Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cemetery reverses decision not to allow family to put the word Jesus on woman's headstone

City leaders in Sterling, Colorado, have backtracked after the family of a pastor's wife was told her cemetery marker could not include the word "Jesus" because some might find it offensive. Faith and family were inextricably linked for Linda Baker. The late woman's husband, Mark, is the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Ovid.

Her family intended to recognize her faith and honor her wishes by engraving her cemetery marker with the word Jesus surrounded by the ichthys, the fish-like symbol of early Christianity. The fish was fine, the manager of the city-owned cemetery said, but no Jesus. "They felt that the name Jesus would be offensive to some," said Stacy Adams, Linda's daughter-in-law.

The cemetery manager, Shawn Rewoldt, was in error, according to Sterling city manager Joe Kiolbasa. "This gentleman thought it may have been objectionable to someone because of the Christian connotation," Kiolbasa said. "It will be allowed in the future." Kiolbasa said the city will not censor any future religious references on headstones and cemetery markers.

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

There's a news video here.


Anonymous said...

I am an Atheist and I would not be offended if I saw the name Jesus on a headstone. That is so ridiculous. Some people are sad.

SteveC said...

I'm fairly agnostic and I wouldn't care. I'd almost expect to see it.

Insolitus said...

The fish is a well know Christian symbol. Jesus is a common name, especially in Latin America. One would think that if it was overly religious symbols they were against, they would have opposed the fish, not the name Jesus. However, if there ever is a place for a public religious symbol, I would think a headstone is such.

Anonymous said...

I think this is fine, as long as they understand the consequences of their decision. They have now said that it is fine for Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, and even Pastafarians to enjoy their equal right to place their religious symbols on their headstones. They can't simply approve Christian symbols. I hope they enjoy their Pandora's box. I for one have no problem with it.

Shak said...

I don't understand why you're concerned about that, anon. Seems to me that no one should be stopped from identifying their religion on their headstones. There was a soldier, who was Wiccan, and he was buried in Arlington cemetery. His family fought for him to have a Wiccan symbol put on his headstone. They got it, too.