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MARIANNE PUMFORD: A more fitting garment for Stewart statue

on July 03, 2013 11:00 AM

The front page of the June 27 Indiana Gazette featured two women in front of the Indiana County Court House draping the Jimmy Stewart statue in a rainbow flag to represent the LGBT community. This occurred in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling regarding the Defense of Marriage Act.

Because I am in the midst of reading the book “Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot” by Starr Smith as well as doing some supplemental online research about Stewart, the photo struck me as ironic.

For those who don’t know, Indiana’s hometown hero was a lifelong conservative Republican, who actively campaigned for Ronald Reagan, not to mention contributed large amounts of money to his campaign fund. (Reagan did not believe in government endorsements of homosexuality.)

Moreover, Stewart was a Christian who was active in the Presbyterian Church from his childhood through to the time of his death. (Christian belief, in general, views the practice of homosexuality as a sin, based on Scripture. Currently, though liberal in some aspects pertaining to homosexuality, the Presbyterian Church, USA will not perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.)

Stewart himself was married to only one woman for 45 years; the marriage ended at the time of his wife’s death. This is only conjecture, but Stewart’s political, religious and personal profile therefore seems to dictate that if he were alive today, he might be an opponent rather than a proponent of the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling.

Perhaps in the future, the garb that this community chooses to drape over Jimmy’s statue should be more representative of Jimmy: Christian, conservative, war hero, husband and father in a traditional family.

Here are a couple of suggestions: the Presbyterian Church, USA flag on National Prayer Day or a U.S. Air Force flag or the American Flag on Veterans Day.

Marianne Pumford

Indiana

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