Outrageous Small Town Forced to Take Down Sculpture of Praying Soldier
A North Carolina town was forced to remove a sculpture of a soldier kneeling in prayer because of a lawsuit.
An Army veteran in King, North Carolina sued the town, claiming his constitutional rights were being violated because the memorial promoted Christianity.
He sued with help from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
City officials voted to remove the sculpture in order to avoid mounting legal costs.
King, a small city of about 6,000 people 15 miles north of Winston-Salem, dedicated the memorial about a decade ago. But the statue was removed Tuesday night, immediately after The King city council voted 3-2 to end the lawsuit. Now, an empty hole can be seen where the statue once stood.
MyFox8 in Winston-Salem, reporting on the controversy the other day, said the memorial is on city-owned land but was paid for through private donations.
“Both sides in this matter wish to avoid further costs, and this agreement will ensure that the City of King will not spend additional taxpayers’ funds to continue litigation in federal court,” the city said in a statement after the vote.
As part of the agreement, the King City Council also said it would stop flying the Christian flag over the memorial and would pay $500,000 to Americans United for Separation of Church and State for the legal costs the group incurred bringing the lawsuit on behalf of local Afghanistan War veteran Steven Hewett.
Jedediah Bila said on "Outnumbered" today that she thinks the town was bullied into removing the sculpture.
"I think it's bullying and it always comes down to cost," Bila said. "What happens is that people look at the cost. You're talking about $2 million dollars and they say it's not worth the fight I'm just going to give in."
She also said that she thinks this case is ridiculous and that she would like to meet the people who get offended at monuments like this.
Andrea Tantaros shared that she's shocked by the Army veteran's actions.
"I just can't believe that this veteran who fought to defend our rights to choose whatever religion we want would be so offended by a town putting up a monument to Christianity," Tantaros said.
Watch the video above to hear more of the debate.