LETTER: Resident suggests approach to residents offended by Solstice sign

There are many things that came to my mind as I was driving by the sign displayed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation with my two young daughters this past December. Being offended was not one of them.

I was reminded of the gospel accounts of Jesus’s life and how He faced ridicule, rejection and often times hostility and persecution as He was carrying out God’s wonderful plan of  of salvation.

As a follower of Him, should I expect an entirely different reaction in my own life? Is it realistic to think that the world would pat me on the back for my faith in Him or that everybody would respect and appreciate my choice to believe in Him? I do not think so. I don’t dare to expect that.

But here is the thing. Since I am absolutely convinced that what the Bible teaches us about Jesus, the devil, heaven and hell is true, reading a sign that denies it will never ever shake me in my belief or offend me.

If anything, it makes me utterly sad that someone would choose to live their lives apart from the love of God.

Might I suggest an alternative, my christian friends, to feeling purely offended by that sign? Would it be possible for us to accept and respect the fact that the God we believe in (the God of the Bible) did give us free will and sadly that includes the fact that the Freedom from Religion Foundation is allowed to believe what they believe and display a sign of their choice.

Furthermore, might I suggest that we follow our Savior’s example on the cross? After all, as He was dying and facing much ridicule, didn’t He say this prayer: “Father forgive them , for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) ?

Would it be possible for us to take heed of what Jesus said in the Beatitudes instead of wallowing in how others offend us?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor  and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

The choice how to handle persecution, rejection and ridicule (let it be the FFRF or others) is ours.

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  • Frank Dorka

    FFRF is happy for you to have your faith and practice it. As long as you keep it on private property and away from government workings. But, I guess that is too much to ask of a Christian?

  • Blargrifth

    It took you two months to come up with that? Maybe you should have saved it for November so you could have presented it as a preemptive suggestion for next Christmas.

  • Rookheight

    It would be better to leave this debate off of public parks in the first place, but if that’s not a solution you’re willing to consider, I’ll settle for you calling out other Christians for their hypocrisy. At least you’re sincerely trying to follow your religious text’s teachings (the parts you like, anyway).

  • Joe Stellbrink

    Though I am saddened by your choice to believe in religious mythology, I defend your right to both practice and voice your beliefs. However, the government should simply stay out of the whole debate, which is the approach FFRF is advocating for. Simply keep all religious content out of parks, government buildings, public schools etc. What you do on or in private property is totally up to you.

  • Guzzman

    If a government entity permits any group or individual to erect a religious display on government property, it must then create a public forum open to other displays expressing other viewpoints.

    The best solution is to refrain from using government property to promote religious messages. That way, nobody is offended and the government satisfies its constitutional mandate to remain neutral on religious matters.

  • Mythblaster

    Smug condescension from a Christian… how totally unexpected.

  • prinefan

    FFRF’s banners and displays are vandalized by “good god fearing, love they neighbor, do unto others christians” everywhere they are put up. Why is that? Could it be that everything about christianity is phony and illegitimate?

  • “…it makes me utterly sad that someone would choose to live their lives apart from the love of God.”

    It makes me sad that so many people waste so much of their lives on something for which there is no evidence. God is no more real than the Tooth Fairy. We have one life – don’t waste it on ridiculous and harmful superstitious nonsense.

  • George T

    Yes, there’s no issue with you practicing your faith using your resources or a related religious institution. Our government has no religious rights as it is not a citizen, and is in fact prohibited from exercising any religious rights as that would automatically impose upon all citizens.

    When you install a religious display on government property they are then obligated to make that area an open religious form. If that doesn’t happen, then our government is giving preferential treatment to one religion. That is exercising a religious right that our government doesn’t have.

    Also, simply, would you be okay with a Satanic display being given exclusive access to government property? If no, then you should understand why Christianity doesn’t get that privilege. All religions are treated equally in The US.

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