King City Hall Filled to Overflowing Crowd, Hear from Angry Citizens about Veterans’ Memorial Legal Settlement
By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
February 6, 2015
KING, N.C. – The city council meeting in King, North Carolina, on Monday night settled the fate of a veteran’s memorial of a kneeling soldier in front of a cross, but not without getting an ear-full from angry constituents.
The city council voted 3-2 last month to remove all religious symbols from its Veterans’ Memorial in Central Park in the City of King. The decision was part of a legal settlement agreement with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU) on behalf of Afghanistan veteran, Steven Hewett.
Hewett claimed his constitutional rights were violated by the Christian symbols. After a long battle of legal wrangling, council members decided to settle with Hewett and AU to avoid a costly lawsuit that Mayor Jack Warren claims could cost King $2 million.
The council decided the kneeling soldier statue featuring the cross would be donated to the area’s American Legion Post 290. A new kneeling soldier statue with no cross is now displayed at the Veteran’s Memorial and a flag pole that once flew the Christian flag, as well as other religious flags, stands bare.
Residents of King, deeply upset with the city council’s decision to settle the lawsuit, filled city hall to capacity with dozens spilling over to the outside of the building.
Resolute in their dismay and frustration with city leaders, they sang hymns such as “Victory in Jesus.”
Dozens of people spoke during the period for public comments, ripping council members and vowing they would ultimately have the last word on the matter.
Ron Baity, head of Return America,” the organization which orchestrated King’s rally for the Christian flag in 2010 and resulted in more than 5000 people in attendance, told the Christian Action League the settlement city leaders made with AU shut out any possible legal recourse. But Baity added the people would speak again on the issue during the election for city council members.
According to WFMY News 2 in Greensboro, Don Holland, Commander of American Legion Post 290, said he is still very upset over everything that happened. “I think Mr. Hewett has dishonored every American Citizen that has ever fought for the United States.”
Apparently referring to the Veteran’s Memorial and the forced removal of its religious symbols, Holland told WFMY, “I get sick every time I go over there.”
Olin White, “a Christian advocate” according to WFMY said, “If we don’t stand up for our rights then we’re going to lose them.”
Many others said they felt that the city should have fought to the end.
WGHP Fox 8 in High Point reported that Kevin Broyhill, a pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in King, said, “We’re tired of losing our freedoms. We’re tired of being strong armed into giving up things that are dear to us. I believe that the city of King has not done what is best for King and the cause of liberty.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, noted, “The situation in King shows us clearly the gravity of our political situation today. Never have we had so many lions among the people and so many lambs for leaders. I could share several reasons why this is largely the case, but none is more prominent than the fact our leaders rarely make God a part of the equation.
“Daniel Webster once said the most profound thought he ever had was his accountability to God. Unfortunately, when it comes to governing, because of misunderstandings regarding separation of church and state, the erroneous assertion you can’t legislate morality, etc. any conviction of some accountability to God in the way most leaders govern hardly crosses their mind.
“King only highlights that the church must zealously engage the political process through elections – through lobbying – through advocacy and education – through the media. Restoring our government to its religious moorings – its moral compass – its foundation for liberty – will be an arduous, daunting and sacrificial task. But God will be with us and advance the effort, if we are just as passionate about bearing the cross as we are about displaying it.”