by Duluth News Tribune
December 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
Nathan Bentley says legal hassles and other problems are wearing him down. Continue Reading
Tags: bayfront, Canal Park, city of Duluth, Entertainment 114 Comments »
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“Neither of the preachers seen Thursday could be heard beyond the conversations they had with people who chose to stop.” Here are two guys at a free event located in a public park and open to the general public. They are voicing their beliefs at a volume that cannot be heard beyond those with whom they are speaking. One wears a signboard advising readers to fear God because they will stand before him and give an account of their life, and they hand literature to those willing to take it. This scene is so tame that it does not even come close to pushing the boundaries of protected speech.
Mr. Bentley does not like this and says that he has taken special care to keep the event free of “commercialization.” It is rather ironic that, in this Christmas season, he views a public plea for spiritual salvation via Christ as a commercial eyesore. It is not like these guys are attempting to entice people with promises of material fulfillment if only they can acquire the latest electronics, fanciest cars, and a mansion on the Lake.
The city’s imposition of the “First Amendment Zone” (without consulting City Council) in response to two guys’ public speech should be ludicrous in an America that cherishes its dearly won liberty. If they had been shouting at people (or if there had been hordes of evangelists preventing the free flow of people through the park), the city already had the power to cart them away on charges like disorderly conduct.
But this was two reasonably quiet guys in a park of more than four acres…
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 57 218
I personally like hearing God’s word. That’s why I like Steve, he actually preaches the Bible. It’s amazing how many Christians have no idea what the Bible says and they’re usually the first ones offended by Steve! This preacher, above many I’ve seen has a way with people, speaking to their soul. I’ve seen it. So i know he’s doing what he’s suppose to. Go talk to him sometime and see for yourself!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 48 181
SO spot-on, Phantom.
God bless your clarity.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 13 63
I miss the good ol’ days, when the common saying was, “MAY God bless your clarity.” “May God bless your clarity” is a petition, a request, a prayer. “God bless your clarity” sounds more like a directive. Not sure if your version belies an erosion in grammar, or a blasphemous belief that by saying so, you feel you are bestowing the blessing yourself. God willing, I pray it is the former and not the latter. Probably both.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 5 42
Guess we better change the words to “God Bless America”.
Like or Dislike: 16 8
I think this discussion goes beyond “protecting free speech”, even though social conservatives as well as business elites always use this as a justification for their ludicrous actions. If I wore a big sign that said the F-word on it, I’m exercising my free speech. However, it would be incredibly indecent, and I would never actually do such a thing because it’s self-deprecating and rude to others.
Like or Dislike: 12 10
The Bible is the biggest piece of propaganda that ever hit papyrus. There is no God. Goodness is within each of us if we choose to live by it.
I don’t object to the Keep Christ in Christmas movement as long as it doesn’t impinge on individual liberty. Equally, I vehemently object to the banning of “Merry Christmas” being spoken in schools, etc – and all the symbolism of Christmas being wiped away.
In spite of not having an official religion, the United States was founded on Christian principles – not Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or otherwise. Those principles are enshrined in our Constitution.
We just observed Thanksgiving. The English settlers who landed at Plymouth Rock weren’t called Pilgrims because the label just sounded good to the ear. They were seeking refuge to practice their own religion without persecution.
Therefore, I say…. Live and let live but don’t trample on my freedom.
I don’t know what motivates these two individuals with placards and scripture. Mr Bentley is willing good will to the community with lights and musical joy. The Salvation Army donation box is right there with it. What more can you ask of this?
Should those two preachers really want to do something worthwhile, why don’t they stand outside Walmart, Miller Hill Mall or Target.
The real culprit is the consumer market that American corporations created and the consumer society that has evolved from it.
This false economy is what has broken down families, communities and the economic backbone of our country. The US has exported this consumer-driven economic model around the globe and it has now infected the PRC “China”. It won’t be long before we’re all working to satisfy Chinese demand for goods and services.
Money, money, money. How holy is that?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 124 83
Quoting Blighty “There is no God.”. I also recall more than a few debates over the fraud called globull warming. It would seem that blighty has a penchant for finding herself on the wrong side of debates. With globull warming, she can simply say “ooops!” and move on, but with God, she likely won’t discover her error until it’s too late.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 31 89
It’s not global warming, it’s climate change.
And to believe that we are incapable of negatively impacting the natural cycle of this planet, then you are woefully naive.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 65 30
OK, then who or what caused the 3 most recent globull warming periods over the last 2000 years? Each period caused devastating crop losses and famine, and were responsible for the toppling of dynasties. But each remarkably waned and temps returned to “normal” ranges. Until you can explain the causes for those periods, you can’t blame CO2 as the cause without looking pretty stupid, since we weren’t producing the necessary amount of CO2 to ALLEGEDLY raise temperatures. This is what people mean when they call the globull warming hysteria JUNK SCIENCE.
