Councillors call for “Christian flag” to be taken down at City Hall

Daniel MacEachern
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Some St. John’s councillors are calling for the city to take down the so-called “Christian flag.”

Sheilagh O'leary

Coun. Sheilagh O’Leary says she sent an email to the mayor and the rest of council on Tuesday.

“I was unaware of the impact, certainly, of this flag-raising,” O’Leary told the Telegram on Wednesday morning. “Once it became a public issue, we were getting emails from people in regards to this particular church in itself and some of their philosophies and such. It was a great concern for me, because I certainly in believe in equal rights and respect and acceptance of all, and I think we need to reflect that, certainly, as a city.”

O’Leary said she’s received emails from some councillors agreeing that the flag should be taken down, but hasn’t heard from the mayor yet. The raising of the flag — which is not recognized as officially representing Christianity — at Mount Pearl and St. John’s city halls Monday and at Confederation Building on Tuesday was organized by St. Stephen the Martyr church. The church’s website links to condemnations of homosexuality as well as discredited therapeutic methods to “cure” it.

O’Leary has yet to hear from the mayor, but Coun. Danny Breen and Coun. Dave Lane have publicly stated the flag should be taken down. St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe and Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms have not returned the Telegram’s calls requesting comment.

Twitter: @DanMacEachern

Organizations: Confederation Building, Martyr church

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • guy incognito
    March 24, 2016 - 07:48

    What a waste of time this is. Council has nothing better to do?

  • Randy
    March 24, 2016 - 04:22

    Thanks goodness we now have Sheliagh O'Leary on council so she can raise these petty, idiotic issues instead of the real issues City Council expected to deal with like property tax, garbage collection, snow clearing, road maintenance, etc.

  • Tom
    March 23, 2016 - 19:10

    No more special interest group flags. Not for anyone, no excuse. Government flags only. That will give everybody the same right.

  • John Paul
    March 23, 2016 - 19:02

    Beware of people claiming to be Christians, as the bible says, "Therefore by their fruits you will know them." (Matthew 7:20).

  • Catherine
    March 23, 2016 - 18:50

    Only government flags on government buildings. NO OTHER FLAGS! This should apply to all federal, provincial and municipal buildings.

  • Marie
    March 23, 2016 - 16:22

    The Flag that was raised didn't represent either church. It just had a cross on it representing the death of Jesus. The Church just wanted it flown for Easter. There is nothing wrong with that. It this flag is taken down because it represents Jesus, then I don't think that the Pride flag should be flown representing Gay People.

  • Scotty
    March 23, 2016 - 15:14

    No, ur wrong. No flag should be flown, U think cause ur lgbt ur any different than any other group? Why? Not all christians believe the same thing, but they are christians, One group isn't any more important than another. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander. I'd guess the rainbow will be protested for being flown now, fair is fair.

  • Chebucto
    March 23, 2016 - 14:59

    The flag needs to go. Separation of church and state!!!

  • Rhonda
    March 23, 2016 - 14:57

    The more 'inclusive' society gets-the more exclusive we get. Do not fly ANY FLAGS but government flags. That includes ANY SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS. People are always whining about something or another.

  • stephen
    March 23, 2016 - 14:32

    The Provincial Anthem The official anthem of Newfoundland and Labrador is the Ode to Newfoundland, written by Governor Sir Cavendish Boyle in 1902. As loved our fathers, so we love Where once they stood we stand Their prayer we raise to heav'n above God guard thee Newfoundland God guard thee, God guard thee God guard thee Newfoundland. They may tear down the,"Christain Flag",but they can't tear,"Jesus Christ",out of my heart.You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4).

    • Funny!
      March 23, 2016 - 15:33

      Haha! Thanks for the laugh!

    • Paul
      March 23, 2016 - 16:42

      no one is asking you to tear Jesus from your heart. its about seperation of church and state, not individual worship.

