Christians are often confronted over their desire to have crosses and nativity scenes on public property, so David Engle of Overland Park, Kansas has filed a complaint over two Buddha statues in an Asian-themed area of the Kansas City Zoo. While peevish, it could make for an interesting constitutional case over entanglement questions.
Engle says that it is “phenomenal to me” two have the statues of Buddha when “we can’t have a cross or a nativity scene on public property.” He insists that the Buddhas are nothing more than idolatry and “infuriating to God” –the true God it appears.
The zoo is deciding what to do and clearly considering the removal of the statues. An argument could be made that such statues are common features in Asian areas and are not being used for their religious significance. However, the same could be argued about placing crosses or other religious symbols. For example, an Italian area might make the claim that churches and crosses are ubiquitous in that country. Yet, such statues are found in other public places with Asian themes, particularly gardens.
My guess is that Siddhartha Gautama may find himself in another locale.
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