My comment on site
Suggesting that a monument to a man for his war services somehow constitutes the "establishment" of some sort of religion is carrying this matter far away from commonsense or reality. To begin with, using a symbol – such as a cross – does not make one a Christian anymore than using a baseball bat in a mugging makes one Babe Ruth.
Forrest is being honored for his service to those Southern states who attempted, constitutionally, to secede from the Union just as the New England states had attempted during the War of 1812. If it was not treason DURING A WAR, it certainly wasn't treason in 1861. During the so-called "civil war" (it was no such thing), Forrest fought with great skill and courage in defense of his home and state and is as deserving of a monument as any other hero of the Confederacy OR the Union.
As well, Forrest's "involvement" with the Ku Klux Klan is little understood. Though the FIRST manifestation of the Klan was begun by six men who served under him, in some instances there are those who deny that he was EVER involved though he was asked to become a leader. But even if he WAS involved, the Klan in which Forrest participated he demanded disbanded when it began to turn against Southern blacks. Forrest was very much in favor of the good of liberated blacks and even addressed a meeting of such and was warmly greeted with applause and flowers. When he was questioned by a Congressional committee regarding his service in the war and his actions afterward, Forrest was cleared of ALL charges including the alleged "massacre" at Fort Pillow and any involvement in the later manifestation of the Klan. This was even though General Sherman certainly wanted the man hanged.
There is SO much ignorance regarding this whole issue and it is altogether wrong to allow ignorance to set standards regarding the freedom of speech and expression and the public expression of the history and heritage of the South. General Forrest deserves his memorial and those attempting to deprive him of it are either ignorant – as noted – or they have embraced the Marxist revisionist strategy of political correctness which seeks to stifle not only debate and dissent but the First Amendment itself.