September 18, 2015

Be Our Guest / Ann Smith

Veterans’ memorial, town’s heritage being threatened in Church-state debate

I wanted to draw attention to what is going on in Oldenburg.

A resident of the town has taken issue with the fact that the word “God” and a cross are on a veterans’ war memorial, which is on public land in the town. This memorial has been there for three years, and this resident is just now taking issue with this.

I have read an article that he is being backed by the Indiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and a group known as the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). FFRF is the same group responsible for getting a Nativity scene removed from the courthouse in Brookville.

Some will say that the resident is correct and claim separation of Church and state. What those people fail to realize is this little town was founded by Catholic German immigrants.

The only church in town is a Catholic church—Holy Family. The only school in the town, Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception, is a Catholic high school operated by the Sisters of St. Francis. Not everyone who lives there is Catholic, but most are Christian. God is very much a part of the heritage of this town, and a piece of that heritage is now being threatened.

Christians are getting very fed up with groups like these trying to take God out of every aspect of our lives. People keep saying that we Christians are trying to shove our religion at them, yet the very opposite is true. We are trying to save our faith from being suppressed, and eventually made illegal for practicing it anywhere outside of church walls.

Our country was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles. These principles guided our forefathers in creating the Constitution and in helping them to make our laws just for everyone, not just the lawmakers and special interest groups.

I ask you all to pray for this town. There was a town hall meeting last week in which the aforementioned resident made known his wishes: to either remove all religious aspects from the monument, move the monument to privately owned land, or sell the land it is on to a private group. All aspects to a resolution are being looked at by town leaders, but why should this monument or the land it is on be changed just to suit one or two people when the majority of residents wish it to stay as it is?

The next meeting is at 7 p.m. on the first Monday in October (Oct. 5), in which the town will give its response. If you are on Facebook and would like to show your support or keep up with the developments of this issue, please visit the page Oldenburg’s Veterans Memorial—keeping with God, duty, country.

(Ann Smith resides in Batesville.) †

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