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