I believe the issue at hand is not one of religious freedom and its expression. Nor is it an issue of theological belief or the freedom of individuals to choose what they will read.
When Pastor Garry Basham targeted minor children with an aggressive verbal attack, he was, in fact, acting as a child abuser. To shout threats at an unsuspecting and vulnerable group of minor children, which must have been very confusing and frightening for them, was inappropriate and abusive behavior.
Pastor Basham's theology, even though it motivated him, is not the issue. His public behavior and its effect on minor children is an important issue and should not be rationalized or overlooked by our entering into theological debate.
I would hope that we, as a community, will insist that Pastor Basham's public behavior be addressed by law enforcement officials and the courts for what it was, an incident of child abuse.
Rev. Suzanne Bishop, Payson