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I’ll interpret you silence as a white flag. That is, unless you can actually answer the question. Any takers among the alarmists out there?
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I’m no scientist, so I won’t try to argue that humans are or are not contributing to the climate change phenomenon. That said, people who don’t believe that humans cause natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes don’t necessarily believe that humans should not invest heavily to protect themselves against these natural disasters. So, even if humans are not causing climate change, why wouldn’t we invest heavily in protecting ourselves from this naturally-occurring phenomenon? If we can invest in and develop technology, processes and practices which prevent the world from warming, which prevent or delay the next ice age, which prevent or delay the erradication of humans and our way of life from this planet, why would you oppose that?
This is where religion gets a bit sticky. If you follow a belief system which sees the end of the world as we know it as the end game, or a belief that the afterlife is better than your current life, then why would you care if we act in ways that hasten our demise. The motivation of climate-change deniers is the same as the motivation for suicide bombers.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 16
Guys, stay on topic. There are plenty of other threads on which to discuss global warming/climate change. Stick to Bentleyville, please.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 42 6
You must think that I sit here on this site constantly refreshing the page in hopes that someone acknowledges my posts in order to validate my existence. In reality I spend my time doing things that are a little more important than following up on any potential responses every five minutes. Apparantly you do have the time, considering the 38 posts you made on this topic yesterday. No, I did not count them, Chrome is nice enough to count them for me.
Apparently you did not read what I said. If you go back and read what I typed you will see that I mentioned the term “Natural Cycle” which is obviously a reference to the fact that this world, does indeed, have climate cycles.
What you completely missed was the part where I stated that we have a negative effect on this cycle. To which I restate; if you do not think we could possibly have a measurable effect on this cycle then you are woefully naive.
Much like a weeble-wobble that does not fall down, the earth has a tendency to right itself when it encounters a change in the percentage of certain elements. But if you give it a little push at the right time, that weeble-wobble will hit the ground.
Since we do not know when that right time is, we should err on the side of caution.
But I digress… Were we not talking about Bentleyville?
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re: “There is no God.”
You’ve just acknowledged there is.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 38
Bentleyville could possibly control access to the display if a fee (however nominal) was charged for admission, but Mr Bentley doesn’t feel charging an entry fee is appropriate. What if the city of Duluth paid a fee (however nominal) to Mr Bentley to bring his Bentleyville Tour of Lights to Duluth? Wouldn’t that accomplish the same effect? Perhaps the City Attorney could then bear some of the legal battle in assuring Mr Bentley that the display they are paying him to bring to Duluth would be “hassle free”.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 88 26
These religious nut-cases will end up ruining this event in the end, because others with opposing views will start showing up to compete with them. Good. I hope those street preachers are happy when the display is no longer there. Some one needs to punch those clowns back into their G-D church.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 133 32
So sad….something nice comes along and predictably, before you know it someone has figured out a way to cause problems. Unfortunately the “sign board” do really believe what their sign says….that you should love and worship god because of your fear of him.
So many of our world and social problems come down to excess fear….we have enough fear thank you without those seeking an enjoyable evening with their loved ones to be told to be afraid….be very afraid.
I’m still trying to figure out why someone I’ve been told to fear and be very afraid of would deserve my eternal love and adoration.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 105 14
I agree jessica….I have no trouble with someone practicing their faith….it’s the message of “FEAR GOD” that bothers me. Everyone has their own preference on how they wish to view God. Why not “Jesus loves you”? So you bring your kids to Bentleyville and they see the sign “FEAR GOD”…..not sure the kids need that message. If the preachers want to give that message to their kids then fine. On the flip side leave my kids alone and let me worry about how I want them to view God. A lot of people don’t believe in God and that’s just fine also. Selling fear is just one way to promote your agenda. I don’t think scaring kids about God is really helping the preachers cause.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 96 12
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2 “nut cases” ruin an event, but a parade of GLBTers on the final holiday of summer doesn’t leave a black eye on traditional family Duluth?
If we can stifle their free speech, then I insist that the next victim of gov’t over-reach be Barry.
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Hugh J – You never cease to amaze me with your bigotry and ignorance. Wow!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 67 20
I’m sorry. I forgot that all the hate speech directed at the preachers is tolerated by the hateful left. H Y P O C R I T E!
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When was the last time a GLBTer told you that you would be damned to eternal hellfire if you didn’t share their beliefs?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 69 16
But it would appear that most GLBTers don’t believe in the God of the bible anyway, so why would/should they worry about what they don’t believe exists? It’s kinda akin to me not believing in little green men, but rushing out and buying insurance against their invasion anyway.
