Monday, March 15, 2010

Non-religious community service: here's a tip...

Many of our skeptic and freethought groups have gotten into taking community service seriously.  Roadside clean-up is just one of the activities groups have opted to perform.  Atheists have pitched in to pick-up and that's good.

And, thanks to the law, roadside cleanup can result in more than just a tidied-up ditch.  It can also reach out to result in assisting to tidy-up messy thinking.  Unauthorized roadside crosses erected by well meaning friends and meant to commemorate the tragedy of a lost life to auto accidents are... "unauthorized."  It's that simple.  These little religious reminders - knee jerk triggers to think god and pray - aren't officially allowed.  

To the person who erected the cross, its an act of healing and a way to overcome temporary grief.  Okay... good enough.  And, I can understand and sympathize with those who feel the need to erect "memorial" crosses.  But is this allowed on public land?  No.  Absolutely not.  In fact, it's tantamount to an act of littering and/or vandalism.

People suffering the loss of family or friend to a roadside auto wreck (I'm so sorry to say) must find some other method to satisfy their grief.  The law doesn't allow special privileges upon its public lands - crosses or no crosses - for erecting monuments, signs or whatnot when friends and relatives die.  That's the way it is and that's the way it's got to be.     

So... has your group decided to take on the duty to pick-up and clean-up a public way?  Well... don't feel limited to collecting just tin cans from a single stretch of roadside.  If you see a roadside cross, you have every legal permission you'd like (and perhaps some moral obligation as well) to jerk that stick of wood out of the ground and pitch it in the trash...

Help keep America beautiful.  Dig up and toss out every unauthorized roadside cross you see!         
Non-religious community service: here's a tip...

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