Man Buys An Entire Mall, But Not Everyone Happy With What He’s Putting Inside.

Shopping is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word “mall.” If not shopping, then dining or watching a film, or at least some kind of entertainment. Whatever it may be, religion is probably the last thing someone associates with a place like that.
However, one Texas businessman sought to change that back in 2017 when he bought an entire mall and planned to install an enormous statue containing the biblical Ten Commandments.
John Bushman, a businessman from Odessa, had acquired the Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville, West Texas, for $17.3 million. He renamed it “Music City Mall”. He had then planned to invest a further $3 million to $4 million to improve the mall and make it more attractive to customers. His improvement plans included turning the mall into a “community space.” He believed placing the Ten Commandments would help make such a space as it would guide people towards finding a bit of “love and peace.”
The Uncommon Mall Installation Was A Sight For Sure
This installation was not something new for Bushman. In fact, every other business that Bushman owns, including hotels in New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, an Odessa Chickn4U restaurant, and other shopping malls, all have a similar display. The display in question was an 800-pound tablet of stone engraved with the Ten Commandments.Bushman had said in an interview on the topic that they had no intention of overwhelming people or making any statement. Bushman says: “We just believe in 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.” However, there were questions over whether the mall’s second level could support the weight of the Ten Commandments monument.

In his words: “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.” The engraved monument was 5 feet wide and 8 feet tall. It was visible and standing on the mall’s first floor. Bushman explains, “In times of turbulence in the world, we’re sharing peace and the Lord’s love. We all need more of that.”
It is not uncommon for American businesses to market based on faith. Quite a few major companies proclaim Christianity as part of their corporate values and culture. Three of them include Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, and Interstate Batteries Corp. Regardless, even Bushman states that religious messages in malls are unusual. However, he was hopeful that it would work.
A Mixed Reception To The Installation
Even if there was some positive reception, there was plenty of skepticism regarding the matter as well. For example, people who did not believe in religion found it to be quite an affront. One internet comment read: “They should put up a ‘phee phi pho phum’ plaque as well. Or any other piece from another fictional made up story.”






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