The wife of a pastor near Sterling, Colo. recently died; and her family, upon presenting the city with her final wishes for a grave marker, were disheartened to learn that a reference to Jesus Christ was prohibited.
Upon hearing the argument that the faith-based sentiment is potentially offensive, Linda Baker’s family sprang into action. Faced with a brewing mutiny, city officials eventually relented and allowed the inclusion of her Christian faith to be added to the tombstone.
Her daughter-in-law, Stacy Adams, said that Baker’s loved ones “were in disbelief,” explaining that they saw no options aside from protesting the decision.
She said that Baker specifically requested the name of Jesus be placed inside of a Christian symbol, noting that the initial issue officials had was that the design would not fit on the marker.
“But after we kept pushing them, the cemetery director told us that it might offend somebody,” she said. “They weren’t going to allow it.”
When the family began to push back against the decision, Adams said the director implied that such an inclusion would open the door for another grave marker to include a swastika.
“My reply was, ‘So what if they do? It’s not my business how they want to be remembered,’” she recalled.
Unfortunately, such tolerance is not always displayed by those in a position of authority. The family’s next step, petitioning the city manager, was similarly fruitless.
“He said he would have to take it to the city attorney,” she explained, noting that city staffers “were being difficult.”
They kept implying that the message could be offensive, though Adams noted that no one was “asking for a six-foot neon sign. We did not want to put a cross on everyone’s tombstone.”
Against what appeared to be an insurmountable task, and while they were still grieving over the loss, Davis’ family utilized social media to garner support. The tactic was successful, as the same city manager that initially disregarded the request issued an apology of sorts.
Saying that the cemetery manager “thought it may have been objectionable to someone because of the Christian connotation,” Joe Kiolbasa said that such embellishments “will be allowed in the future.”
Unfortunately, the overreaction of this city’s staff is far from an isolated incident. The tenets of political correctness now dictate that any mention of faith — aside from Islam, of course — is immediately cause for suspicion.
Though a Facebook campaign was ultimately successful for the family of Linda Baker, there are countless untold stories of similar biases with a less favorable outcome.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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