Friday, May 30, 2014

Marginalized in Deerfield Beach

From David Cohen responding to the Supreme Court decision in the Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway  case challenging the invocation prayer at city meetings:
I do not presume to retry the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) case but I must challenge the decision of the homogeneous majority as a violation of my human rights — I am now legally marginalized. 

When our city’s presiding officer opens each civic meeting by introducing the invocator which is followed by intoning “Everyone stand.” Or “Would you all rise!” it does not come across as a request.  When the invocation, in one form or another cites — emphasizes —  a belief that is inconsonant with mine,  I am consigned to the OTHER caste.

In their very nature, these invocations do proselytize though, according to the SCOTUS majority, it's always been done so it's acceptable as a time-honored custom.  How does this differ from the equally long-standing customs of slavery, of Jim Crow laws and from the ongoing legislation that truncates rights of minorities?

 I have long advocated a moment of silence as an inclusive procedure.  This is supported by scriptures of several creeds and accepted by many non-believers — equal as citizens also.  I cannot understand why any person of conscience in this 21st century republic would not wish to honor this simple step toward mutual respect and unity.

David Cohen — marginalized man


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