Was denial based on facts or fear?Okay. There is some likelihood that the founder of this "spiritual community" is a new-age nut. See "Beliefs Are Not So Different." But the world - and particularly Grayson County - is chock full of nuts. Why single out this gal for vilification?
Galax Gazette editorial
Those who visit our area often speak of the warm and inviting atmosphere, the acceptance they feel and the friendly people they meet.
So, where was that hospitality at last week’s public hearing for a special use permit sought by The Oracle Institute to create a “spiritual community” and learning center in Grayson?
Citizens have every right to oppose a rezoning issue based on the facts — in this instance, an access road that may not have been wide enough for emergency vehicles or a question about developing agricultural land. But to turn out in droves —175 people packing the county courtroom and 29 voicing mostly opposing positions — and to condemn the permit-seekers as a “cult” with allegedly dangerous ideas that could threaten the community is preposterous. Quite frankly, it makes us look bad. It perpetuates the — one hopes, mostly erroneous — stereotype of the intolerant rural citizen.
Speakers mostly ignored the factual issues and launched into religious diatribes against the New Age “eco-spiritual” group, which founder Laura George says doesn’t want to start a new church and subscribes to no religion in particular.
What was on display at the hearing was fear, pure and simple. [link]
We here in Southwest Virginia take pride in the motto, "Live and let live." Not "Live but forbid everyone else to."
We also live by this creed: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
Good Christians are afraid of no one. Ask yourself: What would Jesus do?