Steeple did not need to be controversial

I am calling in support of the Church of Latter-Day Saints steeple

temple. I am in support of it either at the compromised height of 99

feet or at the new compromised offer of 90 feet high.

It is very puzzling to me why a house of worship steeple has been

so controversial. We traveled in New England last summer. We visited

cities and towns with numerous churches and other houses of worship.

The residents would often point out to us with great pride the

tallest steeple in their town.

What a shame it would be if the City Council decided to level the

religious skyline. In our society today we grant great lip-service to

freedom of religious and cultural diversity, yet when a religious

group wishes to express its religious tradition in the construction

of a house of worship, suddenly our visual tolerance level for

diversity begins to decline.

I recognize that our City Council members honestly desire to serve

in wisdom and fairness all citizens of our community. Since the

environmental report did not show any negative factors in the

building or landscape design, and that was with the original 124-foot

steeple, we believe that our City Council's decision focus should be

on upholding the principle of religious freedom. My understanding of

this principle is that our government will not establish a state

religion or limit freedom of worship. I believe that all residents of

Newport Beach would be best served by our City Council's declining

either to limit or to define the design of a house of worship,

whether this is an LDS temple, a nondenominational Christian church

or even a building that would be the society of the agnostics or

atheists.

I feel that the construction of a house of worship is very

integral to a faith community expressing their religious belief and

their religious tradition, and we should be very, very careful when

our government sets out to design or to limit the design of a house

of worship.

DIXIE DARYL CLARK

Corona del Mar

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