The Big Spring park is home to a garden, wading pool, and now some controversy. A Neosho local contacted the Freedom from Religion Foundation and told them about the 60 foot Latin cross that resides on the western knoll of the Big Spring Park. The FFRF wrote a letter to Neosho Mayor Charles Collinsworth, asking him to remove the cross or move it to a more private location such as private property right away.
"Separation of church and state actually benefits all of us, the religious and the non religious alike. We can't truly have religious freedom unless our government is free from religion." says Rebecca Markert from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
But some residents see the cross as a display to what they see as a Christian based town.
"This pretty much is a Christian based town, I mean if they're gonna take the cross down they might as well take the churches away too." says Neosho resident James Fulp.
Rebecca Markert also said "We want our constitution to be complied with and the constitution prohibits a government body like a city from displaying religious symbols on public property."
Although the research the organization did found this cross to be unconstitutional, some locals I talked to just think it's a part of the town's history.
"This is part of our park, part of our history in Neosho and I think most people in Neosho will want it kept there."
The Neosho City Council released a statement earlier today that the authoritive case law within the 8th circuit supports the cross staying in the park.
the city council voted and under unanimous opinion. The cross in the park will stay.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas