STERLING, Co. — A city in Colorado has agreed to allow the name of Jesus to be engraved on a tombstone for a local pastor’s wife after the cemetery director refused the inscription and stated that it could be offensive.
Linda Baker, wife of Mark Baker, the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Ovid, Colorado, recently passed away following a battle with cancer. According to reports, one of her last wishes was that her tombstone be engraved with an Ichthus fish and the name of Jesus in the center.
However, when her family advised the director of the city-owned cemetery of the desired inscription for the marker, he stated that he could not grant the request. Shawn Rewoldt explained that the fish would be acceptable, but the name of Jesus presented a problem.
“At first they told us it wouldn’t fit,” daughter-in-law Stacy Adams told conservative commentator Todd Starnes. “But after we kept pushing them, the cemetery director told us that it might offend somebody. They weren’t going to allow it.”
But she said that there are numerous other Christian-themed tombstones in the cemetery.
“There are full Scriptures everywhere you look,” Adams told WTSB. “You can’t walk two feet without tripping over them.”
She states that Rewoldt asked her what she would think if a family wanted to put a swastika on someone’s headstone. Adams replied that each person has their own wishes of how they would like to be remembered.
As Rewoldt woudln’t budge on the matter, the family then went to City Manager Joe Kiolbasa to express their concern, but he stated that he would have to confer with the legal department.
“He refused to work with us,” Adams stated. “He said he would have to take it to the city attorney. They were being difficult.”
Therefore, when the family couldn’t get the city to listen, it took its grievances to Facebook. Others began contacting local media outlets.
Soon afterward, Kiolbasa explained that there had been an “error” in Rewoldt’s judgment, and that the city would not interfere with Christian-based inscriptions on tombstones.
“This gentleman thought it may have been objectionable to someone because of the Christian connotation,” Kiolbasa told reporters. “It has been corrected.”
While Baker’s tombstone is finally being engraved as desired, Adams says that she is still disturbed by the entire situation. She told Starnes that it is grievous that “people are so fearful of one name that they would go to such lengths to try and eliminate it.”
“The government shouldn’t tell us what to think, what to say and what to believe,” she added to WTSB. “In their misguided attempts to offend no one, they ended up offending many.”