Group wants 55 foot tall cross removed in Frankenmuth - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Group wants 55 foot tall cross removed in Frankenmuth

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FRANKENMUTH (WJRT) -

(10/15/12) - It's a cross that stands 55 feet tall in a park in Frankenmuth. One group doesn't like what it stands for and says they want it off public property.

This isn't the first time a cross in Frankenmuth has been under scrutiny. But this time, a Washington-based group has stirred up the controversy.

The group that wants the cross removed is called Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The City says they're not moving it.

It's known as the Bicentennial Cross, built in 1976 during a celebration of the American Revolution.

It's massive size alone seems to make a statement. The question is, what exactly is it saying?

"I'm not surprised that it's happening because it's happening all over the country," said Pastor Mark Brandt of St. Lorenz Lutheran Church.

We asked Pastor Brandt what he thinks the cross represents.

"If erecting a cross in commemoration of our community's founding by Christian missionaries, if that establishes a religion or that simply acknowledges what the history of this place has been. And of course most of us would say it just acknowledges the historical nature of this community," he said.

The group pushing to remove it disagrees. It believes the cross promotes and endorses Christianity.

The cross sits on this public park and because of its height can be seen from a busy high way.

"Leave it up, leave it alone. There is no reason why it should come down. If you ask the public, let them decide. There shouldn't be an organization making the decision for anyone else," said Jeremy Kuschel.

Whether the cross symbolizes the City's celebration of our founding fathers beliefs, it's clear it remains a deeply shared belief today.

"I don't have a problem with other religions or putting things up, I don't. So why take Christ out," said Shirley Brown.

"Other people don't believe it, that's fine. I'm not pushing that they should believe it. But we have the right to have the cross represent us," said Pam Templetin.

The law firm representing the City of Frankenmuth says they have legally responded to the request to remove the cross.

The Washington group tells us they haven't decided what their next move will be.

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