News/Commentary By Ed Wallace, Publisher, December 6, 2023

A post (click here) on Facebook generated over 140 comments in less than 22 hours. The post, by VJ, stated, “I’m a religious person, but this post that was included in an email sent out by the city and written by city councilwoman Kim Casperson seems out of place.”

“Vanessa Jones”

Vanessa has every appearance of being a fake person…. No friends, photos, posts… nothing. Is it possible that one of the supporters of her post created her persona like Mitt Romney did with Pierre Delecto for the sole purpose of agreeing with himself?

Most of the reaction was very supportive of Casperson’s post, many praised her for it, including AC, who stated “The men who founded our earliest form of government were motivated to do so by the right to worship God. We cannot forget our roots! This country was formed so that Christian’s could worship God!! Welcome to America! We have been and are a Christian country from the very beginning! I love this message of hope and light. It brought a calming, loving feeling into my heart.”  

There were a few who agreed with Jones.

CS, started it off: “I agree so much for church and state being separate.”

MS replied, “Caleb, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what separation of church and state means. It’s ok, most do. There’s nothing wrong with expressing faith and conviction. You think she can’t express it publicly because she is on a city council?  Seriously, get over yourself! Being Christian is not to be hidden no matter how much the identity idiots on the left think it needs to be. Whether that is you or not you are siding with them.”

JH added, “The Separation of Church and State was an old adage which was coined to emphasize that the church must remain free from the state’s influence. The founders didn’t want the state to dictate which church must be chosen, preferred, or given special status. It was never intended to mean that the church couldn’t have a presence in the state.”

EM also commented on Garrett’s argument, “Kim is awesome. I wonder if you say anything about inappropriate disgusting books in public schools; or perverted drag shows out in the open in Washington County? Probably not. But this offends?”

One of the most vocal against Casperson’s greeting was CG, who said, “This holiday wasn’t a thing before Christianity and it won’t exist after Christianity either…. you do understand that Christmas was a pagan holiday? Right. Christ was actually born in the spring. It was just hijacked by your religion. I hope you have an amazing holiday celebrating thousands of years of rape, murder, and cultural appropriation because the people you are celebrating this season stole the holiday from at least 2000 years before their own time and pagans celebrate the winter solstice on this special day…. Religion shouldn’t be preferred by government and government shouldn’t be preferred by religion. Religious freedom is a founding tenant of this country, but if you don’t belong to the prevalent religion here you get treated as an outsider. Exactly the opposite of what should be happening.”

LM, always a pillar of common sense, stated, “If we only say things that won’t “offend” or differ from someone’s beliefs, we’ll never say anything at all. Put on the big-boy/girl pants and “tolerate” the Christians.”

PHF replied “I’m glad that Kim can express her heartfelt words. Whether you like her thoughts or not, I’m grateful that we still enjoy the Freedom of Speech. Her words have allowed me to see into her heart and what influences her as she leads this community. I’m grateful that she can be true to herself and not just be politically correct in sharing her views.”

IS chimed in, “But while I’m certain that it’s unintentional, the same message alienates others, who do not feel acceptance in the community because their spiritual beliefs are different. It’s especially a sensitive issue when thousands of people are dying and suffering in the Middle East over conflicts rooted in religious beliefs.”

SLS added some sense to the conversation, ”There are wars all over the world, people don’t always believe the same. This is a kind and accepting community, perhaps if someone feels alienated it’s because they’ve told themselves they are because they believe differently, not because they aren’t welcomed by their beliefs. Let’s not become like the Middle East because we believe or assume others feel a certain way or because they believe in Jesus. If someone in our community feels not welcome please reach out, I know hundreds on this page that would welcome you in religion or not. Christmas is celebrating Christ’s birth, it’s here, it’s all over the world. No one is trying to hurt anyone with that… it’s the season of Love and Light “

JL argued, “It’s in a city utility bill. It’s just not the place for it.”

SLS responded, “Was it a newsletter or just the City Bill? Is it worth stealing someone”s joy? I mean maybe just maybe we can not Nick pick the heck out of joyful things because WHY? Let’s find some PEACE on earth and not make an issue of a non issue”

BB said, “Personally, I am grateful to live in a city where this type of message can be freely shared. I’d bet there are many people who are blessed by it.”

Perhaps the most concise and direct statement was from our former State Representative TS- “When we elect our Leaders, we elect them because of who they are, and what their values are, in hope of them representing our own values in their governmental efforts. Surely we don’t elect someone to abandon their values on the day that they take their Oath of office. (And, Christmas after all is called “Christ”mas, not GenericMass nor PCmass, etc.) Tyranny of the Minority is co-equally worrisome as Tyranny of the Majority. Both are Tyranny. But Kim’s message was a heartfelt expression of her values — not Tyranny. She didn’t force anyone to get on board with her values. Rather, the city silencing Kim’s 1st Amendment rights of speech and religion, would indeed be Tyranny, and our Constitution would then be trampled. If somebody doesn’t know what I mean by that, go back and read the actual First Amendment and it will become clear: our Constitution exists to PROTECT our inalienable rights, including freedom of speech and religion. Not to crush those rights. I would be very worried indeed if our dear city evolves to the point of tipping the Constitution upside down or reversing those very underpinnings of a free society.”

