A Beebe pagan temple has been allegedly banned this week by a town in Arkansas due to it being a place of worship that is not Christian. Bertram Dahl, a disabled veteran, was hoping to open the pagan temple and reportedly had the support of both neighbors and some city officials in Beebe. However, when it was discovered that the place of worship would be one that didn’t honor the Christian God, RawStory News reveals this Thursday, June 19, that such backing was quickly withdrawn and replaced with hostility.
Although Bertram Dahl has been trying to secure a legal permit for a Beebe pagan temple for months now, high-ranking members of the local Arkansas community are standing in the way and working to prohibit this different place of worship from being initiated. The high priest hopeful has come forward this week to say he has been at the brunt of ongoing harassment by political figures like Mike Robertson, the Mayor of Beebe. The reason being is apparently the beliefs system in question, that of paganism.
"We explained to him [the mayor] the house had a building that we could open the church in, and he had no problem," Dahl said to a local news source.
Yet once the mayor and other neighbors learned the news that this church as in fact a pagan place of worship and not one that pays tribute to God the Father (of Christian religion), negative issues immediately arose. According to the press release, Dahl had also allegedly spoken with city officials in Beebe about temporarily renting a part of a local park for a religious celebration. While it seemed that everyone was behind it at first, as soon as word got out that the event would actually be the 12th annual Arkansas Pagan Pride, Dahl claimed he was told he would need to pay full price to use the small area and could not have any profiting sales or items of any kind.
News Max then adds that a formal letter regarding the soon-to-be banned Beebe pagan temple was sent to their home. Apparently, the letter was a letter of declination, saying that they would not be provided a permit to market or even open the temple. The worst piece about this information, adds Dahl, is that he and his wife hadn’t even applied for a permit yet with the Arkansas town.
"We were basically given a cease and desist you know – shut down. We hadn't even unpacked. We aren't even open – how are we getting this?" he stated.
Although the leading Beebe official has been asked to comment on the controversial case (including allegations that the church was prohibited early due to the place of worship not being a Christian site), a city attorney spokesperson said that the matter was a property issue at this point, particularly a commercial one — "which is what's required for a place of worship or a retail business."
Dahl concluded that even after going directly to the mayor’s office to request an official permit in order to create a pagan temple out of his home, he was not offered the chance to even apply for one. A single statement has been provided by the Beebe city alderman, who was quoted as saying:
"That man's god isn't my god."