Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jesus Banned from Sterling, Colorado Cemetery

City officials in a small Colorado town told Mark Baker, pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Ovid, CO, that he was forbidden to inscribe the name "Jesus," no larger than a few inches, in the headstone of his deceased wife, Linda Baker, because other people seeing the cemetery marker could be offended.  After a huge local brouhaha, the City reversed its censorship of religious expression.
“We were in disbelief. Who tries to censor Jesus from a cemetery? . . . At first they told us it wouldn’t fit, but after we kept pushing them the cemetery director told us that it might offend somebody. They weren’t going to allow it. . . . people are so fearful of one name that they would go to such lengths to try and eliminate it.”
-- Stacy Adams, daughter-in-law of the deceased Linda Baker
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Remove Jesus From Food Pantry, Says Government

Jesus Banned from Charlotte, NC Police Chaplains

Feds Fail to Ban Jesus from Memorial Day

Atheists Sue to Bring 'Goofy' Jesus Down in Montana

Atheists Fail to Stricken Jesus from Hays County, Texas

School Bans Jesus from Prayers: Atheists Threaten

God Censored at North Carolina School, Citizens Rebel

Jesus, God Almighty Censored at Vermont Graduation

Jesus' Name Unconstitutional in Public: Supreme Court

-- From "Sterling OKs tombstone with word 'Jesus'" by The Associated Press 10/17/13

The family wanted to recognize her wishes by engraving her cemetery marker with the word Jesus surrounded by the fish-like symbol of early Christianity. The manager of the city-owned cemetery [Shawn Rewoldt] said the fish is fine, but not the word " Jesus."

Sterling city manager Joe Kiolbasa tells KUSA-TV the city will not censor any future religious references on headstones and cemetery markers.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Colorado family not allowed to put 'Jesus' on headstone" posted at UPI 10/17/13

The city of Sterling initially backed Rewoldt's decision, but later backtracked after being pressured by the public in a series of Facebook posts.

"This gentleman thought it may have been objectionable to someone because of the Christian connotation," Sterling city manager Joe Kiolbasa said of Rewoldt. "It will be allowed in the future."

"I'm sorry that it took this to do it. But I hope it sends a message," [Stacy] Adams said. "In their misguided attempt to offend no one, they ended up offending many."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Family fights to include ‘Jesus’ on grave marker at city-owned cemetery" by Todd Starnes, 10/18/13

[After the denial by Rewoldt, the] family then took their concerns to the Sterling city manager – but once again they were rebuffed.

“He refused to work with us,” she said. “He said he would have to take it to the city attorney. They were being difficult.”

So the family decided to post their plight on Facebook – and that’s when the city had a change of heart.

“We gave them fair warning,” she said. “We gave them time to do the right thing.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

The root issue is American Religious Liberty vs. Anti-Christian Totalitarianism