Friday, April 27, 2012

Rhode Island City Will Likely Move Cross To Private Property Rather Than Litigate

AP reported yesterday that the mayor of Woonsocket, Rhode Island will likely move a cross that for over 90 years has been displayed as part of a memorial to American servicemen killed in France in World War I.  After a letter (full text) from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the mayor says he may move the memorial from its present location in the firehouse parking lot to a more prominent location on private property.  City Council President John Ward said he believes the cross is more of a historical than a religious symbol, but the city cannot afford to litigate the issue. As reported in an FFRF press release, questions were also raised about the FireFighters Prayer and the picture of an angel on portions of the Fire Department's website. It is unclear how the city will respond to this.

Meanwhile, however, Woonsocket resident Jason LaRose who is a co-founder of Ocean State Atheists says he opposes moving the memorial. WJAR News quotes him as saying that the memorial does not promote Christianity, but "only represents the soldiers who were killed, who were most likely Catholics."