Thursday, November 08, 2007

Update: Illinois church to remove Masonic emblems from historical landmark

In October we reported on a fundamentalist church in Elgin, Illinois that had petitioned their city council to allow them to remove Masonic emblems from their building, a former Masonic temple now held to be an historical landmark.

On October 10, the Elgin City Council voted 5-2 to allow Family Life Church to remove the emblems.

Council members Mike Powers and John Steffen voted against overturning the heritage commission's ruling.

"I view this building as a landmark, architectural landmark for the city," Powers said. "I think that changing the facade would be a serious mistake."

"It's fundamentally part of the building," Steffen added. "[The compass and square] is the focal point of the front of the building."

City resident Jennifer Shroder, a local Christian and granddaughter of a Freemason, spoke up about her opposition to the decision in a letter to the editor of the Daily Herald on October 17: "It is this kind of prejudice that mars most of the history of Christianity.... As Christians, shouldn't we encourage tolerance, not try to erase all evidence of it from a prominent building?"

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  1. Elgin Lodge 117 member suggests a conflict of interest in the removal of the masonic emblems and corner stone wich housed a time capsul. City of Elgin work crews were used to remove these items for the new pastor that bought the building. What happened to the seperation of church and state. Thus far the building remains empty with no indication of it being a church. Is the present owner going to flip the sell the building for a profit? Why was city funds used in the removal. The new owner should have expensed this removal project. There is an impropriaty here.

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