Chester’s mayor Thaddeus Kirkland is a baptist pastor and he’s not shy about reminding us about that fact. Practically every time he speaks in public, there’s some reference that sounds like it comes right from the pulpit.

In today’s Delaware County Daily Times, the mayor responded to his city being plastered on the front page as the most dangerous city in the western hemisphere (or so it seems). Most of us would agree with that we’re tired of theses nobodies labeling us as the worst people on earth. As the mayor puts it…

This disheartening information came from an individual from the Pittsburgh area I assume in an attempt to bring himself some attention at the expense of Chester residents.

I love that the mayor responded to the front page story. I’ve been constantly frustrated that city never responds to these type stories. I call it reputation management where you fend off every instance of negative news about the city to remind others (and yourself) that good things continue to go on and should be where our attention is focused.

That message needs to continue to come from the the top and be received by everyone.

However, often when the mayor delivers his messages, his baptist/christian references offend the non believers and non christians in the community. This critique may not be getting back to the mayor, but I’ve heard it on more than several occasions.

For example, in today’s awesome letter to the editor in the Daily Times, the mayor includes these statements..

  •  I would not subject the flock that I shepherd to risk their lives to come into the city to worship every Sunday

  •  The Bible reminds us that one ought not focus on the speck in another’s eye when they have a rather large beam protruding from their own.

  •  …these type of articles only make us (Chester) “Stronger in Him.” You will get that on Sunday Morning.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find folks offended to be labeled as the mayor’s flock (is he talking to his church members or all of us)? Other’s are not familiar with the bible at all or may wonder why other holy texts aren’t referenced. And, what will we ‘get’ on Sunday morning?

The mayor became the laughing stock of the city and beyond when he declared a Spiritual State of Emergency and he truly angered a lot of people when the old Riverfront Ramble only booked gospel music acts this past summer.

This may be a case like the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ where no one had the balls to tell the guy at the top that his conduct may seem okay to him and ‘his flock,’ but there are a lot of people he’s charged to lead who practice other religions that take offense to his religious rhetoric.

Dear Mr. Mayor…We know you love the city and is doing the best job you know how. Just be conscious the words your speak in pulpit should be reserved for the pulpit. Folks around town have developed a deaf ear to some of the good things you say because it appears that you are not talking to them.