When a Christian businessman spent millions of dollars to purchase a mall in Texas, he wanted to do something with the space that spoke to his values. Now, John Bushman is turning heads and stirring up quite the controversy for installing a monument in the mall that honors his love for the Ten Commandments.
Because Bushman is the owner of the Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville, Texas, he wanted to transform the space into a place where customers and guests could find “peace and love” as well as an astute reminder of the Ten Commandments that Bushman follows every day.
Bushman owns several other businesses across the country in addition to his stake in the Vista Ridge Mall. He purchased the mall for $17.3 million and then planned to spend an additional $3 to $4 million in renovations to bring the mall up to tip-top shape. As part of the renovations, Bushman hired a company to create the Ten Commandments monument, which is something he has installed in several of his other businesses because he thinks it inspires customers and helps remind people to lead good lives of love and faith.
“We’re not trying to overwhelm anyone or make a statement,” Bushman told Dallas News. “We just believe in the Lord’s love. That’s the sole reason. We hope when someone sees it, it will touch their heart and give them new hope that day.”
The Ten Commandments monument would be hard to miss. If Bushman has his way as he plans to, the reminder of God’s love will stand eight feet tall and be five feet wide. According to a printed estimate, the monument would weigh more than eight hundred pounds, which would make it very difficult for someone to steal if they were ever so inclined.
“We’re putting the two greatest commandments about loving the Lord and your neighbor on the second level because they weigh about a third of the 800-pound Ten Commandments,” he said. “In times of turbulence in the world, we’re sharing peace and the Lord’s love. We all need more of that.”
People turned to social media sites to express their views about Bushman’s plans to install the monument in the Texas mall. Many people applauded his efforts to promote his Christian values through his business venture.
“What a beautiful thing he is doing,” one reader commented on Facebook. “I sincerely hope & pray that you will be blessed in this endeavor, and it will be a grand and wonderful success. The Lord says, ‘he who honors Me, I will honor him.’ That is my sincere prayer for you.”
However, others felt that Bushman was being a bit too overbearing by forcing his guests to see a Christian monument when they might not be of that faith.
“What a beautiful thing he is doing,” one reader commented on Facebook. “I sincerely hope & pray that you will be blessed in this endeavor, and it will be a grand and wonderful success. The Lord says, ‘he who honors Me, I will honor him. That is my sincere prayer for you.”
Do you think the Ten Commandments monument should stay or go?