VIEWS ON CITY COUNCIL PRAYERS
We are in total agreement with Rabbi Paula Reimers’ statements in the
Dec. 1 issue of the Leader (“A question of prayer”).
How could any of us disagree that we certainly need some divine
guidance in our lives, including public City Council meetings? Activist
Rubin perhaps is not aware that our City Council looks to the Burbank
Ministerial Association for leaders of all religious affiliations to open
meetings with a prayer.
By the way, having been to many John Burroughs High School music
presentations, they do include “Chanukah” as well as other cultural
pieces in their programs.
We say keep prayer as part of the agenda in council meetings.
MICKI AND JAMES NOUD
Thank you for the editorial about prayer at City Council meetings
(“Prayer protest raises questions,” Dec 1). While Irv Rubin’s message is
somewhat radical, there is an important issue here.
I am not against prayer at City Council meetings, but I would prefer
it to be nondenominational. If the invocation is intended only for the
religious preference of our City Council members, then let them receive
it in private before the meeting with the citizens of Burbank. However,
if the prayer is intended to benefit the audience, and TV viewers as
well, then they must be sensitive to the diversity in our city.
I attended a City Council meeting with my teenage son. When I heard
the name of Jesus Christ used in the prayer I was surprised and somewhat
insulted, since I am not of the Christian faith. I kept my surprise to
What astonished me more was the reaction of my son, who said it wasn’t
fair that it was a Christian prayer when there could have been people of
other religions in the audience at the meeting.
I have attended other functions where an invocation was performed by a
minister or other religious leader of the Christian faith. They were
always sensitive to the fact that members of other religions could be in
their audience, and gave inspirational messages without invoking the name
My rabbi, Mark Sobel, gave an invocation at the recent “This is How
Burbank Works” celebration, and again, it was inspirational without being
offensive to other religions.
If the City Council wants to keep open prayer in the meetings, let it
be nondenominational, or, if that is out of the question, then let it be
said in private.
I was pleased to read the city’s response to the comments made at the
council meeting Nov. 23 (“City defends council prayers,” Nov. 27).
Fortunately, Mr. Rubin’s reputation has preceded him. I categorize Mr.
Rubin more of a rabble rouser than an activist. Most of us are familiar
with his activities and in my opinion he has done more to foster
anti-Semitism than he cures. It’s a shame he can find nothing more
constructive to do with his time.
I was amused, however, that Mr. Rubin fits in perfectly with a number
of the other resident and nonresident malcontents who regularly address
the Council with their laughable expertise on various subjects.
On another subject, a speaker referred to the silent majority which
the malcontents (particularly Ted McConkey and his cronies) would like to
believe do not exist or, at best, are ineffective. It was that “silent
majority” that bounced McConkey out of office and it is that same “silent
majority” that will assure that all the Tuesday evening pseudo-experts
will not have their way.
Officials deserve credit for pursuing airport solution
Any day now I’m expecting a volunteer to knock on my door with the
Burbank Airport Petition to sign. I’m going to tell him or her, that a
“Cast in Concrete” initiative allows no flexibility in negotiations which
is what this process is going to need.
In addition to the initiative, Bob Kramer wants an advisory vote and
they haven’t even decided on the wording yet.
By the time the voting takes place on both ballot measures we might be
further along on the negotiations, making both outdated.
Now we have a supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky chiming in and repeating what
the three Los Angeles congressmen have already said about the flights
over their districts. Where have they been? - “Out to Lunch.” Any L.A.
Politician that is complaining should have contributed input sooner
instead of playing the political game now.
The city of Los Angeles was asked in 1977 to participate in the
ownership of the airport. They declined. That was great foresight. Now we
hear from them 22 years later.
I give Mayor Stacey Murphy and Vice Mayor Dave Golonski credit in
pursuing the negotiations despite the obstacles, which seems to be
getting more numerous as time goes by.
Burbank A matter of timing
While most of the Earth’s population is madly celebrating the new
millennium, one year before it starts, I shall be quietly celebrating the
start of the last year of the 20th century.
William Shakespeare had just right, about 400 years ago, when he said,
“What fools these mortals be!”
ZACHARY A. CHARLES