Given all the (extremely justified) to do over the years local governments have gone through regarding simple things like nativity scenes, you’d hardly expect some religious type to post biblical passages at the Grand Canyon. Responding to my letter was Dawn O’Sickey, Public Affairs Specialist for the Grand Canyon National Park:
“Your e-mail inquiry regarding the sale of the book Grand Canyon: A Different View by Tom Vail, in bookstores operated by the Grand Canyon Association, has been forwarded to this office for reply.
The book has been sent to the National Park Service Office of Communications, in Washington, D.C., for review in terms of the book’s appropriateness as a sales item in a National Park. Once the review has been completed and an opinion rendered, that information will be available to the public. We will keep your message on file in our office and forward a copy of that opinion to you. We are also keeping on file your comments regarding the plaques.”
Trust me that is not a satisfactory answer so I responded politely but firmly:
Thank you for your response. However, there is no explanation included of why plaques bearing Christian bible passages have been allowed in one of our finest national parks; to me, this is much worse than the books on sale. When are these plaques going to be removed? If you (personally, that is, due to your position in the department) are unable to provide an answer, please let me know how I can schedule a phone conversation with Secretary Norton on this topic.
Think I’ll get that phone call?