DUGGER, Ind. (WTHI) - One religious symbol in a Wabash Valley town is leaving leaders without answers; after Dugger's town council got orders to remove a cross that sits off of Route 54 on town property.
The orders came from a group in Washington D.C. and a constitutional peg may force the church to raze the cross. The town initially planned to remove the cross, but local religious leaders have other plans in mind.
Pastor Shawn Farris gathers at dusk to pray with his flock at the foot of a cross, but it's not at his church. It's on government property on the side of Route 54. It's gotten the attention of a Washington DC based group:
"This is in clear violation of the constitution that prohibits any government at any level from the national government to the local government from promoting the symbol of a particular religion," Barry Lynn, Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said
The first amendment to the US Constitution reads:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of."
Barry Lynn's group petitioned the Dugger town council to remove the cross or face the courtroom.
"We were delighted to find that the council has determined that this will be removed to a private place," Lynn said.
That's what brought the faithful to the edge of Dugger Tuesday night; gathering their faith and looking for guidance in what to do next.
"I've had phone calls from all kid of people offering support and prayers and one of those gentleman was with the American family institute who is a Christian organization who gives free legal representation to town and people that are fighting cases such as this where people are attacking our Christian freedoms," Farris said.
Pastor Farris said he plans to speak more with the faith based legal representation in the coming week back to you.
Council president Dwight Nielson says the town 30 miles south of Terre Haute can't afford a legal battle.
To see the complaint filed against cross the document can be read here:
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