To no one’s surprise, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners not far from where I live is going to take up the question of a sign with a Bible verse that was removed from a public park by the park and recs department. Because who’s going to pass up such a great opportunity to pander?
Ryan Kooienga, senior pastor at Harvest Baptist Church, admonished the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Dec. 23, for allowing the sign with the Bible verse Psalm 19:1 to be removed recently from Hager Park. He demanded commissioners move quickly to return the sign to its original location.
“If we don’t take a stand now, when will we?” Kooienga asked county board members.
Take a stand for what, exactly? The right to mark your territory and have the government endorse your religious beliefs but no one else’s? You don’t have any such right to take a stand for.
While the county board decided against taking action at its last meeting of 2014, the board did agree to add the issue to the county board’s work session, after the regular meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 13.
“I don’t know what the board will decide, but I think we need to have the discussion,” said Commissioner Dennis VanDam, of Georgetown Township.
They’ve asked the county attorney to give them an opinion on the legal aspects. I can tell them myself. If they put the sign back, they open it up as a limited public forum and other groups will immediately want their own signs put up. And the same Christians who are “standing up” for their right to put up their signs will throw a fit at the idea that anyone else can do the same thing. Because, as always, this is all about preserving Christian privilege.