North Carolina Residents Peacefully Rally Over Removal of ‘Religious’ Veterans Memorial

KingKING, N.C. — A number of residents from the city of King, North Carolina came together on Sunday to peacefully protest the removal of a veterans memorial in the city and to stand in solidarity in support of the display.

As previously reported, in 2012, the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), led by Barry Lynn, an attorney and licensed “minister” in the United Church of Christ, filed suit against the City of King on behalf of local Afghanistan war veteran Steven Hewitt. Lynn says that the memorial, which depicts a soldier kneeling before a cross, is unconstitutional. The site also features the Christian flag.

“The United States Armed Forces are highly diverse,” he told the Stokes News. “To have a veterans’ memorial that only honors soldiers of one religion is not only a violation of the First Amendment, but also an insult to the memory of non-Christians who served their country.”

“I proudly served alongside a diverse group of soldiers with a variety of different religious beliefs,” Hewitt added in a news release in November 2013. “The City of King should be honoring everyone who served our country, not using their service as an excuse to promote a single religion.”

But there were those who supported the display, including Joseph T. Glatthaar, the Stephenson Distinguished Professor of History at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves as the president of the Society of Military History, and was chair for the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense Historical Advisory Committees.

“I consider the artwork to be a tasteful display that honors veterans and am convinced that it suggests nothing more than a soldier paying tribute to a recently fallen comrade,” he wrote in a report submitted to the court. “Those who argue that this is an attempt to promote religion or one faith over another have simply taken the artist’s rendition out of its historical context and assumed things that the artist has not depicted.”

The city continued the fight for the past two years, but recently considered reaching a settlement in the matter. Last Tuesday, city council voted 3-2 to agree to the settlement, stating that costs to continue the fight would be too great. Council itself had a tie vote, 2-2, so Mayor Jack Warren cast the tie-breaker, voting in favor of the settlement. The city had stated that the fight would cost taxpayers an estimated $2 million dollars.

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But following the city’s decision, and the prompt removal of the monument and a Christian flag that had been raised, a number of residents gathered in Central Park on Sunday and placed a cross in the ground, kneeling before it as a re-creation of the former monument. Some sang songs or held flags.

“The separation of church and state was written to protect the church from the state, and it’s just the opposite now,” one attendee lamented to local television station WFMY.

“[But] it’s only the first quarter. Communists, liberals one, veterans zero,” he continued. “But it’s only the first quarter. We’ve got three more to go. We’ve got the ball. And no more defense. We’re going on the offense.”

Photo: WFMY screenshot


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  • SteveN

    It’s only the Christian religion that these nuts obsess over. If it had been a Muslim, Wiccan or Hindu memorial they would have found to the death to let them keep it.

    • Gary

      You are right. God haters object to Christianity, and have no problem with other religions.

      • George Garrigues

        Doesn’t make sense. If they hate God, then they would hate God no matter in what religion he was found. Or, am I missing something about the phrase “God haters”?

        • Dirk Roelofs

          Yes you are missing something. There is only one true living God, and He is the God of the Bible. You cannot find God in any other religion. They worship false gods of their own making and they hate the true God. Pretty simple really.

          • George Garrigues

            Really simple. Minded.

        • Karen Hollenbeck

          There is only one God. The God of Abraham, Isacc and Jacob. They could care less about the other false gods, it is the Christian God they hate. It is the Christian God they will one day stand before. It is simple minded George, so simple the dumbest of us can understand it. That God gave his only son, so that we could be saved.

          • George Garrigues

            That is not simple, Karen. It is complicated. God somehow magically impregnated a woman with baby Jesus, who actually was himself, and then God allowed the Jews to kill himself (Jesus), then brought this Jesus (or himself) back to life and took away his body as well. God knew all this beforehand and did it anyway. Then a while later he got some people to write it down from memory, and these epistles were gathered together along with other stories in a book to be called the Bible. Over the centuries some of it was deemed Holy and some was deemed to be a bunch of fakeries. I’m not even mentioning the stuff about those animals on a big boat. I don’t see how you can call all of that simple.

          • Karen Hollenbeck

            Well in the sense you explain it George , it is not simple. It is supernatural. Carried out by a supernatural God. However the plan of salvation is so simple that we stumble over it. How Jesus Christ came to this earth to die for our sins, and how a simple thing called believing that he did that, will ensure for us eternal life. Faith. Though complex it is so simple it is a stumbling block. I know that some of the scriptures were judged to be Holy Spirit inspired and some were not. I think this is how the scriptures were chosen to be part of the Bible.

