A storm, that’s how Walter Williams, mayor of this tiny little town, describes being told to take down that Christian flag that has flown since last June.
“When I read the letter,” says Williams, “I said, ‘well, this is somebody playing a prank.'”
It was anything but a prank. It was a letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, demanding that Rienzi take down its Christian flag to maintain separation of church and state, or risk the possibility of a half-million dollar lawsuit.
“When you’re confronted with something like that,” says Williams, “You have to have sense. You can’t fight the law.”
Here’s the crux of the matter. In this country, needless to say, anybody can sue anybody for anything. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, with its 23,000 members, has more than enough money in its pockets to be able to pay its attorneys to sue the town of Rienzi. On the other hand, Rienzi, with not quite 400 residents, can ill afford to sustain the cost of defending the lawsuit in the first place. It loses…by default.