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Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:46 PM

Despite criticism, Frankenmuth says they are keeping 55-foot cross (in a public park)

Source: AP

Despite criticism, Frankenmuth says they are keeping 55-foot cross
4:43 PM, October 7, 2012
Associated Press


FRANKENMUTH, Mich. — A Michigan city said a 55-foot cross erected in a public park is staying put, rejecting criticism from a group that claims it’s an illegal endorsement of religion.

“The cross was raised up by a grateful community. And this community will fight to keep it,” attorney Richard Thompson said in response to a complaint from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a group based in Washington, D.C.

The group asked Frankenmuth in July to remove the white cross, which is in Cross Park, across a state highway from Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a huge holiday store that has helped make Frankenmuth a popular tourist destination, 80 miles northeast of Lansing.

Americans United said it’s disappointed but not surprised by Frankenmuth’s response. It is willing to file a lawsuit if a resident steps forward to be the plaintiff.

Read more: http://www.freep.com/article/20121007/NEWS06/121007021/Frankenmuth-55-foot-cross-public-park-criticism-Washington-D-C-group?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE



Frankenmuth is being represented by the Thomas More Law Center, a creation of Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan.

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Despite criticism, Frankenmuth says they are keeping 55-foot cross (in a public park) (Original post)
Bozita Oct 2012 OP
sakabatou Oct 2012 #1
SoapBox Oct 2012 #2
PSPS Oct 2012 #5
onehandle Oct 2012 #3
BadtotheboneBob Oct 2012 #6
DRoseDARs Oct 2012 #10
onehandle Oct 2012 #12
DRoseDARs Oct 2012 #15
DRoseDARs Oct 2012 #9
elfin Oct 2012 #4
susanna Oct 2012 #7
JoeyT Oct 2012 #8
cstanleytech Oct 2012 #11
The Straight Story Oct 2012 #13
Bozita Oct 2012 #16
The Straight Story Oct 2012 #17
AtheistCrusader Oct 2012 #29
The Straight Story Oct 2012 #30
AtheistCrusader Oct 2012 #31
Hassin Bin Sober Oct 2012 #21
The Straight Story Oct 2012 #28
defacto7 Oct 2012 #14
Rustycup Oct 2012 #18
Sunlei Oct 2012 #19
JVS Oct 2012 #20
Hassin Bin Sober Oct 2012 #22
Lydia Leftcoast Oct 2012 #23
Bette Noir Oct 2012 #24
coalition_unwilling Oct 2012 #25
patrice Oct 2012 #26
Historic NY Oct 2012 #27

Response to Bozita (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:50 PM

1. It's almost some people are trying to bite at the 1st Amendment

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:58 PM

2. Frankenmuth???? Michigan???? Where the Christmas store is????

LOLOLOL

Oh man...was there once...this doesn't even begin to surprise me.

A relative lived in the area for a while. We were driving around and past several of the (what seems like) millions of churches, the lawn areas were literally covered in small white crosses...rememberance for all those lives lost, due to liberals getting abortions. It just CREEPED me out.

Enjoy your little world Frankenmoose.

p.s....for those out there that don't know about Bronner's Christmas store:
http://www.bronners.com/

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:17 PM

5. LOL. Their website is amusing

Right off the bat, they make sure to always refer to Christmas as "CHRISTmas." I guess they don't need the heathen's green. It likely doesn't matter, though. They say they are "overflowing with 50,000 trims and gifts." For your convenience, they have a button where you can choose only "Made in USA" items. It's chock full with a whole 154 items!11!11!!

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:59 PM

3. It's been there since 1976. If it had been erected last week... or year, then I would see a problem.

Bigger fish to fry out there, people.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:45 PM

6. Really...

Plus, it's not good election year politics.

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Response to BadtotheboneBob (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:57 PM

10. Really? Yeah, that's what the gays were told about their rights, or women about their bodies. nt

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Response to DRoseDARs (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:34 AM

12. Yes.... That's EXACTLY the same.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:29 AM

15. Trotting out the "this is an election year" excuse deserves slapping down. Plus, I wasn't aware the

...White House, or anyone in Congress, was making this a national issue during an election year. Oh, what's that? They aren't? Huh, then what's your issue?

Right back at'cha.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:55 PM

9. Argument from Tradition. Logical fallacies are a terrible way to make your point. nt

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:09 PM

4. Frankenmuth is more famous for chicken dinners

Zehnders Restaurznt and its main rival (can't remember the name) were the places to go when I was a kid for family style dinners that were a real treat, even if you had to drive quite a ways.

The Christmas store is a newbie, relatively speaking, but suspect it draws more biz than chicken now and the huge car show they sponsor each year.

All about $ and nothing to do with religion until they put up that cross.

They were white white white, and don't know if they still are. German density, but don't know if that still is true.

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Response to elfin (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:12 PM

7. Main rival is Frankenmuth's Bavarian Inn.

They're also owned by the Zehnder family though - some weird thing way back where they bought another hotel and just named it something different, IIRC.

