An Oklahoma university has reversed its decision to remove all Christian symbols including crosses and Bibles from a historic 60-year-old campus chapel.
East Central University said it was immediately halting all efforts to yank religious icons from the Kathryn P. Boswell Memorial Chapel following an uproar from the community.
The Christian symbols were given the heave-ho following a demand by the Washington, D.C. nonprofit, Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
But ECU president Katricia Pierson said: "We moved too quickly. We regret not taking time to pause and thoughtfully consider the request and the results of our actions on all of the students, faculty and community members who we serve."
She said the university will form a committee of students, faculty and community members who represent a diversity of viewpoints to study the issue.
"This requires a more thoughtful and deliberate approach to the request. That will be our next step," Pierson said.
In a letter to the public university, Americans United for Separation of Church and State said:
"While it is legal for a public university to have a space that can be used by students for religious worship so long as that space is not dedicated solely to that purpose, it is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment … to display religious iconography on government property. Please remove or cover the religious displays and items."
Religious groups quickly responded to the university's decision to bow to the demand.
"It's time for Christian people to take a stand for our history and heritage," said Randall Christy, founder of The Gospel Station Network, told Tulsa World.
"The idea that the cross excludes people is not true — it's the opposite. The cross represents that all are welcome, that people of all walks of life are loved by God."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.