Maybe GLBTers know where they’re going and think it’s a different place than I’m bound? I don’t know, but I do know that some of the most hateful disgusting speech has been directed at me simply because I don’t believe or accept their lifestyle as normal. They can do what they want with each other, but they seem particularly PO’d by my refusal to recognize it as anything but a deviant act. So why should they care what I think, anyway? I’m called a homophobe, but by definition, a phobia is an irrational fear of something not substantiated by fact or reason. Is it unresaonable for me to believe the Bible when it calls homosexual behavior sinful and to abstain from all forms of sin?I don’t fear gays, I just disagree with their chosen lifestyle. And for this I am the target of all this hate-filled vitriol? And all this coming from the group that prides itself on their alleged tolerance?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 20 47
I can’t speak to your personal experiences with individuals who may have said hateful things to you. I wasn’t there.
That said, you betray your deep-rooted bias by suggesting that most GLBT’ers don’t believe in God. Perhaps they don’t believe in God the same way you do, but you have no evidence to back up your broader claim. Based on my faith, I think it blasphemous that you present your self as some kind of judge, working on God’s behalf to determine who is or is not worthy to be deemed a part of his flock.
As for the Bible, perhaps GLBT’ers believe in most of it, namely the important stuff like the teachings of Christ, but perhaps they also reject certain arhcane references to life-style choices, dietary practices, etc. No one, including you, believes and adheres to every custom and practice prescribed within the Bible. Have you eaten any animals with cloven hooves lately? Do you think mentrating women are “unclean” and should be treated with certain customs during that time of the month? The questions can go on and on like this. Again, I point to the Old Testament, which was corrected in large part by the New.
As a person of faith, I believe generally that the Bible is the word of God. As a scholar and person of sound reasoning, I know that even the parts of the Bible that are in fact the word of God – the words Jesus uttered – were transcribed by humans like you and me. They were then re-written, translated, added to, edited, and on and on and on, by countless other humans, countless time throughout centuries. Ever played the telephone game when you were a kid? Humans are faliable. The Bible we read today was written by humans. While my faith allows me to leap and believe this is the word of God, it is irrational to take that belief as far as to suggest it wasn’t influenced by human though in the form it comes to us today.
In losing this basic rationality, we see countless faith-based insitutions losing their followers. In closing your ranks to large populations of God’s children, you disgrace his message.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 36 10
I challenge the assumption that most GLBTers believe in the God of the Bible who clearly states that homosexual behavior is sinful (along with a gazillion other acts commonly practiced by all of us). If a person has no problem continuing in a pattern of behavior God calls sin, I question whether that person really believes God when He says that he will destroy that person if he dies unrepentant. Repentance by definition is a turning away from and renouncing of a sin. Not saying a dozen Hail Mary’s and promising whatever, but never changing his behavior.
AA requires the client to believe in a higher power. Now that higher power might be a light bulb, but that light bulb aint gonna do the client a whole lot of good come that day of final accounting, is it?
The street preachers are simply pointing out what they believe to be the truth. We believe our God commands us to spread the good news. The good news is that we don’t have to face an eternity in torment. Some folks call that a fear tactic. Potato, pahtahto. the end result should still be the same. If you choose not to believe, so be it. But that doesn’t mean that the impending wreck isn’t coming.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 33
This just in, Barry:
The cause of the religious nut-cases is the very reason for the celebration in the first place.
Dig into the stories of the early religious nut-cases, or zealous Christians who freely chose to die gruesome deaths for the name of their savior, Jesus Christ.
I applaud the courage of these Christians.
Clearly we’re nearing a time in this country when staunch Christians will be giving up their lives at the hands of neighboring PC-Christians.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 13 52
Jesus wasn’t even born in December if you look at the research done by both theologians and astronomers. Christmas is just a commercial holiday made up from a bunch of different traditions all thrown into one. Not a single original thought into it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 9
Uhh, flunk history much? Christmas only became commercialized in the mid 19th century, and largely by, you guessed it, SECULARISTS! Nobody claims Christ was born in December. To continue to argue that point shows your aversion to face up to the real impetus behind your hostility, That God exists!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 10 41
Ok, now I am confused by your message. If you agree Christ wasn’t born in December and you readily acknowledge that Christmas is and has always been a Pagan/Secularist tradition, recently commercialized, then where does that leave us with the whole “War on Christmas” arguement?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 8
straw man argument. Who said anything about a war on Christmas. Your confusing yesterday’s op-ed local view with a first amendment issue at bentleyville.
