Recently I read about the Kalispell City Council meeting where councilors removed themselves from consideration for putting the Ten Commandments and a few other noteworthy displays for all to view at Depot Park. What made it disturbing for me was the comment by a council member that the Ten Commandments was a “divisive” display.
I guess the question we all have to ask ourselves is how one of the earliest examples of common sense law has, in our society, become divisive. And, how a display showing examples of documents and decrees that formed the very foundation of the greatest civilization that ever existed on this planet, is too controversial to display. Sure, maybe the Ten Commandments has some religious significance but it was significant enough to be endorsed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and all of our founding fathers.
It is significant enough to be displayed or referred to on the front facade of the Supreme Court Building, the doors of the Supreme Court Courtroom, the wall above the bench of the Supreme Court, the rear facade of the Supreme Court Building, in the rotunda of the Library of Congress, inside the House of Representatives opposite the Speaker’s chair, outside the Ronald Reagan Building, inlaid in the floor of the National Archives and countless other state and municipal buildings in this great country.
Add to this the displays of the Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Preambles to the United States and Montana Constitutions and I see the history of my beloved country and everyone who fought and died and sacrificed for this nation. I would be most proud to claim this as my birthright.
Kalispell, you still have time to reconsider. This monument needs to be next to our Veterans Monument in Depot Park to complete them both. Don’t follow the county lead by relegating such a glorious display to some back lot. Step up to the plate and do the right thing and make us all proud of our heritage. And if litigation comes, so be it. We can and will fight it. As a friend once told me, let’s stop finding ways not to do things and start finding ways to make things happen.
Please don’t make the last best place just like anyplace USA.
One more thing. Some will say that I am a religious zealot and should be dismissed. Common sense tells me there is a Higher Power but I am not a church-going man for reasons that are mine alone.
Some will say I am right-wing conservative and should be disregarded. Most of my friends know me as being pretty liberal. I am just like many people in this country who have been silent too long. I am an American, not a Democrat, not a Republican, and I just want my country back.
Micheal Thoennes lives in Kalispell.
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