• South Carolina Town Shows How to Win — and Then Lose — on the Cultural Battle Front

    Surge Summary: A South Carolina community appears to win a religious liberty battle, but it turns out the anti-Christian side of the debate came away with the victory — at least for now. 

    A southern community offers a case study in how God-fearing people can win a cultural battle – and end up losing it at the same time.

    First, the encouraging piece:

    Charlie Butts/OneNewNow provides the details:

    A South Carolina town that temporarily bowed to a heckler’s veto and removed a monument financed by a local women’s club now says it will return it.

    “We screwed up, and we’re owning that,” Tega Cay, South Carolina city manager Charlie Funderburk, admitted to NBC affiliate WCNC, referencing a July decision to remove a monument honoring slain police officers erected in front of the local police station – that is, on government property.

    One side of the monument had wording from Jesus’ statement “Blessed are the peacemakers” which recognizes, in this case, the role of the police in keeping the peace. The other side displayed a prayer for police officers that included the word “Lord” three times. Initially, those references to “Lord” were painted over after some complaints – then the entire monument was removed. Now, according to WCNC, it will be returned to its original spot.

    What? Religious references in public treated like pornography? Covered up like something sordid or disreputable? Innocent eyes that might wander their way need to be shielded from them?

    And what’s the deal with “peacemakers”? Doesn’t that term succinctly capture the essence of law-enforcement’s central responsibility? What if the word had been used without the quotation marks? Without the link back to the New Testament? Would that have been permitted by society’s vulture-eyed secularists? Or is “peacemaker” forever verboten because Jesus used the term two-thousand years ago?

    OneNewsNow touched base with Attorney Roger Gannam of Liberty Counsel about Tega Cay’s decision to ditch the pro-cop monument. He holds court precedent – a very recent one, turns out – ought to satisfy city officials that references to “Lord” are copacetic.

    “The Supreme Court just decided in the Bladensburg Cross case that religious references in and of themselves are not unconstitutional on government property. This country enjoys a long tradition of honoring religious references because that honors the citizens who put them there and who find them important.”

    If Counsellor Gannam and his allies have learned nothing else from the Bladensburg/Tega Cay nexus, we can hope they’ve figured out the battle for religious liberty remains one that will need to be re-litigated constantly, permanently. It’s a fact of life, as T.S. Eliot pronounced a bit over eighty-years ago, “[T]here is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause.” In other words, the battle for what is right and decent is ongoing.

    So far, so good.

    Here’s the downer:

    City leaders acknowledge that in their desire to find a compromise about the monument, it has “further divided” the community and “upset parties on both sides of the issue – and for that, we are truly sorry.” But according to the WCNC report, the references to “Lord” and the Bible verse will be kept off the monument when it’s returned.

    Which, I suppose, means the God-haters can notch a victory at this point anyway: Yeah, we’ll let you do something nice for the guys-in-blue — but don’t sprinkle it with even the blandest religious talk. That’ll delegitimize the whole thing!  

    Again, the battle goes on — so get back to it, Tega City!

    Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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