MORE MEDITATIONS ON COUNCIL PRAYERS
Should Burbank continue to practice prayer or invocation before City
“Yes,” is my vote.
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
are asking for is God’s guidance as we seek to help others in our
Mr. Rubin is upset about the singing of “Silent Night.” That is scary!
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,
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.
I am in complete agreement with your editorial on Wed., Dec. 1.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Yes, we both agree that Burbank should continue its practice of a
prayer or invocation before City Council meetings.
ROBERT AND NATALIE LIVINGSTON
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.
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
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
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