Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

Mural cross in FFRF’s crosshairs

Vol. 37 No. 01 Jan/Feb 2020
This mural on public land in Effingham, Ill., features a Latin cross.                                                                                                                                                                                                         

FFRF has caused a bit of a stir in Effingham, Ill., after requesting the city to remove from city property a mural that features a cross.

The mural is on a city-owned overpass and city officials said they didn’t know a cross would be included on the painted design.

On Jan. 4, about 20 people gathered outside the city hall to protest FFRF’s request.

“This [cross] is really not about religion, honestly, but it’s about the crosswalks of America. It’s what Effingham is known for,” Paul Banett told the Effingham Daily News, referring to a huge 198-foot-tall white cross (on private property) at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 57.

On Jan. 7, during the open forum portion of the City Council meeting, several residents spoke in favor of keeping the cross mural, but the city did not take any action.

FFRF stated in its letter to Effingham Mayor Mike Schutzbach: “A mural that depicts nothing except a Latin cross alongside the American flag sends a clear message: that patriotism and religiosity are interrelated.