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City does not have to change

July 29, 2012
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

I saw the articles in the Herald-Star reporting that the city of Steubenville is going to redesign its logo to remove the chapel of the Franciscan University of Steubenville from the logo image. This is in response to someone making a complaint about a religious symbol in the city logo. Our city leaders have been persuaded that there is legal precedent for the complaint, so they are having the logo redesigned.

Personally, I doubt that this is legally necessary. If the chapel was in the logo to make a religious statement, then there would be reason for someone to complain. I don't believe, however, that is the reason that the image is in the logo. The university is currently the largest employer in Steubenville. The university has for a long time been of economic importance to the area. The university campus is the main thing a person sees entering Steubenville from a certain direction. In that sense it represents some people's image of the area.

I believe that these are the reasons that the university chapel is in the logo. If most people believed it was there to make a religious statement, there would likely have already been a lot of people who would have objected to the city specifically supporting, not just Christianity, but the Catholic faith. If it were a commercial corporation instead of a Catholic school, that had the same significance to the community, no one would question it having a recognizable image of it's facility in the city logo. So, considering the apparent reason that a recognizable building from the university is in the city logo, I don't believe it should be legally necessary to change it.

I am not Catholic and am not affiliated with the university. I am a person who believes that concerns about the state supporting religion need to be kept in proper perspective. If everyone were able to get the state, local or federal government to change something every time they saw an image or statement of which they did not personally approve, the changes would be constant and perpetual.

The Rev. Bob Haseltine


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