I often see items in the news that make me wonder, not so much what were they thinking as were they thinking? I ran across two such items today.
First, someone in Idaho put up this billboard.
Here is the story, does billboard comparing Obama to alleged shooter go too far, courtesy of kboi2.com.
The billboard on Franklin Road equates the actions of the president’s foreign policies to the acts of Holmes, who’s suspected of killing 12 people in the theater shooting.
The group that owns the board, The Ralph Smeed Foundation, says it wants to draw attention to military men and women dying overseas.
“(It’s) way over the line, and I am not an Obama supporter,” Lynn Davis Hathaway, said on the KBOI 2News Facebook page.
A spokesman for the group says everyone has the right to their own opinion.
Ashley Helton, who also wrote on Facebook, agrees with the group.
“It’s a free country, this group has a right to voice their opinion no matter what anyone thinks about it,” Helton said.
President Obama recently visited the Pacific Northwest – making stops in Portland and Seattle.
Do they even have to ask? Of course it goes too far. I am no fan of President Obama, but this is simply outrageous. It is also stupid since whatever point these people want to make will be overshadowed by the controversy about the billboard.
Then there was a fake kidnapping performed by a church in Pennsylvania. Why would a church stage a kidnapping of a youth group? It was to prepare them for the dangers that come with being missionaries. There story is at foxnews.com.
A southeastern Pennsylvania church and a youth pastor are facing criminal charges for a mock kidnapping of a youth group that was meant to be a lesson in religious persecution.
The Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Middletown and 28-year-old Andrew David Jordan of Elizabethtown were charged Friday with false imprisonment and simple assault, said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.
The church staged the event in March. Mock kidnappers covered the teenagers’ heads, put them in a van and interrogated them. Neither the young people nor their parents were told beforehand that it wasn’t real. The mother of a 14-year-old girl filed a complaint with police.
“This is a sad case for all those involved,” Marsico said, adding that while the church’s and Jordan’s intentions were not necessarily harmful, “they in essence terrorized several children.”
“We need to protect children, no matter where the harm occurs,” Marsico said, adding that a grand jury recommended the charges. He noted that some of the teenagers in the group were not members of the church, and that a semi-automatic rifle was displayed in the exercise.
A message left at the church was not immediately returned, and there was no phone listing for Jordan. Neither were defense attorneys listed on court papers.
Glad Tidings pastor John Lanza said in March that the church was “so saddened” that youth were traumatized during the event, but added that other youth from the church sent emails of support. The church is about 10 miles outside Harrisburg. Lanza said the goal of the exercise was to prepare the youth for what they might encounter as missionaries in foreign countries. He didn’t disclose the names of those involved but said the mock kidnappers included an off-duty police officer and a retired Army captain.
“It was a youth event, to illustrate what others have encountered on a regular basis,” he said, adding that the focus of the lesson was “the persecuted church” in other countries.
Lanza said the church had conducted similar events at least twice before, without complaints.
I can understand wanting to teach the youth group about the persecution that Christians face in other countries and can certainly understand organizing a sort of role-playing/training exercise to help them understand it better, but maybe they should have prepared the kids. Most people would realize that grabbing people, putting bags over their heads, tossing them into a van and brandishing a semi-automatic rifle might just cause the young people to freak out.
And this wasn’t the first time they did this?