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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Nice, you can copy and paste, but you really should spend some time reading what you copy and paste. I haven't once said that the cross should be removed from the charleston fire house. I only (or mostly) responded to people who get all apoplectic about the issue. I'm not at all that.

I wouldn't expect you to bend any more than you would expect me to bend. I'm sure overall you're a rather rational person, but no one said anything about "mudering people" (would that be covering them with mud?). If you meant murder, it was using an example of what those in the (your quote) "majority rules' had a tendency to do. I encourage you to continue to respond but at least pretend you've read what's been written. It makes for a more cogent discussion.

If your spelling indicates your placement on some level of normality, I wouldn't be bragging too much were I you. And please show me where my view is warped and paranoid? I've tried this time to be nothing but patient and logical. How is that warped and paranoid? Or are you one of those people that feels he has to yell to make his point heard?
See, now this is a good example of paranoia. I'm not going to bother to copy and paste, go back to page one of this discussion and read what I wrote about just exactly that.

Oh...have you hear the news that the Supreme Court actually voted in favor of allowing the cross memorial in the Mojave Desert to remain? You should read that article, it may enlighten you as to what will be allowed, in Charleston and elsewhere. Just call me the good news bear.
ruff, ruff, ruff......ruff, ruff, ruff......ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff

Bring on the hounds
With utter humility, I thank you all for your comments but this is not extraordianary for us as Muslims.
The media displays us as radicals and death lovers when in all honesty we are quite the opposite. We respect any person's relationship with God even if it is another religion and we truly embrace diversity.
We believe that one can respect another religion with out sacrificing his own. Please feel free to ask me any questions that you may have about us as Muslims and/or our lives and again, thank you all for your comments.
LMFAO thanks John.
I wonder what non religious symbol all these crackpots would like us to put on the tombstones of all the veterans who have give their lives so these crackpots can continue to complain. Mine when my time comes will have a cross on it , even if I have to pay for it myself ahead of time.
Gregory, what specific Christians are trying to ram their religion down everyone's throat, and do you have some evidence to support your opinion?
What gives you the right to interfere with the free practice of someone else's religion in a public place?

There is no Constitutional restriction that prevents religious displays in public.

"Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise therof..."

Amendment 1, U.S. Bill of Rights (emphasis supplied)
"Having a cross on the lawn at a fire station has nothing to do with brotherhood."

Oh, really, Gregory? Do you have any evidence to support that statement, or is it just your opinion.

Regardless, maybe you didn't see the nine very similar white crosses still displayed along the front of a certain vacant lot on Savannah Highway...also in Charleston. I did, and I still do every time I drive through West Ashley.

As for what you want practiced on public property, sorry, Gregory, you're simply wrong. As pointed out elsewhere in this thread, the SCOTUS has recently ruled that religious displays ARE allowed on public property.

That goes to the Bill of Rights prohibition against interfering with the free exercise of religion.
If you restrict the free exercise of religion to places of worship, ergo, you are prohibiting "the free exercise therof".
Jack, please explain how a passive display of a cross at a firehouse is seeing "only their own, narrow viewpoint." if that is what you intended.
So is the U.S. flag, depending upon who you are and where you are.

Just wondering, Gregory, do you wear a U.S. flag patch on your uniform sleeve?
Do you fly the U.S. flag on your apparatus or on a flagpole at the station?

If so, then using your own logic, you're representing oppression to many.

Thank you. It would be nice if everyone exemplified the type of tolerance your post so eloquently displays.

Good for you, brother!

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