As a Christian and an American I can only feel shame for the church officials who outlawed the Islamic Call to Prayers from the Mel Larimer concert series honoring U.S veterans.
Our country was based on freedom of religion and our earliest veterans knew the importance of that. The fact that it was a Veterans Day concert made that much more relevant.
When planning your Christmas concert series you may do well to avoid "O Tannenbaum" from your selections on the chance there may be World War II veterans in attendance. Music is the international language ... learn to speak it.
Support private arts
I was one of the performers in the rehearsal and concert at the First Congregational Church.
It was a beautiful, well-planned performance in honor of our veterans that received a standing ovation from the audience.
What a disappointment it was to read the front page of Friday's Record-Eagle. Two sensationalized articles that omitted some important facts, as well as ignored our constitutional right of freedom of religion.
Since when is it the right of others to tell a church what music they can and cannot perform in their place of worship?
Instead of bashing the First Congregational Church for their gift of the Mel Larimer music series and the generous use of their facilities, those offended by the church's decision should direct their energy to raising private funds for a Traverse City performing arts center.
That would prevent future problems with "artistic censorship" and give the community a much needed facility without sticking the taxpayers with the tab.
Missed an opportunity
I find it sad that the spiritual leaders of the First Congregational Church would miss an opportunity to dispel a prejudice against Muslims and to educate people that the war is not "Christians against Muslims."
I think all church leaders could set an example just like Christ did, sowing love where there is hatred and refusing to let bigotry and ignorance rule our world.