          • George Garrigues

            I can’t agree, but I will defend your right to say it and believe it.

          • Karen Hollenbeck

            You are a gentleman and a scholar, sir.

          • ArielMalek

            George, not really. If God is real-and all powerful, loving and good as millions of us have discovered and experienced, then those things really are quite simple for such a God to accomplish. But if one’s belief system just refuses to consider God and rejects Him, then yes, not only will such things seem complicated and difficult, but so will our life which is not meant to be lived apart from Papa God’s love, truth and power. Take care, God bless you.

    • George Garrigues

      Simply not true. Where did you get that idea?

      • SteveN

        I imagined it out of bloody fresh air.

    • dark477

      Can you name one Muslim, Wiccan or Hindu memorial on public property?

      • SteveN

        Oh don’t you worry, they’ll be there soon enough, along with the evaporation of your freedom and personal liberty, which was provided for you by Christianity.

        • dark477

          The Constitution and courts provide freedom and liberty christians seem more interested in taking them away.

    • Carol Davenport

      Because some other beliefs would kill them for insulting them and their God, Catholics

      have taken the religion to the extreme righteousness. Read your bible people God punished innocent along with guilty.

      • ArielMalek

        Sorry Carol, but with all due respect your reading of Scripture is quite off. God makes clear in His word that the pagan tribes-which I assume you are referring to-had become so bloody, evil and corrupt that justice demanded they be dealt with. Are you aware that many of these people’s worship of gods like Baal, involved not just any human sacrifice, but sacrificing children mind you in fire, and other vile practices such as extreme temple prostitution and other practices which would have corrupted God;’s people Israel. God was patient with them but after so much time the evil had to be stopped and justice dispensed.

        I don’t fault you-that is a popular atheist meme and myth. But the Bible makes clear that the mere human, natural mind unregenerated by God’s Holy Spirit cannot understand spiritual truths for they are spiritually discerned not merely intellectually by our very finite human minds.(( II Corinthian 2) God bless you.

      • SteveN

        Are you making a feeble attempt to lump Christianity into the same camp as Islam? Even Bill Maher is smarter than that!

        • Carol Davenport

          Nope not lumping

      • Carol Davenport

        No I’m not lumping Christians and Islamic’s together at all my point was that Christian’s are to soft some times.they want to spare the lives of horrific people due to the fact that they think God thinks it’s bad to put evil to death

    • dark477

      Because you idiots are ones that keep violation the constitution.

  • MC

    Atheists really hate freedom of speech.

    • James Grimes

      The Useless hate everything about Christianity. They are full of hate. They loathe people of faith. They hate God, but will say they do not believe in Him.

      • dark477

        Because they don’t. This is is matter of law and the law says that the government cannot favor one religion over others.

        • ArielMalek

          Sorry but that’s not true. First of all the Founders themselves made clear they were Christian and based our freedoms on christianity and the Bible (despite modern atheist authored history books today). Other religions were protected (but not the murderous aspects as in Islam) but the Founders made clear that Christianity was the foundation of our nation-that if that were removed then tyranny would rise and freedom be lost as is happening in our day. There is no separation of church and state in our Constitution as atheist judges have twisted it. And laws based on those modern Supreme Ct rulings are themselves unconstitutional abridgement of first amendment civil rights and the result of-as others have said-acitivist atheist groups like the ACLU-whose founder said the “goal is Communism” –have shown the most unbridled and hateful expression of intolerance. I know all atheists are not so hateful and intolerant, but these activists ones are not content to have their own freedom of expression but they are determined to take away that freedom from others. Torquemadea and the folks that gave the world the Spanish Inquisition can relax a bit knowing their hatred and intolerance is being surpassed by the zealots of Secular Fundamentalism. God bless you.

          • dark477

            That is complete and total BS. You christian pigs keep tell yourselves these lies but facts are these. America was founded of the principles of the enlightenment not christianity and there is separation of church and state.

          • ArielMalek

            Dark I will not respond in kind to your prejudiced response and name calling. When someone doesn’t have the truth or an answer they resort to foul language and name calling. May God forgive you.
            But yes, what I said is based on clear historical evidence and statements of the Founding Father’s themselves which shows that atheists have twisted history to fit their own agenda to force their views on our society.

            You sound like you are quite bitter and angry. I’m not saying that to be unkind-just an observation. But know that the God you are angry with still loves you and can heal your heart and give you peace. God bless you.

