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Knightstown council negotiating with ACLU to return cross to community Christmas tree

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KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. - After a lengthy and emotional meeting, the Knightstown town council is tabling a proposal that would have prevented any more religious symbols on decorations put up by the town.

“I’m just going to cut to the chase on the council members that do not have a backbone. We don’t need to be puppets on a string,” said an angry resident.

This is a fight that was started because of a cross on a Christmas tree. It has gained national attention and people showed up to a packed council meeting to share their thoughts Thursday night after the members decided to take down this cross that sat on the top of the Christmas tree in the town square for four years.

“This is a violation of the first amendment and it will be challenged,” said a resident.

The move to remove the controversial cross came after Knightstown was hit with a lawsuit by the ACLU earlier this month, claiming that the cross is a religious display that has no business on town property.

“This was an attack by the ACLU,” said a woman at the meeting.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of town resident Joe Tompkins, claiming that the cross that sat on the top of tree violates a residents rights. The town took the cross off the tree to avoid having a legal battle.

The Christian Law Association tells CBS4 they will be working with the ACLU to negotiate a holiday display that includes the cross.

“They are not trying to push their beliefs on anyone, they just want theirs protected. So, that is why we are here,” said Seth Kraus of the Christian Law Association.

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