The small community of Holmen Wisconsin has become one of the latest battlegrounds in the culture war concerning the division of church and state. The contention is over 990 square feet of public land called Star Hill. For the last 50 years, the local Lions Club has maintained a cross at the top of the hill, using the public land at no cost. Two national state/church watchdog organizations have cried foul, saying that the village, as a public entity, has no business maintaining a religious symbol for one group, at the expense of all community members. In response, the village has offered a no-bid sale of the land to the Lions Club for $100. This comes out to $3 per square foot. The Freedom from Religion Foundation has formally offered $1,200 and the American Humanist Association offered $1,000 for the land. Both organizations would prefer that the public land remain public and the cross be auctioned, but prefer the sale of the land to “unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity by a public body.” The FRF says that “the Village cannot lawfully limit bidders for the land only to those who will maintain the cross on the same spot,” which is exactly the agreement that has been made with the Lions Club. While many individuals are lauding the city for attempting to circumvent the law to maintain their religious convictions, many Christians and others, are questioning the long term consequences of such a precedent. Both the watchdog organizations and the city council are convinced that they are giving back to their respective sides in the culture war by fighting this particular battle. The stakes for both sides are more than a single cross on a single hill.

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