It's Jesus vs. Satan on Rubber Avenue
BY PAUL SINGLEY
Copyright © 2007 Republican-American
A battle between good and evil is brewing on Rubber Avenue.
Workers at two neighboring businesses in a small shopping plaza at 195 Rubber Ave. have differing opinions about whether or not people should show support for Jesus. An owner of a shop that puts photos onto DVDs placed a sign in front of a parking lot, which is used by both businesses, that says, "Easter: Beep for Christ."
A tattoo artist next door countered Friday with a sign that says, "Honk twice for..." and shows a caricature of a red devil underneath the text.
And so the battle began.
"Beep! Honk, honk!" Those were the sounds that blared all day from the cars of hundreds of commuters who traveled on Rubber Avenue, one of the busiest streets in the borough. Some beeped twice, while others gave just one toot on their car horns.
Claudette Soden, a devout Christian and owner of Photos Onto DVD, fired the first shot last week when she put up her Easter sign. Phil Young, who works at No Regrets next door to Soden's business, countered on Friday morning with his satanic sign.
Soden says Jesus is her "partner in business," and she wants everyone to know it.
"His sign is not bothering me, but I know it's bothering Jesus," she said. . "And children are going to pass by that sign and say, 'What is that? It looks like a devil.' And what are parents going to say to that?"
Young said his clients come from a range of religious backgrounds and cultures, and he doesn't want them to feel alienated from his business.
"My main point is that we share a parking lot, and what goes on in this parking lot represents not only hers, but both shops," he said. "What she does inside her business is her business. I would not tell her to get rid of the sign."
He said he is not a satanist, and respects every religion, adding that he has friends who follow several different religions.
"More people have been killed in the name of God than over anything else, and so I don't think people should fight about religion," he said. "Satan is part of the same religion as Christ, so it's a contrast, not a competing religion."
Both signmakers say they simply have a difference of opinion, and respect each other's right to freedom of speech. They just want commuters to know what they're honking for because neither wants to take down their respective sign.