An undertaking of religious symbols being removed from public property has created some tension in Rienzi, Mississippi. A secular group named The Freedom From Religion Foundation pressured to bring lawsuits in response to Christians in the small town who take pride in flying a Christian flag at Rienzi’s Veteran’s memorial. Freedom From Religion Foundation Attorney Sam Grover had written to the Mayor of Rienzi, “Federal courts of appeals regularly hold that memorials featuring religious emblems or messages are illegal.” The FFR Foundation claimed that town of 300 could be challenged with more than half a million dollars in legal judgments if the flag wasn’t removed.
FFR foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a press release, “A government memorial must be inclusive of all veterans, not just honor Christian ones.” Hundreds of Rienzi Christians differed greatly with this opinion and argued that their Christian flag should be able to be displayed at the memorial.
Kevin Nelms, who is in the opposition to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s order says”There just comes a point in time when you’ve got to be politically incorrect and take a stand….we’re not gonna let other people or a foundation or anybody else up in Wisconsin tell us that we can’t fly our flag!”
The Mayor of Rienzi, Walter Williams exclaimed, “I never dreamed that something like this would have happened in a town this small, but it happened.” The Mayor has taken down the flag for the meantime to cool over the legal threats. This spiritual fight lives on and as Gaylor asserts “It’s a myth there are no atheists in foxholes,” as Nelms retorts “You’re gonna take one down, we’re gonna put a hundred back up.” It’s clear this matter is likely not over.