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Johnzimm, wheres your proof that these events actually happened? Just because a book was written 2000 years ago? Fairy tales have been around a long time too.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 27 12
Q, I’ve got an honest question for you here. If, and this might be a huge leap of faith on both our behalfs, If I can prove that God exists, and that Jesus was his Son, sent for the atonement of mankind’s sin, would you open you mind to believe it? Or would you still stubbornly cling to your atheistic ideology because your pride won’t allow you to look at things with an open mind? You hide behind the facade of requiring proof, but ignore the evidence that is all around you. What’s the risk of evaluating what’s already presented you? If you are correct, and God doesn’t exist, what have I missed out on? A lifetime of hedonism, depravity, drug addiction and STD’s? But what if YOU are wrong and he does exist? What have you lost? How much and how long is you life in comparison to eternity? Your 80+ years are but a vapor, a blink , a speed bump on the road of time. Are you so self assured that you’re willing to bet an instant’s worth of self gratification against an eternity of torment that you are right? Think about it. And you guys call us the deluded ones?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 9 37
Hugh, I’m not an atheist. I think organized relegion is a bunch of baloney. How quickly you judge. I don’t believe in fairy tales either. I bet you are hell on wheels over Darwins Theory. Maybe you think dinosaurs were “Jesus Horses” or the bones they’ve found were faked.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 40 11
But you’ve evaded the question. If I could prove it, would you believe? Or just come up with another excuse? You made the statement, and I think it’s a fair , non-judgmental question. In a nutshell, If I succeed in overcoming your objections, would you believe?
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Maybe more specifically, why don’t you believe?
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There is no way to prove it. That is why it is called faith.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 4
But Q’s whole premise was that because one couldn’t prove it, he wasn’t buying into it. (Which was just an excuse). That never stopped him from preaching the evils of globull warming. (Sorry Lucin, but in the context, this is Germane to the argument.) There is more evidence to support the existence of God and the Life of Christ than there is for anthropogenic global warming. Except that faith in AGL, the newest religion among the left doesn’t effect you eternal future.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 5 20
The reason for my faith?
I explain it not well enough… I have been blessed with faith in Jesus Christ- out of love, I suppose.
For those asleep to the gift of faith that always awaits, I would no sooner expect them to comprehend the miracles of Christ than to spot stars in the sky at high noon.
– But the stars ARE there. And so Christ is there for YOU.
Things aren’t as bad as you might think, whatever it is you might think about yourself at the end of the day. We’ve all likely done some pretty unfortunate things in our life, and maybe we’ve come to feel negative about ourselves in some way…
But that is not God’s desire for you. He wants you to set all that aside; He is eagerly prepared to wipe your slate clean, if only you’ll ask. -Imagine waking up tomorrow, a new person, freed from the prison of the past. Sound too good to be true? It’s not…
God loves you more than you can possibly imagine. He has no negative labels for you; He just wants your love as any father or mother hopes for the love of their son or daughter.
Like or Dislike: 11 11
johnzimm, What would happen if some posted a post identical to this, but replaced the word “Christian” with “Muslim” and replaced the name “Jesus Christ” with “Allah”? Would you still applaud them for dying gruesome deaths for their faith. Behold, your intolerance.
Like sugar, drugs, air pollution, and so many other things, religion also becomes unhealthy and dangerous to society when endulged in excess.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 10
Religion in a nutshell: Answers to questions some people have and accept so they don’t have to think for themselves. FAITH
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Admire them for their convictions? perhaps. applaud them for being what I believe is a deceived? no.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 7 17
These guys are really piling up the points with the devil.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 39 16
Do we really believe that God is up there, the Devil down there, and each has a score card with tick marks determining if you’re going to heaven or hell? Am I on the naughty list or nice? Oh, you went to church, point God. Oh, homosexual, point Devil. Too funny.
Seriously, when you outgrow Sunday school classes, your thinking on faith should also evolve. Eventually, you must come to terms with the fact that by definition, God is a presence that humans are wholly incapable of understanding or defining. None of these posters knows the will of God better than anyone else. That is faith.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 8
Maybe Mr. Bentley can return his light show to private property, where these religious nut-jobs will not be welcome.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 91 8
I never understood why the city got involved in someone’s private Christmas light decorations in the first place.
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I can see from the responses here and Mr. Bently’s pouting overreaction that the DNT needs to give another of their editorial page lectures about inclusion, diversity, and respect for the beliefs of others.
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This has absolutely nothing to do with being respectful of the belief of others, and everything to do with others trying to shove their beliefs down other’s throats.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 73 16
Of course you wouldn’t see it as being disrespectful:
“these religious nut-jobs will not be welcome”
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David – seems you place yourself in that category. Sorry to offend you.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 10
Someone can only shove things down your throat is your mouth is left open. The whiners complain about the “in your face” approach of the preachers, but that hasn’t proven true. Conversely, how can someone shove something down your throat without you being is HIS face? Most people have 2 ears and 2 feet. Walk away or stop listening.
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…or don’t go to Bentleyville, right? Hence the point of this whole discussion.
