A Minnesota town is mulling over a religious veterans' war memorial. We need to persuade city officials to proceed in the right manner.
In Veterans Memorial Park in the city of Belle Plaine, there is a display of a soldier kneeling before a Latin cross next to the Veterans Memorial Stone. This display was reportedly added to the park very recently.
We certainly have no objection to veterans' memorials. But it is unlawful for a city government to display patently religious symbols on city property, even to commemorate our veterans. It shows an endorsement of religion over nonreligion. Additionally, the memorial sends a message that the government cares only about the death of Christian soldiers and is disdainful of the sacrifices made by non-Christian and nonreligious soldiers, since it excludes the one-third of the population that identifies as such.
In its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the Belle Plaine City Council is deliberating in closed session about the religious memorial. Please contact the mayor and City Council members before then to persuade them to move in the correct direction.
Feel free to utilize the talking points below.
I am contacting you as a concerned area resident (please be sure to mention if you reside in Belle Plaine) to urge you to remove the religious memorial at the Veterans Memorial Park. The display of a soldier kneeling before a Latin cross next to the Veterans Memorial Stone demonstrates the city's unconstitutional endorsement of religion over nonreligion. Additionally, the memorial sends an exclusionary and chilling message that the government cares only about the service and deaths of Christian soldiers and is disdainful of the sacrifices made by non-Christian and nonreligious soldiers. It excludes the one-fourth of military veterans who identify as "atheists in foxholes" or are otherwise nonreligious.
Please act appropriately and move the religious display off city property.