  • Dave
    March 23, 2016 - 13:34

    Unless it is a government issued flag , it has no business on any government building.

  • The real Calvin
    March 23, 2016 - 13:31

    I agree that only federal, provincial and municipal flags should be raised. However, the Christian community is again ignoring the actual issue here, out of some unfounded sense of persecution. The church who raised the flag has condemned any form of sexuality outside of heterosexuality. Their website contains links to curing homosexuality for crying out loud. I missed the links about curing heterosexuality, weird. The LGBT community is fighting for equal rights, which the religious community seeks to deny them. How do people not understand this? The LGBT flag is flown to help raise awareness that a huge portion of our population is still struggling for the basic rights that the rest of us enjoy, plain and simple. As for the arguments that the flag represents all of Christianity, get a grip. If it does, why wasn't the Catholic Church fighting to have it raised? Or the Salvation Army? Let's raise a Muslim flag and see if the Christian community shows up with the same "equal rights" bs.

    • Rhonda
      March 24, 2016 - 08:06

      Get a grip, I am a Christian and couldn't care less if they fly every religious flag known to man. As a matter of fact it would be wonderful! Doesn't bother me in the least. Don't pass your judgemental opinions on to others.

  • Scotty
    March 23, 2016 - 13:19

    Should have never gone up! Canadian Flag, Newfoundland Flag And City Flag , all good. Any other flag is gonna offend someone, everyone is so sensitive these days. If one particular flag is allowed then they should all be, so be fair and don't allow any.

    • Terry
      March 23, 2016 - 17:57

      You are absolutely correct.ALL flags will offend someone.Remove the flagpole and we can stop hearing about all this foolishness.

  • dennis
    March 23, 2016 - 13:14

    now we know the true feelings of the ndp and some city officials. Treat Christians like dirt and fly the gay flag.

  • Taxpayer
    March 23, 2016 - 11:58

    I agree that this flag should be taken down but by the same token the rainbow flag should not fly over City Hall.

  • Harve
    March 23, 2016 - 11:46

    What are we coming to? So it's okay to be inclusive and fly all other flags during the year (ie. rainbow flag for LGB community) yet we cannot fly a Christian flag during Easter? Come on people. Will somebody stand up for the majority and show some balls and say "No we are going to fly this flag out of respect for Christians". So, we take down the flag because a few people are offended,. Well I am very offended it was taken down. Governments has made it clear from here on, no flags will be flown to respect specific groups of society. Let's remember that shall we.

  • Sandra
    March 23, 2016 - 11:30

    Sure take down the Christian flag. Religion has no place in the public sector. So I sure as hell better be able to buy a bacon sandwich in any government funded facility anywhere in this country

  • Joe Smith
    March 23, 2016 - 11:28

    This flag does not represent all Christians. No flags other than the provincial federal or city flags should be flown at government buildings anyhow.

  • Unbiased
    March 23, 2016 - 11:18

    Ah the Bravery!!!! And we keep electing them! My dear friends we have become a Colony of Cowards! I agree no flags of any kind at city council but our City of St John's Flag. No special interest , Religious , Political , Race , Gender or anything else. City Seal Only. P.S. Does Anyone Know where I can borrow 50K . I just need it for a couple of weeks! We just keeps the laughs goin don't we!

  • A
    March 23, 2016 - 11:08

    Then don't fly the gay pride flag either. Fly no one's flag. No exceptions.

    • Scotty
      March 23, 2016 - 13:23

      I agree ! Guess its ok to be gay or lesbian just not christian.

    • AB
      March 23, 2016 - 13:46

      Wrong. It’s okay to fly a flag representing basic equal rights for all. The LGBT community is Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. It’s not okay to fly a flag from a small church group (NOT representative of all Christians) which fights against those equal rights and promotes bogus science such as the idea that homosexuality can be cured. This is a simple difference, yet one that seems hard for a lot of folks to grasp. This is NOT Christians VS LGBT.