The people of Knightstown, Indiana have taken up their crosses to protect themselves against a local grinch stealing their Christmas. The trouble started when they placed a religious symbol in the town square, and one of their own understood the problem with that:
Joseph Tompkins, the resident who filed the lawsuit, told Eyewitness News that he’s not out to kill Christmas. He said he believed the cross sent a message that Knightstown wasn’t inclusive of people with other religious faiths or no faith. (See related story here.)
Since then his neighbors have really come together in their joint desire to harass Mr. Tompkins and act victimized for reporters. But let’s take a look at a few facts:
- In response to the lawsuit, local Christians have made crosses (almost 600 so far) and are handing them out.
- Crosses are appearing publicly all over town, in windows and on the property of both businesses and residences.
- On Monday, a crowd gathered outside the home of Joseph Tomkins. They held up crosses and sang Christian songs.
- On Tuesday, pickup trucks were seen driving around the town square carrying giant crosses, while people crowded nearby with smaller crosses.
- This town is listed as having 2182 residents, and I was able to find at least 10 churches.
And yet, there are no lawsuits or complaints about any of that.
This is another example of Christians fighting an imaginary war, using protest strategies that are no more interesting than watching them flock into church every Sunday. But according to the linked article, resident Tarrenn Cruz disagrees:
“It’s saying we are not going to back down and we have just as much right to our freedom as anyone else does.”
Tarrenn took two crosses, and was somehow able to avoid jail time. Right now this town isn’t standing up for its religious freedom; these residents are proving the point that their religious freedom is under no threat at all.
Having a cross in every window, on every lawn, and in every hand apparently means nothing unless there is a cross on top of that tree in the town square. It’s the one thing they can’t have, because it is a clear violation of the separation of church and state. Sure, Christians can join hands around the tree to pray and sing to God; but unless a cross is on top of that tree, I guess it doesn’t count.
They are not fighting for religious freedom. This is a fight to overrule what keeps our country from becoming a theocracy. And I have no doubt that most of them don’t even realize it.
Knightstown, Indiana is dominated by Christians who are behaving as if no other voices should be recognized. Because that, specifically, is what the tiny act of removing a cross from the top of one tree represents—the idea that church and state should be separate, and therefore displays in the town square should not promote any religion at all. And in light of all the other displays of faith these Christians have demonstrated they are free to do, why do they care?
“It looks like the law protects the minority instead of the majority,” says Bill Windson, as he grabs four crosses for him and a neighbor.
Yes, Bill. Sometimes it does.