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Thursday, August 28 2:00 PM EDT

Mississippi Judge Ordered to Remove Twelve-foot Burning Cross From Courthouse

By Brian Briggs

Jackson, MS - Judge Clinton Marburger continued his refusal to comply with a federal court ruling which ordered him to remove a twelve-foot tall burning cross from his courtroom.

Burning cross of justice.The state faces fines and loss of federal funding if the cross is not removed before Friday at midnight.

"The cross is a symbol of God which is the moral basis for our laws," said Judge Marburger. "It's not endorsing any particular form of religion. All Christian denominations recognize the cross as an important symbol, so it really shouldn't be an issue."

"Furthermore," continued Judge Marburger, "the cross in my courtroom symbolizes the sacrifice that we all make in meting out justice, and the flames symbolize the warm feelings we have for all those who pass through our doors. Who could object to that?"

Supporters of Judge Marburger held hands on the courthouse steps and sang choruses of "Amazing Grace" and "My Mammy" during an overnight, cross-light vigil.

"Everyone knows that Jesus died on the cross, so why wouldn't we want to burn it? I mean would Jesus want to come back and see all these crosses around? I don't think he would want to be reminded of that time," questioned Tom Hayder, a supporter from Biloxi.

Other supporters wondered when the separation of church and state madness would end. Cheryl White from Jackson worried, "First they forbid the ten commandments in Alabama, now our burning cross in Mississippi. Next thing you know, they'll want to stop the re-enactments of the crucifixion during sentencing that the court in Texas does?"

The perpetually burning cross was installed late one night in July, and met with immediate objections from Civil Rights groups who decried it as a hateful symbol of racism and intolerance.

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"Those people just don't understand," retorted Marburger. "When I make rulings in my courtroom, I take no consideration into the race or religious affiliation of the unseemly heathen, mostly black defendants in my courtroom."

A federal court ruled that not only did the burning cross promote a religion, but that Judge Marburger was "out of his fucking mind and should be removed from the bench with extreme prejudice."

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