A cemetery in Sterling, Colo., recently refused to inscribe the name ‘Jesus’ onto the headstone of a pastor’s wife.
Linda Baker, the late wife of pastor Mark Baker, passed away from cancer last week.
Baker (pictured at left with her praise team) was very passionate about her Christian faith, said Baker’s daughter-in-law Stacy Adams.
Baker’s final request was that her cemetery marker be engraved with the ichthys, a fish symbol representing Christianity. She also wanted the name “Jesus” inscribed within the fish.
Officials at Riverside Cemetery initially refused stating that some people might find it offensive. According to NBC affiliate 9 News, the manager of the city-owned secretary said the fish was fine, but no Jesus.
“At first they told us it wouldn’t fit,” Adams told Fox News. “But after we kept pushing them the cemetery director told us that it might offend somebody. They weren’t going to allow it.”
Adams added that her family was in shock upon learning the cemetery would ban a religious reference. She noted that the cemetery is filled with headstones with full scriptures and Christian symbols.
“We were in disbelief,” she added. “Who tries to censor Jesus from a cemetery?”
According to Fox News, both the cemetery director and the Sterling city manager refused to reconsider, continually telling the family that the name of Christ would be offensive to many people.
“We weren’t asking for a six-foot neon sign,” Adams said. “We did not want to put a cross on everyone’s tombstone. It’s a six-inch fish with the name ‘Jesus’ on it.”
After the family posted about the issue on Facebook, the city caved under public pressure.
Sterling City Manager Joe Kiolbasa noted that cemetery manager made a mistake.
“This gentleman thought it may have been objectionable to someone because of the Christian connotation,” Kiolbasa said. “It will be allowed in the future.”
The city will no longer censor any religious references on headstones or grave markers, 9 News added. The city even released a public statement about the incident.
“That has been corrected,” Kiolbasa said.