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Avera should honor all faiths with symbols

November 30, 2011
Marshall Independent

To the editor:

I read with interest the plan to place crucifixes in meeting rooms and other locations in the Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.

The intent was to place them as a reminder of the mission of the Medical Center, to "focus on the whole person - body, mind, and spirit."

Crucifixes are a strong reminder of the values and brand image of one particular Christian sect. However, to fully embrace the values of a community you need to be inclusive and not exclusive. The founding donor of the community hospital we have today was the Wiener family, who were members of the Jewish faith in Marshall. The values and concerns of the spirit of the Jewish faith should be remembered as well and a Star of David hung with the crucifixes.

We also have the Muslim faith present in our community. They are employees and patients at the community hospital. I would ask that the values and concerns for the spirit of the Muslim faith be also remembered with a crescent. I am a Christian that celebrates in the depiction of the empty cross and its promises. Can I also have such a cross to remind people of our values and concern for the spirit?

Better yet, let's take out the individual brand name religious symbols and keep it a community facility, welcoming to all faiths!

Mark Goodenow




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