Associated Press Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A group that supports the separation of religion and state wants a cross removed from in front of a Charleston fire station that city officials say honors nine firefighters killed battling a furniture store blaze.

The fight over the cross extends from a battle the Freedom from Religion Foundation had with the city last December when the group complained about a nativity scene in front of the same fire station. Officials added secular decorations, including snowmen, to comply with the law.

Most of the decorations came down by the new year, but the cross stayed up, the city saying it was now a memorial to the firefighters killed in June 2007, said Rebecca Markert, a lawyer for the foundation.

The foundation didn't buy the explanation, sending a letter last week to the city threatening to sue if the cross is not removed because it violates the U.S. Constitution by endorsing a specific religion. The group also said for the past five years the same cross had been removed at the same time as the Christmas items.

"We believe it is a sham to say it is now part of a permanent memorial when before it was being put up and taken down in December as part of Christmas," Markert said Tuesday.

The cross rests near a stone memorial with the names of the nine Charleston firefighters killed as they fought a blaze at the Sofa Super Store.

Lawyers for the city told officials it was a legal display because it is a secular emblem of death.

"The message communicated by the cross is clearly one of honoring fallen firefighters and not of furthering a religious purpose," lawyers for the city said in a news release.

The letter from the foundation gave the city a May 14 deadline to take down the cross.


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Please, PLEASE, don't cave to these idiots! These people have bitten off more than they can chew this time and started screwing with the wrong people. Fight these morons, stand for what you, and we, believe in, because you have a few hundred thousand brothers standing behind you. We aren't "state", we're firefighters, and we'll honor our fallen as we damn well see fit, not as some leftist lunatic dictates.
Like it or not, this country was founded on the principals of Christianity. These groups are the MINORITY in this Great Country. What ever happened to Majority Rules! Please don't cave in to these haters!
"What ever happened to Majority Rules! "
Pretty sure that was how they were able to go about enslaving and lynching blacks back in the day, and prevented any chinese from owing property in California through the Californian Alien Land Law, not to mention this classic, the "one-drop rule":
"Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 codified the "one-drop rule" as the standard racial classification for people of mixed ancestry. A person with even "one drop" of non-white ancestry was classified as "colored" or non-white." They didn't want to muddy up the majority.

Of course, all of the above (and sooo much more) came about as a direct result of "... Majority Rules!"
This [ ] is a great example of this country being "founded on the principals of Christianity."

Yes I know, this is not the view of all christians, just a very small, crackpot, vocal minority. So, do you see the parallel between them and the above Freedom From Religion Foundation?

If people choose to believe that the Freedom From Religion Foundation is going to take away all of their rights, then I am going to choose to believe that the Westboro Baptist Church is a true representation of all christian churches (and beliefs).
Tell them what we might tell them.....If you touch will be buried beneath it........Paul
That is a good christian attitude.
These yahoos will stop when christians quit trying to ram their religion down everyone's throat.
Ramen brother! May his noodliness bless you.
I know Chief Carr & the FF's in Charleston have alot going on right now, dealing with Chief Carr's illness, rebuilding the department after the tragic death of these firefighter and now they have to deal with this....I hope they tell these people to go F*ck them themselves. Just because in the past this was part of an X-Mas display doesn't mean it can't be used as or turned into a memorial for our fallen brothers. I hope the city backs the FD 100% and doesn't give in, If they do imagine what it will do to the moral of the Charleston FD after all they have over come and what that dept has now become...

Good luck Brothers
In the name of jesus christ, I smite thee.
This has nothing to do with race...That said, I guess we have to remove all the crosses at Arlington National Cemetary as well...
I now consider myeslf smitten!

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