Boise needs new symbol

letter to the Idaho Statesman by Mary Fran Groll
November 1999

While I expect to see religious symbols on churches or mosques or other church properties, I am uncomfortable with those in the public venue. Many different religions and philosophies have contributed to this valley and they deserve to be honored, or at least INCLUDED!

What about the native Americans who were here first? The sizable Jewish community? The Muslim and Buddhist communities? The skeptics, agnostics, humanists or those who subscribe to a scientific philosophy? Would the Jaycees allow a Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant owner to belong? A Jewish businessman? An American Indian? An Agnostic? The cross is, at best, insensitive to their views. How would Christians feel having to look at a Buddhist or Moslem symbol, a swastika, a symbol of a white supremacist religion or even a Darwin fish with feet? Are the Jaycees a specific religious organization?

I suggest it is time to develop a special landmark, sculpture, art work or insignia that is unique to Boise, or to Idaho as a whole — one that is INCLUSIVE not EXCLUSIVE. Let’s have a contest to design a lighted symbol that can really put Boise on the map. The new monument could have a park at it’s base and be an inspiration to tolerance and the amalgamation of many cultures that has made this nation special.

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