ILLINOIS: Urge Effingham mayor to remove religious display on public property


After receiving a complaint from a local resident, FFRF wrote to Effingham, Ill. Mayor Mike Schutzbach urging him to remove a prominent mural of a Latin cross from city-owned property. The mural is located along the path between the Effingham High School sports complex and the remainder of the Effingham High School campus.

This letter has generated pushback from community members advocating for the unconstitutional religious display to remain on government property. More than 14,000 people have signed an online petition titled “Let the Cross Stay” and an event titled “Standing Up for Jesus” was planned for last weekend. Read more here.

It is patently inappropriate for a government-owned mural to prominently feature a religious display. It is especially inappropriate when the display is located where it will predominantly be viewed by public school children and staff moving across their school’s campus. We need your help to counter the religious pushback. Please contact Mayor Mike Schutzbach and urge him to ensure that this religious iconography is removed from city property.

Mayor Mike Schutzbach
(217) 342-5300
[email protected]
If you are an Effingham-area resident, please indicate so in your message.

Feel free to use or adapt the talking points provided

As a secular Illinoisan, I urge the city of Effingham to remove the Latin cross mural from city property. It is unnecessary and divisive and makes nonbelievers and non-Christians feel politically ostracized in their own community. It also proselytizes a captive audience of public school students.

The religious significance of the Latin cross is unambiguous and indisputable. Continuing to allow a mural of a Latin cross alongside the American flag on city property send a clear message: patriotism and religiosity are interrelated and that anybody who doesn’t adhere to those beliefs is not a full and favored community member.

Thank you for your time.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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