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That’s why it’s called freedom.
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David I do not see Mr Bentley’s reaction as pouting but as disappointment. He has delved into his own resourses to see his beautiful gesture turned into pulpit or commericalization of religion. I would not blame him at all if he did walk away as we do not know how many thankful hours this man and his volunteers have put into doing a free to all holiday event. Blessings to you Mr Bentley and all the crew and perhaps the preaching will turn to love this season.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 95 7
Isn’t bentley by his very actions commercializing the holiday? And as far as a pulpit goes, he’s taken over an entire park and pumped a gazillion lumens worth of like into it in an attempt to attract attention. (not to mention all of those nasty greenhouse gases produced by the generation of electricity.)
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“Bentley said…’They’re hiding behind the Constitution.’
Truly a frightening sign of how far the ultra-PC crowd has advanced their agenda, when you should be ashamed of your constitutional rights. Wow.
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We’re not hiding behind anything. Quite the contrary, we’re standing up for the Constitution. Why can’t the leftists see that if they succeed in undermining our Constitution, that NOTHING remains to protect even them from the over reaches of the gov’t?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 9 28
Too bad you don’t follow the whole “freedom of religion” part as much as the free speech stuff. What if these were Muslims using free speech to protest Christmas and Christianity? Would your arguements change? I suppose that’s what constitutional amendments are for…
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They would be free to do so, and I would be free to ignore them.
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That place is an eyesore. Dinosaurs? What do dinosaurs have to do with Christmas? How about decorating all of Superior Street instead? Or Canal Park? But only with traditional decorations.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 14 42
Yeah, it’s only good if the do it the way I want, with decorations that fit my traditions. Sure, that works in a society.
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We all know this is a christian holiday, but come on people. If we want preaching we will attend our place of worship. I am going Saturday evening, if I am approached by one these characters, I will ask them “Can’t you find something better to do to help out mankind, such as ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, volunteer at a hospital, help serve food to less fortunate.”
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 69 10
Stay in your gheto. Nice Christmas Spirit.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 7 62
I don’t live in the ghetto, but thanks for nice the holiday spirit!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 8
A ghetto is a place where biggots confine groups they despise.
eg. Stay inside your church if you want talk about God.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 6 45
In all fairness David I will be honest with you. I don’t belong to a church and have not been to service in about 20 years, but I have attended a few funerals and weddings. I tend to think faith is in your heart.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 45 6
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Although I admire your great intentions, you cannot communicate with these protesters typically. Blind by Faith is what allows them to protest as they do. They do not care about you or your opinions, only that you hear their own. It is interesting that of this mentality they do not struggle more with their moral dilemma. Causing this anxiety on the people who you are trying to ‘help’ or ‘save’…
You can think of many businesses that try this in today’s world, it is typically called spamming, was once direct/junk mail. We have national do not mail lists. Maybe we need buttons to show that they aren’t allowed to speak within 6 feet of me if I am on the “National do not Preach List”.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 50 10
I just realized how the preachers are now “protesters”. I guess you can’t defend denying them their first amendment rights, so you demonize them as protesters. Subtle.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 15 31
Fear and anxiety push you away from something, love and understanding pull you closer. If you’re preaching fear (“fear god” on their boards is about as clearly preaching fear as you can get), you’re not only going to drive people away from that which you want them to embrace, but you’re actually leading them the wrong way. Most Religion is all about rules, regulations and unfortunately a good dose of fear thrown in to make adherents tow the line as taught. Spirtuality on the other hand is exactly the opposite from what I’ve experienced anyway. I was raised in a very religious enviornment by very loving parents, but none the less I personally experienced much of the fear myself……took me many years to get rid of that fear and learning a new way of relating to the “power in the universe” without fearing anything and realizing that anything that separates people, or causes hate, fear or anxiety is not from “above” so to speak, and not a path that serves us well.
But…alas, that’s just my own personal experience and I’m not likely to put it on a sandwich board and parade around town loudly proclaiming it. Each person grows in their own way and time….as it should be.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 4
As i told my kids “Don’t touch that hot stove!” I guess I didn’t love them enough. Question, how caring is it to see a massive wreck approaching, but choosing to ignore warning the victims? If I shouted “there’s a wreck a coming! GET OUT OF THE WAY! Am I not using fear as a motivator to save people from death and injury? That’s what the preachers are attempting to do. How you respond to that warning is up to you. From a bulk of the postings here, I’d say that people don’t want to be bothered with the warning.
