Interesting article with interesting quote:
"County Mayor Brock Hill said, 'We are basically operating it as a freedom of speech venue. We don't deny the constitutional rights of anyone, but we certainly don't endorse all the displays. I feel the Flying Spaghetti Monster is an effort on the part of non-Christians to try and minimize Christianity and the images that have been placed there. I'll go as far as to say that I think it's an attempt to minimize and ridicule the good intentions of Christians in Cumberland County, but I don't deny their right.' "
With all due respect Mayor Hill- the Flying Spaghetti Monster sculpture is not an attempt to ridicule any religion. It should not be used as an opportunity to play the values of one religion off another. And I think if you read the comments on this blog, it is clear that many many people in our county understand that symbol and agree. Rather, the Spaghetti Monster is intended to create discourse on the role of religion on public property.
I believe strongly in the Constitution of the United States of America. Our Bill of Rights makes us one of the most wonderful nations in the world in which to live. And one of the principles for which our Bill of Rights stands is not placing one religion above another.
I personally do not believe that the courthouse lawn is the place for religious symbols- but if we as a county decide that it is, we have a responsibility to make sure that those who wish to express their diverse beliefs have that opportunity. If we choose to truly make the courthouse an open forum, let us all bring something to the table and enjoy the flavors that each of our backgrounds adds to the local culture.
Spaghetti and meatballs is meant to bring a touch of levity to a serious discourse. The statue has no intention to ridicule. It calls attention to a situation that has deeply concerned many residents over the past two years. Whether made of wood or spaghetti all religious statues are inappropriate for our courthouse lawn.