Well I am off to Calgary and was planning on going to the stampede if for nothing else to support Calgary. Recent events by the Calgary Stampede organizers have made me change my plans.
A Calgary minister (Artur Pawlowski – Street Church Ministries) has been taken to court to prevent him from participating in the parade or talking about it because he refused to NOT have the word “Jesus” on floats, signs or clothing. He was told that His name “offends” people. I can’t believe the Stampede has tried to ban Jesus from the parade. Good luck y’all. Watch the video and you will see how well that worked out for organizers. Here is a man raised in communism and the Stampede committee tried to restrict his right to free speech over this? Are they nuts?
I have to ask, who on this planet is offended by the word Jesus? Or Allah or Mohammed or Jehovah or whoever else others look to for salvation or hope in what is increasingly a negative world? Granted there have been individuals and actions in our past that may need forgiveness… but these are people and actions worked in His name; not Him or His name.
Granted, there are things that I might find offensive, but for the most part, even these things would not turn me off of enjoying the parade. Seeing a float sponsored by Nazis or gay groups might be offensive to some but I would take the opportunity to explain to my children how much we value free speech in our society. Nobody is hurt by a gay Nazi saying he loved Hitler so he should be able to express this opinion.
The fact that we won’t let a Christian minister talk about God in public because it would offend someone borders on insanity. Some people of varying religions are shrugging their shoulders right now but remember that the society and laws that we live under in most of North America were based on a Christian faith.
I could rant all day but suffice to say I expect to see a public apology to this pastor and the people of Calgary and Alberta before spending another cent on anything stampede related (and I can hold a grudge). I want the organization to think real hard about what Calgary and Southern Alberta have gone through in the past month and tell me that you honestly believe that everyone who helped out in any way is an atheist.
I will go on record as saying that I was pleased that the court found sense in the law and allowed these Christians to attend if not participate in the parade. I am not impressed that the city hasn’t turfed the entire stampede organization but I can wait a few weeks for that. The police did end up arresting him so I am sure he will be back in court soon. I look forward to that day as I am sure he does as well.
I will end with two things to say to y’all running the Stampede… First off, yer all nuts. Even my atheist friend isn’t offended by Jesus’s name. Secondly, a warning that you might not want to start pissing off other religious groups next year. The consequences could be much worse than a group of picketers at a parade.