Sterling cemetery backtracks after 'Jesus' ban (Colorado)


STERLING - City leaders are backtracking after the family of a pastor’s wife was told her cemetery marker could not include the word “Jesus” because some might find it offensive.

Faith and family were inextricably linked for Linda Baker. The late woman’s husband, Mark, is the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Ovid.

Her family intended to recognize her faith and honor her wishes by engraving her cemetery marker with the word Jesus surrounded by the ichthys, the fish-like symbol of early Christianity.

The fish is fine, the manager of the city-owned cemetery said, but no Jesus.

“They felt that the name Jesus would be offensive to some,” said Stacy Adams, Linda’s daughter-in-law.

A ban on a religious reference? In a cemetery?

“There are full scriptures everyone you look,” Adams said. “You can’t walk two feet without tripping over them.”

The cemetery manager, Shawn Rewoldt, was in error, according to Sterling city manager Joe Kiolbasa.

“This gentleman thought it may have been objectionable to someone because of the Christian connotation,” Kiolbasa said. “It will be allowed in the future.”

Kiolbasa said the city will not censor any future religious references on headstones and cemetery markers.

“That has been corrected,” Kiolbasa said.

Baker’s family insists the city manager originally supported the cemetery manager’s decision and only relented after they initiated public pressure through a series of Facebook posts.

“I’m sorry that it took this to do it. But I hope it sends a message,” Adams said. “In their misguided attempt to offend no one, they ended up offending many.”

There is a good article by Todd Starnes but it is an editorial-type article so I don’t think I am able to post it.

My friend argued the cemetery would do the same to a Jewish or Muslim request. I strongly disagree. He also argued Jewish and Muslim intolerance is much more prevalent in our society.



Adams said. “In their misguided attempt to offend no one, they ended up offending many.”

Isn’t that the way it is about soooo many things today. We need to stand up against it like they did. God Bless, Memaw


People need to wake up… this kind of “offense” is lead by atheists. Real Jewish and Muslims clergy would never support such a law which hinders everyone’s religious freedom.


These things get less and less surprising and more and more ridiculous all the time. Freedom of religion is not freedom fromreligion, and that’s a hard concept to so many people.


“The fish is fine, the manager of the city-owned cemetery said, but no Jesus.”

I protest. I find the fish offensive. We need to ban the fish. :cool:



Jesus is a very common name among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. I wonder if they backtracked after realizing this?


Never said it was led by Jewish or Muslim clergy. I am arguing if it had been a symbol of either of those religions, I highly doubt the symbol would have been banned.


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