For as far back as anyone can remember, there’s always been a cross atop the Christmas tree on the square in Knightstown, Indiana.
But that could change if the Grinches at the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana have their way.
The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against the town on behalf of Joseph Tomkins, a resident who said the image of the lighted cross has caused him “irreparable harm.”
“The cross is the best known symbol of Christianity and Knightstown’s prominent display of this symbol represents an establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit demands the immediate removal of the cross, monetary damages and a declaration that the cross display violates the First Amendment, the Indianapolis Star reports.
Mr. Tompkins alleges he is “forced to come into direct and unwelcome contact” with the cross as he drives through town.
It’s unclear whether the town will hire an attorney and fight this modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge, but many in this small town are ready to wage a yuletide legal battle.
“There’s a church on every corner here,” resident and relative Mark Tompkins told Fox 59. “There’s a corner on every corner here. Is he offended by all the crosses?”
The lawsuit also points out that Joe does not want his tax dollars used to maintain a religious display on town property.
Lau Ghioc, who runs a hardware store, came up with a perfect solution for that issue.
“I think we can find people in this town that can replace that 0.0004 cents to give him and not have to worry about it,” Lau told Fox 59.
Meanwhile, other residents are handing out crosses — urging folks to post them on their cars or homes or businesses. And they’ve also launched a Facebook group, “Knightstown CHRISTmas Tree.”
“He can take it down and I tell you what, I’ll park this car here until Christmas Day with three crosses on it,” one local told the television station.
Meanwhile, the town’s church-going folks are asking folks to pray for the man who wants to destroy their cherished Christmas tree cross. A fine suggestion, indeed.
If a cold-hearted miser like Scrooge can have a change of heart – I reckon anything is possible.
So let that be our prayer — so the good people of Knightstown will be able to declare, Merry Christmas to all — and to all a good night!