Mayor nixes plan to help fund Jesus statue

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) - The mayor of Edmond, Oklahoma, has retreated from a city board's decision to help buy a bronze sculpture of Jesus.

To avert a possible lawsuit, Mayor Dan O'Neil says a private group will buy out the city's commitment.

The Edmond Visual Arts Commission last month approved paying
$3,900 for "Come Unto Me," a 26-inch-tall statue that shows Jesus
surrounded by children. It is planned for a sidewalk outside a
Catholic gift shop, which raised the rest of the $7,800 sculpture's
price tag.

Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said he was delighted by the mayor's decision. Lynn said, "Clearly the city has felt some heat, and now they have seen the constitutional light."

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