          • dark477

            What you think the founder said is irrelevant. what the courts says goes and they say that church and sate must remain separate.

          • ArielMalek

            Again, I don’t want to be unkind, but your remarks reminds me of a picture of a baby I saw with the caption,”My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts.”
            Do you realize you are saying in effect, truth and reality don’t matter. Dark why are you so angry with God? He still loves you. 🙂 God bless you.

          • dark477

            I can’t be angry at god since I don’t believe in it. Your “facts” don’t matter since the courts have already spoken on this issue.

            http://infidels.org/library/modern/church-state/decisions.html

          • ArielMalek

            Dark and others-re the questions whether American was founded by Christians on Christianity or by Deists influenced by the Enlightenment. Whole books could be cited of which I only have space to mention a thimble full in the ocean of evidence which revisionist historians have totally twisted for their own agenda. But here are a few:
            Christian roots of America

            How far we have strayed from our roots…

            Our U.S. Congress formed the American Bible Society. Immediately after
            creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted
            to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this
            nation.

            Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is
            still remembered for his words, “Give me liberty or give me death.” But in
            current textbooks the context of these words is deleted.

            Here is what he said: “An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that
            is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God
            that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not to
            the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at
            the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what
            course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”
            These sentences have been erased from our textbooks.

            Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well
            worn Bible: “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the
            doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon
            be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine
            of Jesus also.”

            Consider these words from George Washington, the Father of our Nation, in
            his farewell speech on September 19, 1796: “It is impossible to govern the
            world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that
            lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the
            indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition
            that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience
            both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in
            exclusion of religious principle.” Was George Washington a Christian?
            Consider these words from his personal prayer book: “Oh, eternal and
            everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in
            the immaculate blood of the Lamb and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit.
            Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of thy son, Jesus Christ,
            that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed
            time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O
            Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the
            knowledge of thee and thy son, Jesus Christ.”

            Consider these words by John Adams, our second president, who also served
            as chairman of the American Bible Society. In an address to military
            leaders he said, “We have no government armed with the power capable of
            contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and true religion.
            Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is
            wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” How about our first
            Supreme Court Justice, John Jay? He stated that when we select our
            national leaders, if we are to preserve our Nation, we must select
            Christians. “Providence has given to our people the choice of their
            rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our
            Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” John
            Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, was the sixth U.S. President. He was
            also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his
            highest and most important role.

            On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, “The highest glory of the American
            Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles
            of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

            Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this
            truth when he wrote, “The foundations of our society and our government
            rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to
            support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically
            universal in our country.” In 1782, the United States Congress voted this
            resolution: “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the
            Holy Bible for use in all schools.”

            William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was
            used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies
            sold until it was stopped in 1963.

            Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey:

            “The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are
            derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor
            of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our
            free institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously
            than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I
            make no apology.”

            Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly
            Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In
            the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students
            seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the
            Scriptures: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed
            to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and
            Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, (John 17:3); and therefore to lay
            Jesus Christ as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.
            And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set
            himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him (Proverbs 2:3).” For over
            100 years, more than 50% of all Harvard graduates were pastors!

            It is clear from history that the Bible and the Christian faith were
            foundational to our educational and judicial system.

          • ArielMalek

            Note my above response should be below my comment after this. But anyway, here is a brief history of where revisionists have hijacked our nations true history and so erased much of the Constitutional protection of religious liberties:

            However, in 1947, there was a radical change of direction from the Supreme
            Court. It required ignoring every precedent of Supreme Court ruling for
            the past 160 years.

            The Supreme Court ruled in a limited way to affirm a wall of separation
            between church and State in the public classroom. In the coming years,
            this led to removing prayer from public schools in 1962. Here is the
            prayer that was banished: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on
            Thee. We beg Thy blessings upon us and our parents and our teachers and
            our country. Amen.”

            In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that Bible reading was outlawed as
            unconstitutional in the public school system. The court offered this
            justification: “If portions of the New Testament were read without
            explanation, they could and have been psychologically harmful to
            children.” Bible reading was now unconstitutional, though the Bible was
            quoted 94 percent of the time by those who wrote our Constitution and
            shaped our Nation and its system of education and justice and government.

            In 1965, the Courts denied as unconstitutional the right of a student in
            the public school cafeteria to bow his head and pray audibly for his food.

