An atheists’ organization has demanded that a police chief in the small town of Searcy, Ark., tear up a Christian cross an anonymous giver planted in the ground outside his office.
The local KARK-TV reported that Police Chief Jeremy Clark said he had no idea who put the cross in the ground, which is technically on public property that houses the police station. But he said he never considered tearing it up – not until the Freedom From Religion Foundation stepped into the picture, that is.
The Wisconsin-based group says the cross has to go because it violates laws against governments promoting one religion over another, The Blaze reported.
“It’s such a simple remedy,” Annie Laurie Gaylor, the atheist group president, told KARK-TV. “All they have to do is remove the cross and if the police chief is partial to it, he can put it on his own lawn.”
But Mr. Clark said that’s ridiculous. The cross is planted on a portion of ground that’s by his own private work entrance and nobody even sees it.
“Someone put it there, I didn’t put it there. I don’t know who did,” he said to the television station. “I wasn’t going to remove it just because this organization in another state told us that we should. We’re here serving the citizens of Searcy and I don’t feel like we’ve done anything to offend them.”
The former police chief, Kyle Osborne, said to the local Daily Citizen newspaper that the cross was made by members of the St. Paul United Methodist Church and that they distributed several similar ones at select spots around town.