Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that suggest more and more Americans all across the country are encountering push back when trying to exercise their 1st amendment right to freedom of speech and expression.
A man who bought a mall in Texas turned heads after deciding to install a monument honoring the Ten Commandments.
John Bushman, the new owner of the Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville, Texas, said he intended on turning the mall into a space for the local community to find "peace and love" and be reminded of the Ten Commandments.
Bushman spent $17.3 million on the mall and said he planned on spending an initial $3 to $4 million on renovations -- including the monument, which is a signature of the several other businesses he owns throughout the country.
"We're not trying to overwhelm anyone or make a statement," Bushman told Dallas News. "We just believe in the Lord's love. That's the sole reason. We hope when someone sees it, it will touch their heart and give them new hope that day."
The monument is planned to be 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide and will weigh 800 pounds.
"We're putting the two greatest commandments about loving the Lord and your neighbor on the second level because they weigh about a third of the 800-pound Ten Commandments," he said. "In times of turbulence in the world, we're sharing peace and the Lord's love. We all need more of that."
Many readers praised Bushman for his efforts to remind people of the Ten Commandments.
"What a beautiful thing he is doing," one reader commented on Facebook. "I sincerely hope & pray that you will be blessed in this endeavor and it will be a grand and wonderful success. The Lord says 'he who honors Me, I will honor him'. That is my sincere prayer for you."
Some felt the installation excluded those who didn't hold Christian beliefs, but others said the man had the right to do whatever he wanted on private property.
"What about the nonreligious crowd?" one reader commented. "Well what about them? If they don't believe in anything then the sight of the 10 Commandments should have no effect on them at all. If the sight of it offends them nothing is forcing them to stay. If he wants too out those in the mall, well it's his mall and that's his right. If you don't like it you have the right to stay out."
"Who cares about people feeling offended!" another reader added. "Just dont shop there it his business and he can do what he wants. You whiners who insist everything be fair to everyone better ask their parents why they didn't tell that life's not fair whiner yep guess what the world doesn't revolve around you and doesn't care about being fair to you."
Sources: Dallas News