Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Conklins in the News: Freedom From Religion Foundation is Squandering Energy Again--against Roadside memorial crosses.

According to an article in the Blade last Sunday, featuring the roadside cross memorial for our friend Tim Conklin, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sees the roadside crosses marking accident sites as “religious” and thus offensive. They encourage atheists to tear them down because they are on government property. I wish the members of the FFRF had something better to do with their energies. This is so petty.

First of all, I bet some of the crosses are really on the easement rights the government maintains on private property for the potential of enlarging the roads.

Secondly, they ARE warnings that we should be careful in our driving and may mark a dangerous curve, as Tim Conklin’s cross memorial does.

Thirdly, they ARE comforts and expressions of grief and remembrance for those who have suffered a terrible loss. Crosses symbolize life after death, salvation for eternity. They ARE more than generic memorials in that Jesus’ death on the cross resulted in Resurrection of the Dead for all who believe. Any one may choose to believe this or not, so why does the symbol enrage or sadden the unbeliever??? Perhaps because he thinks there may be truth in it and he’d rather there be no such hope? Is that rational?

Many such memorials disappear after many months of deterioration. We assume road maintenance or the families might take them down because they were neglected over time as people move on with their lives. Moldy teddy bears, tattered signs and withered flowers are cleaned up –but a cross endures a while longer as a sign that someone cared about this life that was tragically taken.

“That government is best which governs least” seems applicable to such memorial crosses as to national health care. It is liberals and atheists who seem to want to control every aspect of our lives –and deaths –with their vitriolic hatred of all things religious and free.

Tim's father, Joe Conklin, a Christian lay leader at my church, had the last words in the article, including these about the FFRF types: "I think these people are nuts to start out with. This country was brought up with the cross. You won't find the term 'separation of church and state' in the Constitution or in the Declaration of Independence." EXACTLY!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Jeanette said...

I've seen these crosses on the sides of roads mostly in the South. I always thought it was a senseless thing since that's not where the body is.

They seem to be decorated regularly and it seems the grieving won't let go of the grief. Their loved one's body is in a cemetery and proper memorials are put up there.

While I don't object to seeing the crosses on the sides of the roads I do think they are foolish. Just my opinion. I never put any religious significance to them because I have known of people unsaved who have crosses erected in their honor.

If it makes the loved ones feel better then what's the harm? I only see it for a couple of seconds and I don't see it as a "church" function, but as a memorial.

Barb said...

I think it's hard to let go of such grief and would favor giving people all the time they need.

My mother taught me, also, not to revere the graves --she would sometimes decorate her parents' graves on Memorial Day --but pointed out that the person isn't there anymore. On the other hand, Christian belief says we shall rise from those graves, so that could be justification for decorating to reinforce faith that body will be united with soul, alive and renewed again! But people do it just out of respect and love for their relatives --and if they don't do it, it doesn't mean they love them any less.

Mom used to say that she just wanted a plain wooden cross on her gravesite when she goes -- and dragged her feet on buying Dad's tombstone --such that his brother bought a small one for him --and it doesn't have her name on it--which may have been her expressed wish at the time for all I know.

Barb said...

Another thing about the Conklin cross, his many friends put it up--not his family--and this fact blessed his family. His guy friends all showed up to attend church with this family on the anniversary of his death last year. All dressed in suits, if I recall--respect.

steve said...

I think that is very wrong what th atheist group is promoting! It is similar to what those "God Hates Fags" church people are doing at military funerals. (I'm not making a sarcastic analogy.. I agree that this activity is over the line).

The constitution says that we are free to express our religion or lack or religion any way we want. It doesn't say that we are to be free OF religion.. or what I mean.. the Government should not be promoting the freedom FROM religion. It's almost totalitarian the attitude to deny someones right to express their religion as the Conklin friends have done with a simple shrine. Desecration is a form of violence intrinsic in these types of activities.. from both sides of the issue. The "God hates Fags" people and these "Freedom From Religion Foundation" are cut from the same cloth. Interesting how they are presenting themselves with similar acts of desecration, but from opposite sides of the spectrum.

Christian Apologist said...

I just read an article about how Saudi Arabia is executing a tv show personality who would predict peoples futures on his show for the crime of sorcery. That is what the founding fathers had in mind when they said;

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, ..."

modern judges seem to be completely dismissing the second part of this clause.

Barb said...

Of course, I worry for the Sat7 TV people (in Lebanon) who are broadcasting Christianity into Saudi Arabia. There is no real religious tolerance in most Muslim nations.

mud_rake said...
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