We must always keep an open mind in today's world.
|In an age where pioneering pilgrims find themselves in direct conflict with a fast-moving pluralism movement, one is left to wonder where the line is drawn between church and state issues.
The removal of monuments inscribed with what is considered sacred or religious text is growing issue for many communities throughout the United States. In the meantime, the rest of us are left to ponder how a nation founded on “In God We Trust” got to this point in the first place.
Is it becoming such a big issue because political correctness has gone out of control in our nation; are Americans truly caring that much more about how each person feels? And, what constitutes going too far, or not far enough, with the issue of separation between church and state?
One local case in point would be the town of Monroe, which became the second Wisconsin community forced to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Lincoln Public Park in 2002. The monument found a new home at the Green County Family YMCA.
Earlier, in 2001, city officials in Milwaukee were forced to remove a similar Ten Commandments monument from its City Hall Annex after two separate federal court decisions. In LaCrosse, city leaders were able to avoid a similar dilemma by selling a 450-square-foot piece of city-owned property with a Ten Commandments monument on it to the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
In each of these instances, the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has been involved. Formed in 1976, the group promotes itself as a group “for freethinking people, working to keep church and state intentionally separated.”
Annie Laurie Gaylor, president of the FFRF, augments her role with the organization by writing books and engaging in public speaking. She said she believes removing Ten Commandments monuments from public grounds in communities like Monroe is good for citizens.
“Why should we have to have the Ten Commandments staring at us in the face every time we go to the Public Park?” she asked. She added that FFRF was working on behalf of a group of local taxpayers in Monroe who felt the monument should be removed.
Not every taxpayer in Monroe agreed.
“The Ten Commandments monument was good enough to put there in the park over 30 years ago,” Dr. Craig Buchanan, a local chiropractor, said. “But not now; why is that?”