SENECA, S.C. — A foundation has filed a complaint about a memorial cross embedded in the stonework at Seneca’s water treatment plant.
Multiple media outlets reported that the Freedom From Religion Foundation has written city officials saying the cross is an unconstitutional display that amounts to government endorsement of Christianity.
Seneca city administrator Greg Dietterick says the city has no comment.
The cross appears to be made of the same kind of stones used in the rock wall. A photo caption from The Daily Journal of Seneca says the cross was embedded in memory of a construction worker who was killed at the site.
“We are sensitive to the fact that this display is a memorial for a construction worker,” the letter says. “However, it is the city’s constitutional obligation to find a religiously neutral means of expressing remembrance in a memorial display on public property.”
The cross is on a patio wall behind a fenced-in stone building at the end of a dead-end road overlooking Lake Keowee. The cross is not visible from the road.
Dietterick said the city council will be officially informed about the letter at the next regular meeting.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, of Madison, Wisconsin, says its purpose is to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church.
The complaint came after a Seneca resident contacted the foundation, its letter says.