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Officials in Knightstown, Indiana, removed a cross atop the town's Christmas tree due to a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The town council elected to take the cross off the tree Monday because they didn't think they could afford fighting a legal battle against the ACLU.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of resident Joseph Tompkins, and it alleges that the cross violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Now, outraged residents are speaking out.

Dozens gathered at the display on Sunday to protest the cross removal.

"This is demonstrative of the erosion of free expression of religion," Curt Hunt, pastor of the Knightstown United Methodist Church, told IndyStar. "It is unfortunate that town council was forced to take the action. It's my hope in the future, someone would be able to put forward the case under the First Amendment, that such displays do not violate the establishment of the First Amendment."

“It’s just ridiculous,” Knightstown resident Aaron Magee said. “I’m very offended that the cross was taken down, and I want it put back up. We all want it put back up.”

“Keep Christ in Christmas no matter where you’re at,” resident Lora Lewman said.

Watch the "Fox & Friends" report above, and let us know what you think in the comments.

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