Bolivar Residents Show Support of Whiteville Cross

A group of residents said they are constructing a 12-foot cross and will carry it from Bolivar to Whiteville, Saturday. “We’ve sat on the sidelines for too long and we’ve allowed the world to creep in. I think the Lord expects us to stand up for what we believe and I believe in the cross,” said Martha Jewl Anderson, a Bolivar resident and designer of the cross. The group said the ‘cross walk’ is a show of support in light of Whiteville’s recent controversy over a cross above their water tower. Although he has not revealed their plans for the cross, Whiteville Mayor James Bellar said he will stand in the city’s downtown district to proudly accept the cross. “My thoughts are this is what the founders of our nation really wanted to avoid, the union of religion and government, the appearance that government officials were part of religion or promote religion,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the organization suing the city of Whiteville over the cross. Gaylor said it makes no difference whether the mayor is accepting the cross as a citizen or the mayor. “He’s accepting the cross in his behalf as mayor of Whiteville. He’s on record using his mayoral powers to promote religion to defend religion and government, so you have to look at the pattern,” said Gaylor. Organizers said the event will begin at 8, Saturday morning at the Lions Club ball field in Bolivar.

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