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Hugh J, I doubt we’ll agree on this subject any time soon….and that’s perfectly fine. We’re all in a different spot and carrying different baggage, so that’s understandable. There is a difference between teaching a general spirit of fear to ourselves and others, and teaching a healthy respect for specific things that can harm you. I too have warned my kids about the harm they could experience with a “hot stove”, or driving drunk and killing themselves or someone else. However, in my opinion, this is vastly different than teaching them that the guy who holds all the cards in the ethereal is someone to be feared. Since “god” , or as I call it “the power in the universe” is all encompassing …..that type of fear is a pretty heavy load to carry through life. I’ve been there and experienced it…..but I can and will only speak for myself here.
Who is responsible to teach my kids about God? Me or anyone else? I feel it is me.
If they need to share their message, let us chose to go to them and bring our kids.
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“There is a difference between teaching a general spirit of fear to ourselves and others, and teaching a healthy respect for specific things that can harm you.” And Hell isn’t harmful? Good Grief Lady, if you knew your kids or friends were about to, innocently enough, put themselves in a position that would result in their death, you wouldn’t attempt to warn them for fear of creating a spirit of fear? You don’t get it. We sound the alarm not because we think we’re better, or are judging folks, but because we care enough to take all the intolerant hateful things you say about us just to warn people about what we believe will happen. That’s not a spirit of fear, that’s a spirit of concern, acted out for the benefit of the soon to be victim. This aint about us, yet you guys keep twisting it back that way. It’s about YOU. It’s about what God has put in place to spare all of us from torment. If we would only put our pride aside and listen to Him for a moment. But, for whatever reason, you won’t hear us, and then commence accusing us of being hateful, judgmental, intolerant…the list goes on. And why? Because we care enough to take your insults, your attacks, endure your lies, and still we try to warn you. Let no man on his judgment day say he wasn’t warned.
I expect the head in the sand crowd of antis will get this post buried pretty quickly. And I ask myself why I waste my time beating my head against the brick wall of secular denial, but I am commanded to do so.
There’s nothing but grief in it for me, but by the remotest chance, if someone actually has their conscience pricked, and decides to investigate further what has been said, then it will have all been worth it.
Q, Jess, Chet, Blighty, FO, and all the crew. Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. And have a merry Christmas. Who knows how many we have left.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 22
For the record, I suspect the the street preachers reference to fear arises from Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10.
“The fear of god is the beginning of Wisdom.”
” The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge. ”
Where/how do we start if we don’t know who we are. The writer attempts to start us out here.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 3 21
It was a Pagan holiday before it was co-opted by Christians. You’re taking your country back? Well, we’re taking our winter holiday back.
Saturday evening? Beware of Mother Nature. Blowing snow and cold for the predicted storm. LOL. Fear that.
Like or Dislike: 3 8
Hugh J – I do not post for the sake of popularity votes. I do so to present my viewpoint, to provoke thought in others, to encourage public discourse. I tend to avoid religious topics because of the zealots that populate these pages. In this case, I am defending those who, like me, believe that the preachers have no place at Bentleyville. It is a purely secular, non-commercial gift for all to experience whatever your religion or creed.
You said I have a tendency to be on the wrong side of public opinion. Well, I’m not one to keep a point score but it seems others have proved you wrong.
I’m thankful to those who brought up the FEAR thing. I couldn’t have said it better than JESSICA above.
The Pentagon, State Dept and various statesmen since Eugene McCarthy have made scaremongering a way of life in America and much of the clueless public don’t even know it. It has fed the defense industry since post WW2 and the fear rhetoric was turbocharged post 9/11. Dick Cheney is still lining his pockets on the blood of American and coalition troops and innocent Afghan civilians.
The CIA, Pentagon and State Dept need a purge and the War on Terror needs to be consigned to history.
So, you think threatening the public with God is not sending a warped message?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 9
So you’re saying that it is better to not be inconvenienced by a street preacher than to protect and obey our constitution? REALLY? Tell us where you live. I’m sure thee are those trollers out there who would love to violate those constitutional rights you don’t think are valuable or apply to you. We are a culture of the rule of law. foundational to that rule is our constitution. Dismiss that, and you destroy the underpinnings of our entire system. But maybe that’s what you really want?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 6 27
Much like the devil quoting scripture to further his argument, Hugh J quotes the constitution. Answer the question I asked above: would your arguement remain unchanged if these were American Muslims protesting Christmas and Christianity? Methinks not. Methinks you would then accuse them of hiding behind the constitution to attack your “traditional values.” You and Billy-O need to realize – the Beaver Cleaver worldview you hold will never be again, because it never was. This is the way America has always been. Love it, or leave it. There are plenty of other countries where you can still stone people who do not share your beliefs. Where can i donate to buy you your ticket?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 4
The first Amendment covers us all(maybe a libs THINK that they’re exempt. I don’t know) but I wholly support their right to say whatever, even if I don’t agree with it. How can I expect my rights to freedom of speech and religion if I would deny them theirs?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 15
I donate quite a bit to Bentleyville, and have been when it was in Cloquet too. I love that it is in Duluth but will go no matter where it is. Is there a minimum fee to prohibit forcing your opinion on others? Why not charge $0.01?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 41 11
While I understand that not only do we live in the midwest (which is about a hair away from the real bible belt), and that the freedom of speech is a building block of our society, I think it’s a bit narrow minded of some of the posters out here who think it’s okay for the preachers to be preaching because you couldn’t hear them for very far in the park.
