Church-State Separation Group Seeks Removal of ‘Religious’ Veterans Memorial

MemorialKNOXVILLE, Iowa — A prominent church-state separation group is seeking the removal of a veteran’s memorial in Iowa because it considers the cross grave marker included in the display to render the memorial religious.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) recently sent a letter to officials with the Iowa Department of Parks and Recreation to assert that the memorial, which is displayed in a Knoxville area park, after it said that it received a complaint about the monument presence on government property.

The display features the silhouette of a soldier bending down on one knee before a cross-shaped grave marker, and was reportedly placed in Young’s Park by a local veteran. The individual had not sought permission from the city, but the city saw no issue with the memorial since it was understood to honor veterans.

“The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits government bodies from promoting religion on public land, including through the display of Latin crosses—‘the preeminent symbol of Christianity,'” the letter from AU reads. “Please remove the Latin cross from government property.”

The organization has requested that the Department reply within 30 days.

Knoxville Mayor Brian Hatch says that he was taken aback by the opposition.

“I’m shocked by the reaction of this,” Mayor Brian Hatch told local television station KCCI. “There are several of these around town. You see them all over the place.”

  • Connect with Christian News

Area resident Doug Goff, a veteran, remarked to the outlet that he doesn’t believe the cross was used to promote a religious symbol, but was rather a replica of the headstones that are used in military cemeteries.

“For me, I think that the cross represents a headstone, and then the soldier is commemorating a fallen hero,” he said.

“Would you go to Arlington National Cemetery and ask to take down those crosses? No. Who would?” Goff told reporters. “There are millions of those there and we’ve got one.”

Goff is among those expected to attend a rally on August 30th in support of the memorial. A city council meeting is also planned for September 8th, during which time a public comment period will be made available over the matter.


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, our hearts are deeply grieved by the ongoing devastation in Iraq, and through this we have been compelled to take a stand at the gates of hell against the enemy who came to kill and destroy. Bibles for Iraq is a project to put Arabic and Kurdish audio Bibles into the hands of Iraqi and Syrian refugees—many of whom are illiterate and who have never heard the gospel.Will you stand with us and make a donation today to this important effort? Please click here to send a Bible to a refugee >>

Print Friendly
  • spares

    it is a far cry to say they are promoting religion by allowing this. Are they poromoting gay sex by allowing gay people to use public land?

  • spares

    there is no language that says that.

  • spares

    and nothing you have said states we cannot have christian monuments on public land. Again, it is the liberal interpretaiton that assumes if a monument is there, that they government has now being run by religeon. That is like saying being kind to muslims makes you a terroist. you are an idipt, really….

  • spares

    BS. Only in the liberal mind are they afraid of religion, and i believe it is the fear that itue, because liberals and atheist live such abhornat moral klives that they are very fearful that if true, they are oretty much screwed.

    Proof = Have you ever heard a liberal appologize or ask for forgivness for doing wrong? NEVER!!!

    • Glenda George

      just another hate group like black lies matter nothing will ever be good enough for them and taking down a veterans memorial is like telling the veterans that they don’t matter completely wrong.

  • spares

    Liberals always use the wrong interpetaion to make thier cases.

    Abortion = Liberals deciding what cosstitutes life instead of doctors and the people
    Gay Marriage = not in the constituiton at all and is purly a case of liberals making up the language
    Serperationof Chuch and State = Liberals interpret this as meaning nobody can say a prayer on public land, no one can say they are a christion in public, no monument to a hero if he was a priest, because that would be honroign religeon….soon, they will make laws prhibiting making a church a historic site….

  • spares

    Many who do not wish to believe that a God-centered world view is the foundation of America irritatingly ask, “Where does the Constitution mention God?” They suppose that because the founding fathers did not insert “God” into the Constitution itself that we should have a “Godless” society as far as the public marketplace is concerned. Let us see.

    First, the constitutional framers built their structure upon the foundation of Natural Law — a God-centered world view. On this the founders were in agreement. But “Natural Law” to the entire founding generation was defined as the “laws of the Creator.” In a 1794 letter to the Massachusetts Legislature, Samuel Adams wrote, “In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator.” This is precisely why “Congress shall make no law …” initiates the First Amendment. Freedom of speech, of press, of religion had been given by God and no government can legitimately remove it.

    Second, it is interesting that the founders relied most heavily upon the Bible for their political justification for the Constitution. William Blackstone, Baron von Montesquieu and John Locke top the list of most-often cited theorists — all of whom believed that God’s laws undergird civil law. But the founders quoted another volume much more prolifically than any other. Biblical quotations comprise 34 percent of all the source material offered by the founders!

    Third, Supreme Court rulings for the entire first century of American existence boldly declared that “Christianity was a part of the common law of the land.” In fact, the Constitution is only officially considered to be one of the fundamental laws of the United States. The Declaration of Independence is another and is so stated in the U.S. Code. As Samuel Adams put it: “Before the formation of the Constitution … this Declaration of Independence was received and ratified by all the states in the Union and has never been disannulled.” The Declaration, which grounds our liberties upon God, was always considered to be interrelated to the Constitution in the same sense as articles of incorporation are related to the bylaws of a company. The Articles bring the entity into existence and the bylaws manage how that entity is to be run. Thus, the founders needed not place their sense of values in the Constitution since this had already been done in the Declaration.

    Fourth, the Constitution does, after all, mention God. Article VII reads, “done in Convention … the Seventeenth Day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America.”

  • Glenda George

    there is no separation of church and state in the constitution.Go back to school and relearn the whole constitution not just parts and amendments that have been added to the constitution over the years.