Mark this one down as another win for Atheism: The town of Woonsocket, Rhode Island is reportedly backing down over the removal of a cross from public land. Even though a Rhode Island based atheist group inserted themselves into the fray on behalf of the town, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, based out of Wisconsin, is prevailing on this matter. The mayor of Woonsocket was at first not interested in removing it, but it seems that things have changed.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation made a point that may have just led to the backing down of the town's adamant mayor. The city's going broke, man. They can't afford a lawsuit of the likes that Jessica Ahlquist initiated against Cranston, in the very same state. How much money do the taxpayers of Rhode Island really want to lose fighting for things which are totally unconstitutional?
The group now expects that the cross erected in the town on public land will be removed, and there will most likely be no need for a lawsuit.
"We expect to prevail without going to court," said the co-president of FFRF "Our assumption is that the city does not realize the law."
They'd probably be right. It appears that many throughout the United States aren't familiar with the Constitution or laws that specifically prohibit the state endorsing of religion. For the city of Woonsocket, Rhode Island to erect a Christian cross on public, tax-funded property is just the epitome of violating Constitutional law.
After the town of Cranston lost a whopping $150,000 of taxpayer funds in the Jessica Ahlquist lawsuit, do you really think it's sensible to fight this? Most likely the supreme court will rule for the Freedom From Religion Foundation because they stand for the Constitution and expect it to be obeyed by public officials and anyone in the government. Period. That includes this memorial cross.
Now, before you get all angry and in a huff over it being a memorial cross, consider this: Imagine being a young soldier in any of the wars during the course of 100 years, as that is how old this cross is (approx.). Now imagine now being Christian, being any other belief but Christian. Maybe your religion was offended by Christianity or maybe it wasn't, but the point is that you as an American soldier (in this hypothetical scenario) are not Christian. Now, imagine dying for your country in the line of battle. What does your city do to repay you? They erect an absolutely hideous Christian cross on public land in your honor, with taxpayer funds.
The fact of the matter is that not everyone in the world is some religious fanatic and not everyone even has a belief. That same concept applies to U.S. soldiers and has since the foundation of this nation. It seems rather insulting that this town is using a piece of Christian symbolism to speak for the lives and deaths of all the soldiers, some of which who may or may not have been offended by it. It's simply wrong.
So, if this town doesn't want to further bankrupt itself, it might want to just take it down and replace it with a secular plaque honoring all of their fallen men. They can take the higher road in this and show more class than Cranston.
Crime analyst and profiler Chelsea Hoffman can be found on The Huffington Post, Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case and many other outlets. Follow @TheRealChelseaH on Twitter or click here to contact Chelsea directly.