When there are protesters outside places like Planned Parenthood, everyone gets upset about the rights of the women who go to PP for things like birth control and women’s wellness.
So what about the rights of the general public who may not believe in one Devine Spirit that controls us all? Shouldn’t we be afforded the same rights as everyone else?
I was at Bentleyville last night and the preachers were just as intrusive, if not moreso than the protesters outside Planned Parenthood. They physically thrust religious tracts at us as we passed them and physically stepped in the way of our movement when we tried to avoid them.
I’m only speaking for myself…but I would be more than happy to pay a small fee to get into Bentleyville in the future if it means avoiding the preachings. It seems that the only reason they’re allowed to do this is because it’s a free event at the park….so if we all were to go and pay $1 to enter…that makes it no longer a free event…right? So in theory, it should mean they’re not allowed to preach there.
Seems like a pretty simple answer to a pretty complicated situation.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 53 7
If there is no minimum, why not $0.01? I’ll still donate my money to Bentleyville and this means everyone can still go. Have a jar of pennies next to where you have to pay for admission.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 39 9
“….So what about the rights of the general public who may not believe in one Devine Spirit that controls us all?…”
What about it? Is anyone making you believe to the contrary? I was unaware that someone could force you to believe anything you didn’t want to believe. So are you saying that you, or others LACK the courage of your convictions, and thus are easily swayed by the words or a street preacher? Or are you advocating that simple minded folks shouldn’t be exposed to a belief system not your own? Or maybe that the Gov’t , in recognition of the feeble minded, really SHOULD sanction a religion for their own protection. Maybe we could call it “secular humanism”, otherwise known as atheism. Both have been recognized by the SCOTUS as religions. But that would again violated the first amendment.
Why do so many people think that there is an amendment to protect them from being offended?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 7 41
Wow, I think I actually agree with Hugh J on this one. These guys with signs really won’t change anyone’s beliefs, anymore than a bumper sticker or a lawn sign would change someone’s political views. Even if he disagrees that they are nutjobs, I’m glad to see that Hugh J agrees they are wasting their time.
Like or Dislike: 17 4
way to ruin something fun and exciting. Tourist would come to town to see Bentleyville and shop. Not next year.
come back to Cloquet Bentleyville!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 5
Who didn’t see this one coming? Although I believe in free speech, what about respect for others? These preachers must realize that they’re ruining a fun holiday event for a lot of people–and probably causing the end of it. If they would read the Bible themselves, they’d quit this selfish behavior. Their actions only push away those who they’re trying to “save.” It’s so sad that Bentleyville can’t just be what it’s supposed to be–a fun, free time for ALL families.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 6
If the spirit in which he started this event from his heart and goodness just to give people some family fun is broken – then maybe he could move it somewhere else- But wouldn’t turning it into a low paying event- allow them to pay a penny or quarter and enter and preach? or then could they not preach even if the price was 1 cent? Then he could give all the money to charity or use to keep up his Christmas units-
Like or Dislike: 16 6
If it’s that big of a deal, charge 25 cents, call it a pay event, I will drop off a roll of quarters, and we are good. I don’t get the fuss
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 37 5
That wouldn’t be considered a material change by the court.
Like or Dislike: 2 4
Don’t drink the kool-aid!!!
Like or Dislike: 11 7
Maybe Mr. Bentley and the City can rebrand it as the “Bentleyville Celebration of Lights and Free Speech.” Grab a cup of hot chocolate, admire the lights, and listen to these two preachers, the UMD Secular Humanist Association, Occupy Duluth, the Tea Party, some street preachers who think the first group are heretics, anti-sulfide mining activists, pro-mining labor supporters, Red Plan dissenters, Midway Township residents who don’t want to be Proctor residents, the Howling for Wolves crew, the NRA, marijuana legalization groups, Chamber of Commerce members who want the Last Place on Earth shut down, and college kids who still can’t believe they haven’t opened a Chipotle in Duluth yet.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 5
Don’t forget the Rainbow Family folks.
Like or Dislike: 9 17
I appreciate Nathan Bentley’s generosity with his light show, but what I resent is his attitude. He reminds me of the kid that picks up his toys and goes home when he doesn’t get his way. If he just ignored the preachers rather than making a federal case out of it, I don’t think it would’ve blown into this.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 12 25
It doen’t appear to me that all their preaching has done very much good. What is the saying? ” the road to hell is paved with good intentions” See Hugh I know some stuff.
