The pastor of the Assembly of God Church in Logan says a sketch of the LDS Temple on the city's logo may be in violation of the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In a letter to city attorney Scott Barrett, pastor Danny Royer said the city is not representing all of its residents when the logo on city vehicles and stationery includes a depiction of the LDS temple in the foreground."The temple is strictly off limits to many of us who are excluded from entry on the basis of religion, and activities that take place inside the building are closely guarded secrets," he said.
"Since the temple is more private and exclusive than any private club in Logan, it should not be a symbol chosen to represent the public."
Barrett said this is the first time there has been a complaint about the logo and although he has not had time to research the issue, "I personally see no problem with the sketch. The city's seal also includes Utah State University's Old Main Building and a sketch of Mount Logan, so I do not believe we are inappropriately entangling church and state."
Barrett said if other complaints come in or if someone files a lawsuit, he probably would recommend that the city remove the sketch from the logo rather than spend a lot of money defending the issue in court.
Mayor Russ Fjeldsted said he believes the temple drawing is used as a geographical symbol and that it does not have religious connotations.
He said however, "We want to be fair and we want life to be comfortable for all denominations, so we would be willing to sit down and discuss the issue with anyone who objects to the seal."
The city of St. George recently was ordered to pay $85,000 in attorneys' fees after losing a lawsuit to St. George lawyer Phillip Foremaster. Foremaster filed the suit in response to the city's practice of subsidizing lighting of the local LDS temple. Foremaster also had challenged a depiction of the temple on the city's logo, which subsequently was redesigned.