Local music legend ED said “This post was a brilliant marketing ploy to get me to focus for 2 seconds and read the city newsletter finally. Well done!”

IH added “It’s a beautiful message. I wish it would have been in my utility bill.”

This writer believes that it is refreshing to have a local leader who lives her beliefs and sets an example for our community, which has every right to be represented by someone who shares their beliefs. I agree with SLS: “Let’s STOP being offended, let’s START-seeing the good , it’s all around us! If this isn’t your place and you don’t feel you fit in (and you have put forth effort) then maybe there is a better place for you”

I’m reminded that the Lord said that “he holds men accountable for their acts in relation” to governments “both in making laws and administering them”

In (D&C 98:10), the Lord demands that “Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil”

Do we know that the people we elect are in the spirit of liberty, which is the Spirit of Christ? Ask yourself if we do that as a people… In our city councils, our county commissions, our state legislatures. 

Here in Utah, where one would think that we would gravitate toward a higher level of life, we don’t. We elect a legislature, filled with Priesthood holding Latter Day Saints who don’t do anything impressive or praiseworthy. We pay allegiance to a democrat and republican party, who are both part of the same, worthless secret combination. We elect governors who do not stand for Christ and we allow people who we don’t know to run and govern our state. 

We’ve allowed our government to dictate what our children are taught in schools and what many religions teach from the pulpit, out of fear, or sheer idolatry, and in 2020 silenced the most powerful and effective control on tyrannical governments throughout history, which is the educated, activated body of Christ.

We fund and send our kids to government schools that have made the preaching of Christ illegal except from a historical perspective, which contradicts the very heart of our religion that Christ, the light of Christ, is in all things, of all things and through all things, the law by which all things are governed.

Texas passed a law recently that requires the 10 Commandments be hung in every classroom, in every school. Why don’t we do that? We teach our children the opposite of the 10 commandments. Like, it’s ok to kill a baby. It’s ok to covet as long as you do it through the legal education system. It’s ok to steal from people if you do it as a politician through the treasury of the state or through a secret combination of lobbyists who write the law. Does anyone believe that everything you pay for today is moral? If not, why are you required by a system to pay for things that by the Book of Mormon’s definition, are anti-Christ on its face? 

And, we have a sitting member of the U.S. Congress, Rep. John Curtis, who will soon announce his intent to replace Senator Romney, who believes that a den of murderers, thieves and political whores (the U.S. Capitol) is “a temple of liberty. “

For centuries our forefathers willingly suffered and sacrificed that we might enjoy the blessings of freedom. What are we doing to maintain that for ourselves and for future generations?

Constitutions don’t enforce themselves. They never did. And they never will. We need to be willing to bear the shame of the world by holding ourselves and our leaders to the highest standard humanly possible.

The most poignant comment was made by LB. She stated,

“The people in a town didn’t want a nativity set in their town. A Nativity scene is nothing more than a symbol and a symbol is an image or a tradition that really serves no purpose if it doesn’t stir someone to remember the thing that it represents. God never wanted to force his Son on anyone… it’s not the way he does things. He is God and with his power he could have compelled everyone in the world to bow down and worship his son, but he didn’t. He could have filled the world with thunder and lightning and blazing chariots to announce the new King’s arrival, but he didn’t. He could have assembled the richest, most powerful people on earth to be witnesses to the new King’s coronation but he didn’t. And that is why the first Christmas was the way it was. He chose a poor girl from the village to give birth to the new king and he chose a stable instead of a palace for the new king’s birth. 

And shepherds…common laborers…they were chosen as the first witnesses. When Jesus came to earth he came to the least and the last and the lowest and the lost. These people witnessed the birth of a king who never owned a home, never held political office and never made a grab for power. This Man who came from a poor mother is still considered a person of interest today over 2000 years later. Why is that…Not because he forced people to choose him… it is because for centuries men and women have been seeking God. And they found him through Jesus Christ, and while they were seeking God they realized that God had been looking for them their whole lives. That is what happened on that Christmas long ago. Jesus came to earth looking for you. He came to show the whole world what God’s love is like. On the first Christmas, God’s perfect gift was love. If you take the love out of Christmas, where will you put it and what will you do with it? What will you do with Him if you remove Him from this season? The thing that fills people’s hearts usually starts to show up everywhere around them and that is why this time of year you see evergreens and lights and stars and nativity scenes, because they remind people of the love that came looking for them so long ago.”

Merry Christmas and may God bless us… all.