Like or Dislike: 14 4
You would notice I haven’t so much defended what or how they’re saying things as much as their right to say it.
Like or Dislike: 7 10
Unfortunately Area51 these two supposed christians WANT it to be a federal case. Next time they attempt thrusting things at me and shoving others out of the way I will be finding a Duluth police officer and report them. Shoving me and my children is no different than if they had assaulted us on a public street. Preach from you pulpit, preach to your flock but I have the right to disagree and not be accosted in a public place!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 7
Well, Deb..if they are shoving “others” out of the way, then the “others” have every right to call the police to report an assault. You, on the other hand, do not it is only their preaching that bothers you. Obviously you don’t understand the right to free speech. “Public place” exactly, which means you and the preachers both have a right to be there. Just like Mr Bentley has a right to pack up his stuff and go back to a non-public place. Do I like their preaching? No, but I ignore them and it doesn’t ruin my night.
Like or Dislike: 7 15
Assuming you shop on crowded days, would you/do you report those shoving you during your shop? I suspect you have more of a problem with the message than the messengers.
Like or Dislike: 8 14
If they want to preach they should set up their own light display and do it there.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 7
Crap paper is just giving these kooks the press they want. Why put there photo up? Just close the paper if you cannot do better then this.
Like or Dislike: 5 6
Judging from your post there, Jon W, I’m fairly certain you don’t read the “crap paper”. Any paper ?
Like or Dislike: 6 4
Speaking of the paper giving these guys 15 minutes of fame……my dad told me he thinks the preacher Steve (the guy wearing the sign) delivered his DNT up until a couple of years ago. What a small world….delivers the paper and goes on to make headlines! Wonder if Steve still delivers the paper? Or has he retired from delivery?
Like or Dislike: 8 3
If these guys showed their Christianity in how they act instead of a signboards and an intrusive loudspeaker, they could “convert” more people. They make God look weird and undesirable (as do a lot of others who say they are speaking “for” God).
Here we go again – a couple of people ruining it for everyone. Mr Bently has done a wonderful thing – spent thousands of dollars of his own money every year to celebrate the season with good clean, wholesome family fun – for years – entirely at his own expense. He partners with the city when it becomes too large for him to handle alone (and the city sees it as a way to draw in tourists) and he is hit with one red tape item after another. All the man wanted to do was open his heart and his display to others – Public park or not, these guys are ruining it for everyone. I’m a Christian and I don’t feel the need to confront, haggle, preach, – I have run into these guys & I find them offensive. They were not talking in a quiet tone – they are now, but they weren’t before – they were intrusive, loud, intimidating, fear mongers. Once again, we in duluth are so busy being politically correct that we are going to ruin it for everyone.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 6
Another reason why mr Bentley should have stayed In Cloquet. Duluth finds a way to ruin alot of things. I don’t blame em one bit for being ticked off with these window lickers walking around offending people that want to get in the Christmas spirit.
Like or Dislike: 13 3
This one actually can’t be blamed on Duluth. Blame the courts, and blame the religious zealots that think they know whats best for everyone.
Like or Dislike: 12 7
I could understand the preaching if Bentleyville was an anti-christian event, however its a family orientated event for fun and helping charity, you would think these wanna be preachers would get the hint that they are about to ruin the fun for thousands along with help for many in need and go preach somewhere else! If kids see their preaching as a negative impact due to it ruined a happy time in their lives what will be their views of Christianity in the future?
I wonder how they would feel if someone stood on the sidewalk in front of their house which is also public property and preached anti christian views? You can bet they would be calling the police in a heartbeat!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 4
If these freak-shows ruin Bentleyville they should be ashamed of themselves. They shout and scream and rant and rave. They were at the Dragon Boat Festival and made my daughter cry when we had to walk by them. I just want to take my family for a nice evening provided by Mr. Bentleyville and these people feel the need to really dampen the mood with their tirades. Their religious views have 2 places, their homes and their churches. Done.
Hmmm….this is interesting. http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/crime/Duluth-Preachers-Criminal-History-183435371.html
Like or Dislike: 1 0
Did any happen to notice, that the Duluth Tribune ran a story on Friday Dec. 14th about Bentleyville`s problem causing street preacher? The preacher was convicted of a 2004 sexual assult on a 13 year old girl, while he was a teacher in Cass county! He is also a manditory regestered Minnesota sex offender!
The Tribune runs that story, but refused to have a “talk about it” attached, AND…they then removed all stories about the street preachers in the online listing of topics at the same time. Go figure.
Talk about trying to curb public input!
That street preacher is a sex offender, and the press wants no comment???? WOW is all I can say!
Like or Dislike: 0 0
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