Cameron Clark telling him that a cross attached to a new war veterans memorial statute has no place at Whitewater Memorial State Park.

"No secular purpose, no matter how sincere, will detract from the overall message that the Latin cross stands for Christianity and the overall display promotes Christianity," wrote Rebecca S. Markert, the foundation's attorney.

Markert added that the cross "will send a message that the government only cares about the deaths of Christian soldiers."

The 14-inch, white-painted cross is at the bottom of an 8-foot-tall wooden chainsaw-carved statue. At the top is a bald eagle perched above lettering that says "All gave some; Some gave all." One side of the eagle's perch is an Indiana state flag. On the other side is a soldier.

DNR officials are deciding if they will allow the carving to stay in place near the park headquarters. A message left with a DNR spokesman Monday wasn't immediately returned.

Whitewater Memorial State Park was formed in 1949 and was dedicated to World War II veterans from Union, Wayne, Fayette and Franklin counties in east Central Indiana. It's about 80 miles east of Indianapolis.

The debate over the cross erupted earlier this summer when retired Liberty restaurateur Wendell Bias sent a letter to the DNR after he saw the statue on display at the park.

Bias, a U.S. Army veteran, told The Star Monday that he didn't think the cross was appropriate.

"I just thought that a memorial to veterans in a veterans' park didn't need to be turned into a religious shrine," he said.

Bias didn't know who alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist and agnostic group of more than 21,000 national members. The foundation didn't return a request for comment Monday.

Veterans' groups and other residents donated money to pay for the carved memorial, Union County Development Corp. president Howard Curry said. No taxpayer funds were used for the carving, which was donated to the park.

The Richmond, Ind., sculptor who carved the piece, Dayle K. Lewis, said he used his chainsaw to carve the cross because that particular section of the statue "was plain and needed something," but he also wanted to set the scene of a soldier standing over a grave. The cross, he said, was a natural fit.

"We didn't think this would be a religious thing," he said.

Lewis was quite proud of the statue that he spent at least 90 hours working on, until he read a negative online article posted by an atheist group in which anonymous commenters tore it apart.

"They were talking that it was hideous, the worst sculpture they ever seen; (the soldier) looked like a farm boy with overalls and a bad haircut," he said. "They were really ripping it."

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Rest of the article damn Notepad+

 But Lewis said he's also been heartened to received praise from national supporters. He said a California man offered to buy it if the DNR ordered it moved from the property.

The statue also has received more than its share of support in this town of 2,100 people.

Bob Napier, a Union County Korean War veteran, said his group sent a petition with 1,651 signatures to the DNR urging the agency to keep the statue where it is.

A Facebook group called "Keep the Cross Carving at Whitewater Memorial State Park" has more than 800 members.

Some have proposed removing the cross from the bottom of the statue, but Napier said that's not an option.

"We don't want that," Napier said. "We want it the way it is. We don't want to move it somewhere else, either. We want it to be at the park that is dedicated to veterans. Vets fought for freedom, but they keep taking our freedoms away from us."

But Bias said that all soldiers, not just the Christian ones, fought for their nation's freedoms.

"I've been to Arlington a couple times, and I've been to France to that cemetery over there," Bias said. "While they're mostly crosses, they're not all crosses."

It's going to be up to the DNR to determine which of these cross purposes prevails in Liberty.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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What do some of you think ?

 I know that here in this city (and I do not have the links to provide the full story) but there already exists a great deal of racial tension which got ten times worse when the City Council wanted to remove the statue and grave of one Nathan Bedford Forrest and rename Forrest Park to "Science Park (abhorrent name there). 

Some protested that to remove the grave and monument of one of the Civil Wars "finest" generals based upon Ku Klux Klan foundation in that time to be a terrible disgrace to the history of the war. At the same time, these same protesters mentioned that Nathan Forrest in his later life, renounced the Klan and its violence, along with one of his final speeches denouncing racism. 

The other side, obviously decried the monument in the park as a "glorification of a racist instituition" and a "symbol of hate". 

They ended up moving it and taking his monument down. 

One local college Atheist group had mentioned that while so many politically correct people were willing to go to war against something easy to target, the same protesters were completely absent on the issues of Christian crosses and religious icons on government property. 

I think the main crux of the argument is about tax dollars and government money more than anything else. 

What do some of you think ? 

I know there are former military guys on here like Digital and Beyond, what was your opinion of the military ? Did it have a bias against Atheist soldiers, or was it more of a non-issue that no one discussed really ? 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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My statement that follows,

My statement that follows, covers all situations where people want to erect any sort of religious emblem/icon on public lands owned by either county, city, state or federal governments.

1) all religious icons/emblems must be represented because soldiers who fight for the United States of America are of all creeds.

2) why is it that christians always seem to think they have cornered the market on religion?

3) this country is made up of a melting pot. I don't hear this much any more from the right winged political or religious parties. They seem to want to wash away those who are non-christian and served this country with their life, bodies and spirit.

