Local Christians Want Bible Sign Returned to Public Park

I wrote a few weeks ago about a public park not far from me where the parks department removed a sign that had a Bible verse on it after someone complained about it. Now, predictably, the local faithful are all riled up and demanding that the sign be returned.

Some residents in western Michigan’s Ottawa County want a sign bearing the Bible’s Psalm 19:1 restored to a public park where it had been posted for decades…

Current policy prohibits signs that are not used for information, Scholtz said.

“We add and remove signs, buildings and structures from the parks on a routine basis,” said Scholtz. “In this case, I consulted the parks commission and then decided to have the sign removed in order to reduce potential conflicts in the park.”…

If Ottawa County allowed it to be returned, other religious expressions might have to be allowed, Scholtz added.

He asked a county lawyer to review the issue and make a recommendation. The opinion is expected to be ready by Jan. 13 when county commissioners discuss the sign issue.

County officials said they are not sure who authorized placing the sign in the park decades ago. They said they also don’t know why Psalm 19:1 was chosen.

“I don’t know what the board will decide, but I think we need to have the discussion,” said County Commissioner Dennis VanDam, of Georgetown Township.

One man, Aaron Cooley-Themm, said he has collected about 800 signatures on a petition supporting the sign’s return.

Obvious response: So what? I don’t care if you have 50,000 signatures, the law is still the law and the government still can’t put a sign on public property with a Bible verse on it. That is endorsing religion, something it cannot do.

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  • raven

    New International Version Psalm 19:1

    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

    This is informational but rather vague. It doesn’t have much to do with parks but would fit better with an astronomical observatory. weather station, or tornado warning system.

    How about something useful.

    Exodus 21;7 NLT

    7 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. 8 If she does not satisfy her owner, he must allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. 9 But if the slave’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave but as a daughter.

    10 “If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy.

    Now, that is informational!!! In these times of economic struggle and rising poverty, it is always good to know you can sell your kids as sex slaves if you need a few bucks.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    They “might” have to allow other religious expression? Nope: they will have to allow other religious expression. And I suspect the Satanic Temple already has plans drawn up.

  • John Pieret

    Heh:

    Meanwhile, Harvest Baptist Church senior pastor Ryan Kooienga has demanded the return of the sign to the park.

    “If we don’t take a stand now, when will we?” he asked county commissioners on Tuesday.

    Yeah! If we can’t pee in parks to mark our territory, where can we pee?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cms13ca coreyschlueter

    There are several signs along the roadside just outside my town that reference a Bible scripture. I do not know who is responsible for them though.

  • thebookofdave

    It doesn’t have much to do with parks but would fit better with an astronomical observatory. weather station, or tornado warning system.

    If so, the KJV would be a more appropriate source for the quote, raven. At least it refers to the firmament.

    Aaron Cooley-Themm is wasting his time trying to get the old sign reinstated. This verse seems to more accurately capture his intent:

    5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.

    6 Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.

  • raven

    Meanwhile, Harvest Baptist Church senior pastor Ryan Kooienga has demanded the return of the sign to the park.

    “If we don’t take a stand now, when will we?” he asked county commissioners on Tuesday.

    Standard god babble. Meaningless.

    1. Since when is it the responsibility of the county government and/or the county commissioners to “take a stand” for Harvest church, Ryan Kooienga, jesus, or xianity? I always thought they were elected to govern the county.

    And what are they supposed to be “standing up for” anyway? Without specifying, this is meaningless. Cheap unleaded gasoline? Trees? Old whiskey?

    2. Why can’t jesus take his own stand? He is after all god, the all powerful creator of everything. If jesus can’t even put up a sign in a park, then why call him god?

    3. Why does jesus even need to take a stand? What does the all powerful ruler of everything need with a…stand?

  • grumpyoldfart

    Aaron Cooley-Themm, said he has collected about 800 signatures on a petition

    I wonder how many read the petition before they signed.

  • petemoulton

    grumpy @ #7: I can guess how many have read the Constitution.

  • Sastra

    New International Version Psalm 19:1

    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

    Oh, lovely. Another version of “everybody ought to know there’s a God, just look around you, dummy.” If the skies really did proclaim the work of his hands then the stars would spell out the name of the manufacturer. They don’t. So it’s not a valid argument.

    Why don’t those 800 people just put that verse up on their own lawns, if they love it so much and want everybody to see them “stand up” for their beliefs?

    Oh, right. Dogs mark their territory with piss stains.

  • thebookofdave

    Constitution, Schmonstitution, petemoulton.

    God wrote it, I believe it, and that settles it. (Source: BECAUSE SHUT UP!)

  • busterggi

    If there were only some way Christians could read bible verses at home.

  • dingojack

    busterggi – perhaps they could assemble them into some kind of big book or sumptin’

    Dingo