Monday, November 02, 2009

Not so fast, Michael Cass

The Tennessean's long-time Metro beat reporter Michael Cass veered overboard today describing the connection between a church's will-to-commerce and Charlie Tygard's will-to-power. Here's how Cass retells the history of the LED signage controversy:
The issue has pitted commercial interests and some community organizations against neighborhood groups for more than 18 months, raising questions of effective advertising, "visual clutter" and enforcement. After Tygard postponed a 2008 bill inspired by a Bellevue church's plea for a more visible way to market themselves along a heavily commercial stretch of Highway 100, the council put together a task force to come up with another plan.
Is there a double standard using romantic concepts like inspiration to describe the drive to light neighborhoods with LEDs while descriptions of neighborhoods seek to protect their quality of life against LEDs are described more neutrally or negatively? And then there is the issue of what these congregations want to be in chasing after commercial-style amenities as "community organizations." One member of the Nashville neighborhood list responded with the following letter to the Tennessean challenging the "inspired" theory of faith-based commercial signage in residential neighborhoods:
To the Editor:

An article in The Tennessean on [Nov] 2 said that a proposed Metro Council bill on permitting commercial-type, brilliant, LED electronic signs for churches and schools in residential neighborhoods is being delayed. The article said the bill was "inspired by a Bellevue church's plea for a more visible way to market themselves."

How inspiring is that? A tax-free church that believes commercial-type, outdoor, electronic signs is their route to salvation.

I believe that churches that behave like businesses and rely upon business-type outdoor advertising along the roads are churches that have lost their way.

Pete Horton, Nashville 37204
Amen, brother.

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