            In 1980, Stone vs. Graham outlawed the Ten Commandments in our public
            schools. The Supreme Court said this: “If the posted copies of the Ten
            Commandments were to have any effect at all, it would be to induce school
            children to read them. And if they read them, meditated upon them, and
            perhaps venerated and obeyed them, this is not a permissible objective.”
            Is it not a permissible objective to allow our children to follow the
            moral principles of the Ten Commandments?

            James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United
            States, said this: “We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not
            upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of
            all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to
            govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten
            Commandments.” Today, we are asking God to bless America. But, how can He
            bless a Nation that has departed so far from Him? Prior to September 11,
            He was not welcome in America.

            Most of what you read in this article has been erased from our textbooks.

            Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our
            country’s Christian roots.

          • dark477

            Only in your mind. what any of the founder did in their personnel lives has on bearing on the laws of America.

    • dark477

      This isn’t a freedom of speech issue it’s a separation of church and sate issue.

      • Bill Benson

        Can we go back to you calling me a pig? Where are you? I’d love to rehash that part of the conversation face to face…

  • Gary

    Barry Lynn’s alleged “Christianity” is a sham. He is no more of a Christian than is Obama.

    • George Garrigues

      Lynn is an ordained minister. Obama attends various Christian churches around Washington. I am not sure where you are getting your information.

      • SteveN

        They must be very fine men indeed.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      You are most correct. “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Barry Lynn doesn’t want to see a cross, because it reminds him of where he will spend eternity. He can fool some men with his “ministry,” but he will not fool his Maker, Who shall not look kindly on his fearing of man, but not God. As for the A&P (abortion and poverty) president, he serves the devil of death, not the God of Life, and his fruits expose his falsehoods.

      • George Garrigues

        That is screwball talk. I imagine that Lynn, as a Christian, goes to church every Sunday, or almost, and sees crosses there every time.

        • WorldGoneCrazy

          Don’t be silly George: there are plenty of “churches” that don’t have that “offensive” cross in them, including one of the largest: http://www.forgottenword.org/lakewood.html

          George, just out of curiosity, are you an a-theist, or a cheap grace, fake “christian?” And, why do you think that a man who goes out of his way to remove crosses from public property will be able to stand before the Lord Who died on the cross and say “See how I served you?!?”

    • ArielMalek

      Jesus warned that in the last days, false prophets and false teachers would arise to deceive many. And in his first letter, John the Apostle makes clear that to love God one must love His children. Lynn’s very clear and palpable hatred towards God and His children makes clear where he stands.
      And yes Obama has shown nothing but disdain and contempt for Christians while bending over backward to defend and support even radicate Islamic terrorists. He grew up in part in Indonesia where to go to school you had to be Muslim or a citizen of Indonesia. I understand his Islamic upbringing was Wahabee which is a very violent and extremeist Islamic sect.
      But Jesus said to love your enemies-we need to pray for both of these men for satan has deceived both of them.

  • Krimson

    Did any of the supporters think to take the statue home and display it on their own private property???

    • SteveN

      Do Gay people ever think about keeping what they do at home on their own private property?

      • Krimson

        Not that it has any bearing on the topic at hand, but do you???

  • Karen Hollenbeck

    How can we fight this crap? I am so sick of it. There has to be away. Remember when the 10 commandments were taken out of the courtroom? Everyone bought the signs to but in their yards. There were 10 commandments everywhere. The joke was on them, like when Madelin Mary O’Hares son became a Christian. God has a good sense of humor.

    • ArielMalek

      Karen, the Founding Fathers warned us of such a time as this. EG Pennsylvania colony Founder William Penn said, “Men who will not be ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants,” which is exactly and increasingly happening. But bottomline the problem is the church which on one hand is either quite lukewarm and compromised or on the other, very legalistic and judgmental (respectfully like the Sadducees and Pharisees in Jesus day).
      Sister our only hope is a Blood-bought (ie blood of Jesus), Holy Spirit birthed new Great Awakening and Reformation. I am quite confident that will happen for America still has a God-given destiny to fulfill. The only question is how much trials and tribulation will it take in Papa God’s tough love to wake up the Bride of Christ from her spiritual slumber-eg economic collapse, food lines, persecution of believers(note above article), martial law, etc. I beleve we are entering the fulfillment of Isaiah 60 a very tough time of darkness which is overcome by very glorious times of God shining the Light of His glory on His people. Shalom and God bless sister!

    • dark477

      No it wasn’t. there can’t be any religious icons on public property but people can put whatever eyesores they want on their own property.