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:19 PM

8. Good luck getting a resident to step forward.

The loving Christians of Frankenmuth will have firebombed his/her house within a week.

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:33 AM

11. Guess they skipped the part in school explaining the constitution especially the part

that says

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Either that or they are just editing out the "respecting an establishment of religion, or" part.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:57 AM

13. So where was congress in their decision to put the cross in? (nt)

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #13)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:11 AM

16. WTF does Congress have to do with the city of Frankenmuth allowing an obvious religious display ...

... in a PUBLIC park?

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Response to Bozita (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 06:50 AM

17. What you quoted said "Congress shall make no law"

So was wondering what they had to do with it myself.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:10 PM

29. The first amendment is incorporated against the states.

It applies to more than just 'congress'.

Judge Roy Moore was thrown out and held in contempt for keeping a sculpture of the 10 commandments in his courthouse. Again, Congress not involved.

60+ years of court precedent shows this cross is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #29)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:49 PM

30. Well, it seems no is really complaining about it:

"Thompson states that the cross was erected as a part of Frankenmuth's celebration of the bicentennial and also to commemorate the city's cultural and historical roots.

"The purpose of the cross was not to promote, endorse or coerce anyone to convert to Christiany," Thompson said.

The letter from Thomas More Law Center cited several cases in which courts have allowed governments to display religious symbols.

Alex Luchenitser, Americans United associate legal director, said the organization will litigate if a resident is willing to step up as a plaintiff. So far, no residents have agreed."

---And yes, I understand the incorporation of the states, and while that has been around 60 years it was not present for a very long time and some still hold that the incorporation will eventually be changed (it does not include the entire bill of rights)

There is a cultural root in some religious symbols that can fall out of the separation of church/state (and if 90% of the people liked barney and erected a statue of him would that be forcing people to watch the show?).

We have much bigger issues to worry about than some cross put up in the 70's and to the avg person reading the amendment the term 'congress' is rather limiting (since it was not even the state congress that did this).

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #30)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:59 PM

31. The Lemon test applies.

1.The government's action must have a secular legislative purpose;
2.The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
3.The government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion.


Fails at least prong 1.

Why can't Frankenmuth just buy the land from the city/state? Why couldn't they erect the symbol on private land where they can do whatever the hell they like?

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #13)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:26 AM

21. Where does The Constitution say you should be able to stink up the place with your cigarettes?

Huh? Huh?

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #21)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:03 PM

28. The same place you can with coal to power your computer and your car

And all of the other things involved in making the clothes you wear and the food you eat.

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:25 AM

14. Well, as I always say...


There's nothing like lifting up an ancient implement of torture and slow hideous death as a gift from a grateful community.

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 07:36 AM

18. But what would happen if it was a

religious icon for Islam, or the devil? As long as the law is applied evenly, which it never is....IMO churches should be taxed then they can put up what they want on our property. After all the tax payers paid for it.....

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:09 AM

19. only 154 store items made in USA, should place a foreign thank you flag, next to the cross

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:17 AM

20. Par for the course in that hummel figure bizarro city.

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Response to JVS (Reply #20)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:32 AM

22. Yeah no shit.

That town creeps me out.

My buddy got married there years ago.

We couldn't get out of there quick enough once the wedding was over. We were certain they would drug our chicken dinners, pump us full of heroin, brain wash us and turn us in to Zender's lederhosen wearing henchmen.

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Response to JVS (Reply #20)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:41 AM

23. I fully agree--my mother's highest form of praise was to call something "cute,"

and Frankenmuth is fake Bavarian cuteness run amok. So when my parents helped me move out East to school and back, we had to stop there.

My father, a Lutheran pastor, was as into old churches as much as my mother was into "cute," so on one pass through we stopped at a 19th century Missouri Synod church (there's your clue right there). The pastor happened to be on the premises when we visited, and when my parents mentioned that they were helping me move East to attend graduate school, he said, "Why are you doing that? She should get married instead."

Another reason not to like that place, although in fairness, it was established by actual German immigrants, unlike Leavenworth, Washington, which just decided to transform itself into an Alpine village, despite having no historical connection to that region.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #23)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:51 AM

24. Hey! I was in Leavenworth last week.

It was a railroad town, that faced oblivion when the railroad moved its tracks to a different pass. Instead of leaving a ghost town, they came up with the idea of transforming the town into a tourist destination via Bavarian architecture.

Is there something wrong with that?

My heart will always belong to Solvang, CA, though, which was founded by Danish immigrants as a cultural history museum.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #23)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:54 AM

25. Sounds like Solvang, California which elevates Danish and

 

Scandinavian kitsch (read 'cuteness') to entirely new levels.

The Missouri Synod used to be reasonable until Preuss took over. Then it started endorsing ideas like the 'inerrancy of Scripture'. My mother left the Lutheran Church over it.

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 11:26 AM

26. Idolatry.

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Response to Bozita (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 11:27 AM

27. Bet they won't allow a menorah.

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