4) you don't need to be christian to be a patriot for this country.

5) donated items to a park should be neutral in nature. If some one donates a playground which can be used by all, then it can be considered neutral. If someone donates a cross then only christians can use it and it is not neutral.

 


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 And on a side note. I went

 And on a side note. I went to services while in the USMC for the same exact reasons; to get out of work details.


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 The evolutionary psycholgy

 The evolutionary psycholgy behind this behavior of all religions is that it is an anthropomorphic way of "marking your territory" 

The founders didn't say "no religion", they basically gave you two choices. 1. Agree to let it all in. 2. Or agree to keep the setting neutral.

With memorials for the dead, be it millitary, police, or civilian, people are going to want their icons in death. The National Cemitary's grave stones while different shapes are all of equal suze..

I still would not like it if they did allow other religios icons, because that crooss would still be the most dominating feature. Just like the ground zero "cross" I have a huge problem with that one becuase of it's size and being the biggest.

 

Religions teach their followers that they are "special" and that mindset bleeds into all aspects of their life so they are not simply happy with "equality".  It still amounts to at best for them "Yea you are ok for a non-majoriy, but I take top billing, and you are just a guest".

The problem with public places and religious icons is that if a minority gets equal venue and size the majority flips out. It really is no different a behavior in other ammals where even if the subordiniate doesn't mean any harm to th e superior numbers, individuals in that majority will see that as a threat to their social pecking order.

 

 

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Brian37 wrote: The

Brian37 wrote:

 The evolutionary.....

 

 

 

 

                                   Ha ha !

witty expression goes here.


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harleysportster wrote: But

harleysportster wrote:

 But Lewis said he's also been heartened to received praise from national supporters. He said a California man offered to buy it if the DNR ordered it moved from the property.

The statue also has received more than its share of support in this town of 2,100 people.

Bob Napier, a Union County Korean War veteran, said his group sent a petition with 1,651 signatures to the DNR urging the agency to keep the statue where it is.

A Facebook group called "Keep the Cross Carving at Whitewater Memorial State Park" has more than 800 members.

Some have proposed removing the cross from the bottom of the statue, but Napier said that's not an option.

"We don't want that," Napier said. "We want it the way it is. We don't want to move it somewhere else, either. We want it to be at the park that is dedicated to veterans. Vets fought for freedom, but they keep taking our freedoms away from us."

 

        I'm an atheist but I find these anti-religious activities tend to play into the believers persecution complex.  It unifies them and makes them dig in their heels even more.   Of course the "freedom of religion" angle is always heavily tilted in favor of Christianity, Muslims, Hindus, etc need not apply.  I personally don't give a shit about their displays, let them have them.  If they're removed all the atheists have done is feed the believers already bloated egos over something that hardly has an effect on the day to day affairs of the average person, regardless of religious status.

witty expression goes here.


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

 But Lewis said he's also been heartened to received praise from national supporters. He said a California man offered to buy it if the DNR ordered it moved from the property.

The statue also has received more than its share of support in this town of 2,100 people.

Bob Napier, a Union County Korean War veteran, said his group sent a petition with 1,651 signatures to the DNR urging the agency to keep the statue where it is.

A Facebook group called "Keep the Cross Carving at Whitewater Memorial State Park" has more than 800 members.

Some have proposed removing the cross from the bottom of the statue, but Napier said that's not an option.

"We don't want that," Napier said. "We want it the way it is. We don't want to move it somewhere else, either. We want it to be at the park that is dedicated to veterans. Vets fought for freedom, but they keep taking our freedoms away from us."

 

        I'm an atheist but I find these anti-religious activities tend to play into the believers persecution complex.  It unifies them and makes them dig in their heels even more.   Of course the "freedom of religion" angle is always heavily tilted in favor of Christianity, Muslims, Hindus, etc need not apply.  I personally don't give a shit about their displays, let them have them.  If they're removed all the atheists have done is feed the believers already bloated egos over something that hardly has an effect on the day to day affairs of the average person, regardless of religious status.

If you give them an inch they will take more. Every religion deserves to be covered or no religion at all. Public land is public land, it isn't land designated for one part of society.

 


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

 But Lewis said he's also been heartened to received praise from national supporters. He said a California man offered to buy it if the DNR ordered it moved from the property.

The statue also has received more than its share of support in this town of 2,100 people.

Bob Napier, a Union County Korean War veteran, said his group sent a petition with 1,651 signatures to the DNR urging the agency to keep the statue where it is.

A Facebook group called "Keep the Cross Carving at Whitewater Memorial State Park" has more than 800 members.

Some have proposed removing the cross from the bottom of the statue, but Napier said that's not an option.

"We don't want that," Napier said. "We want it the way it is. We don't want to move it somewhere else, either. We want it to be at the park that is dedicated to veterans. Vets fought for freedom, but they keep taking our freedoms away from us."

