Elected officials in an East Texas community defiantly illuminated the crosses on their courthouse after an atheist organization told them to take them down. The move came after the county judge and commissioners voted unanimously to keep the four crosses on the county building.
Breitbart News reported that the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) complained to San Jacinto County public officials about the prominent display of the “Latin cross[es].”
The foundation issued an “Action Alert” to its supporters on May 7th saying, “A concerned Coldspring resident reported to FFRF that San Jacinto County has the crosses up all year round and even lights the crosses during the holiday season.” The organization that calls itself a “nonprophet nonprofit” asked members to “Tell San Jacinto commissioners to remove courthouse crosses.”
Instead, local residents filled the large parking lot to the shelter. They also filled adjacent parking lots in a strip center and a community building across and down the street from the shelter. Vehicles lined the roadway coming into the town, and there were 600 to 700 residents in a building designed to seat 500.
Approximately 45 San Jacinto County residents signed up to address county commissioners in support of the crosses. People displayed large crosses and some wore shirts bearing “All in For Jesus” and other religious expressions.
A church member from the nearby town of Point Blank summed it up, “This is a standing room only crowd. This is a standing room only kind of community, and this a stand for a Jesus kind of crowd.”
William “Maddog” McCulloch, “invite[d] those people from Wisconsin to take the cross off my house.” The veteran warned, “It’s going to weigh a lot more when they leave.” “Go back to Wisconsin. This is Texas.” Another Coldspring resident dared, “Come and Take It.”
Terry Holcomb, Sr. a political activist and pastor of a small rural church near Coldspring, lit up the room when he told the foundation to “Go suck a tailpipe.”
Dwayne Wright, who serves as the county’s GOP chair, took this photo and posted it on his Facebook page saying, “THIS is how we roll in San Jacinto County! Not only did we not cower to the Wisconsin Whiners, we Lit Them Up!” Residents of the county of just under 29,000 people celebrated on social media after it saw photos of the illuminated Christian symbol on the courthouse.
Thomas Lowe reminded about the persecution of Christians around the world. “First they start with symbols, and then they go to Christians.”
Kimberly Young identified herself as someone “with a lot of spiritual beliefs besides Christianity” but she came “to help you keep your crosses.”
Resident Cloresa Porter warned, “The devil is alive” and “political correctness is a one-way ticket to Hell.”
James Holcomb and other students at Calvary Christian Academy spoke at the meeting. Holcomb called the demand for removal of the religious symbol “unjust.” “The foundation of this town is built upon God, and just because you cannot respect that, doesn’t mean you can take it away from us.”
Breitbart News has reported about FFRF efforts to regulate other types of expression, including speech in other places in Texas.
Several years ago, the organization told Hondo, Texas, it should take its iconic signs down. The signs in the community of 9,000 say, “Welcome. This is God’s Country. Please Don’t Drive Through It Like Hell.” The mayor was reported to respond, “There’s no way in hell we’re going to take those signs down.” The signs have existed since 1932 in the city just 40 minutes west of San Antonio.
FYI: FFRF never goes after Muslim symbols.