Chicken-Fried News: Water war? 

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An atheist group is upset about a religious display. In other breaking news, water is still wet — including the water inside the Broken Arrow water tower bearing the name “First Baptist Church.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation representative Andrew Seidel said the tower is an official endorsement of Baptists by the city and told Fox News, “At some point, that name is going to have to come off the water tower.”

Well, that’s true. An outdoor paint job will only last so long before time and the elements wear it away. But the city could always touch it up or repaint it to keep the tower looking nice. So, even if the name comes down, it’ll probably go right back up again.

Legally? Well, that’s the real question.

Seidel said the display is prohibited by the Constitution.

Broken Arrow city attorney and chief legal adviser to the Broken Arrow City Council Beth Anne Wilkening said First Baptist Church donated the land to the city with the agreement that the tower would bear the church’s name.

Here’s an easy fix: Freedom From Religion Foundation could donate some paint and maybe even hire a painter to go up on the tower and add the words “Land donated by” above the church’s name and “but not necessarily endorsed by the City of Broken Arrow” underneath it.

Print headline: Water war?

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