 

        I'm an atheist but I find these anti-religious activities tend to play into the believers persecution complex.  It unifies them and makes them dig in their heels even more.   Of course the "freedom of religion" angle is always heavily tilted in favor of Christianity, Muslims, Hindus, etc need not apply.  I personally don't give a shit about their displays, let them have them.  If they're removed all the atheists have done is feed the believers already bloated egos over something that hardly has an effect on the day to day affairs of the average person, regardless of religious status.

I agree. FFRF needs to find something relevent to do with their lives. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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digitalbeachbum wrote: And

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 And on a side note. I went to services while in the USMC for the same exact reasons; to get out of work details.

Yes I could definitely see myself doing something like that. Let's see, an hour in a church to relax, or work on Sunday morning. I can always tune out sermons or secretly laugh at the congregations. 

I have been in regular masses in the Catholic Church since deconversion. I sometimes think it is the ceremonial rituals that draw people in more than they realize, but that is just an opinion. 

So, did you notice if the military had a pro-religious bias ? Or is it more of a non-issue like my buddy claimed ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:  If

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
  If they're removed all the atheists have done is feed the believers already bloated egos over something that hardly has an effect on the day to day affairs of the average person, regardless of religious status.

Well you have a point there. In this city alone, a lot of local politicians have gotten their seats for playing the " I stand tall for GOD" angle that inevitably slides over into the "Christian Persecution" angle. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Meh, let them whine about

Meh, let them whine about persecution. If we take all the things they whine about away, then they'll have a lot less to whine about. It's not like letting the cross stay up will stop them whining.

Religion has no place on public or government property.

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harleysportster wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 And on a side note. I went to services while in the USMC for the same exact reasons; to get out of work details.

Yes I could definitely see myself doing something like that. Let's see, an hour in a church to relax, or work on Sunday morning. I can always tune out sermons or secretly laugh at the congregations. 

I have been in regular masses in the Catholic Church since deconversion. I sometimes think it is the ceremonial rituals that draw people in more than they realize, but that is just an opinion. 

So, did you notice if the military had a pro-religious bias ? Or is it more of a non-issue like my buddy claimed ?

I had a mix of drill instructors, platoon leaders and commands. Some I knew were atheists, others were totally hard core christian.

Parts of my experience was just like Full Metal Jacket. I think because it came out in 1987, two years before I joined.

They actually called me Private Gomer Pyle because I used to wear my cover like a baseball cap (at least when I first got there). Once I got squared away then I was OK.

 

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Private Joker, do you believe in the Virgin Mary?

Private Joker: Sir, no, sir!

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Well, well, Private Joker, I don't believe I heard you correctly!

Private Joker: Sir, the private said "no, sir," sir!

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Why you little maggot, you make me want to vomit! [slaps Joker]

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: You Goddamn communist heathen, you had best sound off that you love the Virgin Mary, or I'm gonna stomp your guts out! Now you DO love the Virgin Mary, don't ya?

Private Joker: Sir, NEGATIVE, sir!

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Private Joker, are you trying to offend me?

Private Joker: Sir, NEGATIVE, sir! Sir, the private belives any answer he gives will be wrong and the Senior Drill Instructor will only beat him harder if he reverses himself, SIR!


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lol

lol

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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

 But Lewis said he's also been heartened to received praise from national supporters. He said a California man offered to buy it if the DNR ordered it moved from the property.

The statue also has received more than its share of support in this town of 2,100 people.

Bob Napier, a Union County Korean War veteran, said his group sent a petition with 1,651 signatures to the DNR urging the agency to keep the statue where it is.

A Facebook group called "Keep the Cross Carving at Whitewater Memorial State Park" has more than 800 members.

Some have proposed removing the cross from the bottom of the statue, but Napier said that's not an option.

"We don't want that," Napier said. "We want it the way it is. We don't want to move it somewhere else, either. We want it to be at the park that is dedicated to veterans. Vets fought for freedom, but they keep taking our freedoms away from us."

 

        I'm an atheist but I find these anti-religious activities tend to play into the believers persecution complex.  It unifies them and makes them dig in their heels even more.   Of course the "freedom of religion" angle is always heavily tilted in favor of Christianity, Muslims, Hindus, etc need not apply.  I personally don't give a shit about their displays, let them have them.  If they're removed all the atheists have done is feed the believers already bloated egos over something that hardly has an effect on the day to day affairs of the average person, regardless of religious status.

So because they might missunderstand what atheists are doing we should simply shut up and never challenge them?

Not my baggage, that is their baggage. Maybe they should try understanding why Jefferson's wall protects them as well instead of being crybabies when they are the majority.

If a Christian wants to know why it is a bad idea to gang tag government property with religion, they can go live in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Both the atheist and Christian who live there are forced to live in silence and are "tollerated" at best as long as they don't make a peep.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37