Letter: Billboard expresses world view

Elliot Teskey argues the for the red billboard and the view it represents.

Editor, the Gazette:

When I drive by that big red sign I am anything but offended. I am reminded that I am blessed to live in a culture where I can freely believe in whatever I wish and I have the freedom to speak or worship (or not) without fear of recrimination from others. I am also reminded that in many countries around the world these freedoms are denied to individuals to the extent that they are murdered, beaten and otherwise persecuted for simply believing in what that sign represents.

That sign is on private property and the owner is simply expressing his viewpoint. He has a right in this culture to do that. You may be critical of him and think his point of view is narrow, but on the other hand you avail yourself of the local paper and express your viewpoint just the same. I don’t think your viewpoint is narrow or you have a bad attitude. I just have a different world view than you.

That sign reflects the world view of over three billion people on this planet, between 30 and 32 per cent of the world’s population – I would hesitate to suggest that it is a narrow minded point of view.

Jesus was once asked by his disciples which of the commandments was the most important.

He replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength, this is the first commandment. And the second like it is this; You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

If the whole world had that narrow-minded bad attitude, none of the conflict you refer to would exist. What a wonderful world it would be.

This spring saw a lot of people badly hurt in this little town and everything they had worked for in their entire lives was wiped out. In response to that, an organization called Samaritans Purse responded to this towns needs and spent several months helping others to salvage what was left. They stabilized 147 homes that would have otherwise been destroyed by mold and rot. This town was littered with people from all over wearing bright orange T shirts, each with a cross and the name of Jesus on it. Nobody I talked to said those folks had a narrow minded attitude – especially those in need.

Samaritans Purse is all about that red sign. If there is a place anywhere that needs that red sign, it is Grand Forks.

In the late eighteenth century a lady named Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote a biography about Voltaire entitled “The Friends of Voltaire.” In an effort to explain his thinking and attitude generally she wrote; “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That quote has come to represent freedom of speech everywhere. When you look at that sign, think of how blessed you are. We are free to believe as we wish and to share our viewpoints openly.

Elliot Teskey,

Grand Forks

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