Saturday, October 8, 2016
Having difficulty to stay awake when watching TV or at the computer results in no blog.
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof”. Those are the first words of the “Bill of Rights”.
SOPUS has interpreted that to mean that religion should have no place in government down to the smallest political entity.
That means that there should be no law favoring or forcing upon others any religion be it Christian, Muslin, or Jewish or any of their various sects. There shall be no action that is offensive to the sensibilities of any one of a different religion.
Celebrations of any religious holiday should not result in the forced closing of any civic institution. The only exceptions, Easter and Christmas, are not legally mandated, but result from what was the near 100% domination of Christianity in various forms from the beginning of this nation when there were too few not at worship for the institution to function.
Blue laws are unconstitutional. Stores and services have the right to do business and cannot be made to close by any laws.
It is true that schools in Plainfield used to be closed on the Jewish Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. That was because so many of the teachers were Jewish and would be absent. It would be too expensive to hire substitutes if they could be found. Also the large number of Jewish students would have had a negative effect on attendance records.
Recently a similar accommodation has been made for the Muslim holy days.
However, there should be one self-evident principle; respect for those of a different religion. Don’t deliberately or ignorantly disfranchise any citizen by scheduling meetings on their religious holidays. Meetings can be moved from traditional days for many reasons including those that are personal to some of its members. In fact in November the Agenda fixing meeting and the business meeting have been combined and rescheduled for a Tuesday, November 1.
This October the Agenda setting Session was on Rosh Hashanah and this Tuesday the Council meeting will be held on Tuesday night, Kol Nidre* night of Yom Kippur, the most holy of Jewish holidays.
Need I say more?
*Kol Nidre is the opening prayer of Yom Kippur asking for absolution from all vows made to God in prayer or stress that were not done.” "All vows we are likely to make, all oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths.” It is sung by the Cantor and Reformed congregations with music from an organ and cello.