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MORE MEDITATIONS ON COUNCIL PRAYERS

Should Burbank continue to practice prayer or invocation before City

Council meetings?

“Yes,” is my vote.

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Our Rotary Club is a good example of how I can volunteer to give an

invocation, prayer or one of our Jewish members can give an invocation or

tell us of the meaning of a Jewish holiday.

Its’ called respect of the other person’s belief. And really what we

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are asking for is God’s guidance as we seek to help others in our

community.

Mr. Rubin is upset about the singing of “Silent Night.” That is scary!

ED JOHNSON

Burbank

At city council meetings I believe that the opening prayer should not

include any reference to Jesus Christ or other religious leaders other

than to God, which is generally acceptable to most denominations,

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Christian or other.

Specific reference to Jesus Christ in these opening prayers is, in my

opinion, a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which

separates church and state, and is offensive to non-Christian members of

our multicultural community.

If these Christian pastors will not agree to delete references to

Jesus Christ, then the City Council should discontinue the practice of

opening their meetings with a prayer, I believe.

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ROBERT WALSH

Burbank

I am in complete agreement with your editorial on Wed., Dec. 1.

LENORE GRONICH

Burbank

The Burbank City Council should continue its practice of a prayer or

invocation before council meetings. Anyone wishing not to listen can

bring ear plugs.

IVAN CREGGER

Burbank

The first 16 words of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

read as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment

of religion, or of prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...”

The law was written to insure freedom for religion, not freedom from

religion.

The writers of the Constitution were all political men of different

faiths. They were determined that no individual faith would be imposed on

them the way the Church of England used the Crown to dictate what

religion was acceptable and what was not.

The founders survived because of their strong faith in God. Many were

influential in establishing what we now call the Ivy League colleges. All

intended to promote their own religion, but didn’t exclude others of

different faiths.

The Jewish Defense League should be recognized exactly for what it is.

One organization striving to stamp out all other faiths while at the same

time promoting its own faith. They are just as guilty of political

religious promotion as those they condemn.

The practice of invocations before the City Council meetings should be

continued. If it is good for the Congress of the United States it is good

enough for us.

DON ELSMORE

Burbank

I would like to comment on Mr. Rubin’s “prayer protest” of City

Council invocations and the subsequent Leader editorial questioning the

fairness of prayers preceding council business that might have a

religious nature (such as a “zoning variance for a church”).

It seems the real question is this: Does prayer actually summon help

from God or is it simply a man-made contrivance now become a wedge issue

for political agendas? Certainly, there are many who believe the latter.

However, there is objective evidence for the efficacy of prayer. In

1996, for instance, the LA Times (May 4, “Boy’s death raises questions

about faith and healing”) reported on a Harvard University-sponsored

conference that reviewed and discussed the link between religion and

health.

One study of nearly 400 patients in the coronary care unit of a San

Francisco hospital compared recovery rates of patients who were being

prayed for, without their knowledge, with patients who received no

prayers. The results showed that the 192 patients being prayed for had

significantly less heart failure, pneumonia and need for antibiotics.

Now, if being prayed for unknowingly produces better physical health in

individuals, is it not reasonable to presume that openly praying for the

health of our city would produce beneficial results?

Another study conducted by the national Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention looked at 129 cases in Oregon and southwest Washington of

meningococcal disease - which strikes quickly and can kill within a day -

in conjunction with a cross section of healthy people.

A surprise finding was that people who attended church were one fifth

as likely to get the disease than those who didn’t go to church.

How about that! Going to church is healthy! So, whether prayer in

Jesus’ name influences proceedings or not, a zoning variance for a church

to be built is probably a pretty good idea, isn’t it?

Jeremiah said “seek the peace of the city ... and pray to the Lord for

it; for in its peace you will have peace (Jer 29:7).” Maybe God really is

eager to help and is just waiting to be properly asked. We’d be foolish

to turn down that kind of help no matter how much it may offend some

individuals. Let the invocations continue and let them get stronger.

GREG SWITZER

Burbank

Yes, we both agree that Burbank should continue its practice of a

prayer or invocation before City Council meetings.

ROBERT AND NATALIE LIVINGSTON

Burbank

Yes, I believe in a prayer or invocation before City Council meetings.

Rather than do away with this good practice, it could be expanded to

include other faiths or, for some few, a moment of reflection on the

seriousness of council actions.

PAT McCUGH

Burbank

SCHIFF IS NO FRIEND OF BUSINESS

I read James Garrison’s column in your opinion section with great

amusement(“A sharp focus on 27th District,” Dec. 1). Now I know that not

only will Adam Schiff say anything just to get elected, but his

supporters will as well.

Garrison’s comparison of Schiff and Rogan on business issues truly

comes from the pen of someone very misinformed. Come on, saying Adam

Schiff is good for business is like saying Congressman Rogan and Bill

Clinton pal around on the weekends together. As you can see, both

statements sound equally ridiculous.

Schiff is good for business like water is good for a fire. His

campaign is funded by trial lawyers - the sworn enemy of small business -

and he has voted to expand the amount of frivolous lawsuits numerous

times, and I read that he received one of the lowest ranking of any state

legislator by a San Fernando Valley Business group.

When it comes to who is best for business and the consumer I believe

there is no comparison - Congressman Jim Rogan clearly stands above Adam

Schiff.

ANNE SHEDD

Burbank

AIRPORT DEAL SHOULD BE FLEXIBLE

Ron Vanderford’s article about easterly takeoffs and other airport

matters appears to be well presented, even if you don’t agree with his

arguments (“Easterly take-offs are likely,” Nov. 27).

But why does he spoil it by coming out for the Roar Initiative, a “

cast-in-concrete” document that allows for no compromise? The airport

settlement negotiations are by definition open to compromise by both

sides.

Despite what Will Rogers says, why shouldn’t they be open to change by

future councils? Nothing is status quo. Everything changes with time

depending on circumstances.

Our constitution is a good example. It’s a living document. Its

interpretation has changed over the years depending on the needs of the

times.

WESLEY GREENE

Burbank


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