Prayer, not porn, better for downtown (Letter)

I was deeply saddened to read of the sorry debacle over the dispute concerning the Central Christian Church's rental of the empty Central Commercial Building. Apparently downtown business owners and the Planning and Zoning Commission would prefer to have additional commercial businesses like the combination of a porno and head shop in their midst than a church. I think that the moral and spiritual influence of a house of worship might do much to improve the current state of affairs in Old Kingman.

There was a time in the American West when the construction of a church building was viewed as a sign of civilized progress in a community. It signaled a higher ethical and moral standard was to be expected in the town's citizenry, as well as the hope of God's blessing and presence among the townspeople. I wonder what might be the reaction of some of the families looking for a new community and having read Doug McMurdo's account of the meeting would think of a business area that welcomed commercial enterprises whose merchandise is often associated with drug abuse and sex crimes?

I also take exception to the comment inferring that the church's presence in the commercial business area was an act of religion being "shoved down our throats." The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits both the making of any law impeding the free exercise of religion or the abridging the freedom of speech, both of which are related to the Christian practice of establishing churches in a community and proclaiming the gospel of Christ (see Matthew 28:19-20).

The gospel is offered to people, not crammed down their throats. Everyone has the right to listen or turn away. To see an example of having religion crammed down one's throat, observe ISIS' practice of going a step further by removing the objector's head.

Grif Vautier

Kingman