Purdy right on separation of church and state

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To the editor:

When people wonder why Galloway is in a huge financial hole, look no further than this letter and the comments of some of the voters and the council members.

Many times I disagree with the actions of Mayor Purdy, but on this one, I agree with his statement that he “likes the separation of church and state” and that in the moment of silence, “We all pray in our own ways.”

 Council meetings are business meetings, not forums for religious commentary or prayers.

Former Mayor Tom Bassford continues to show his arrogance and ignorance with the comment that the ACLU is an “abomination” and that he is unafraid of lawsuits. His cavalier attitude is the reason we are financially in the toilet and witnessing the layoff of 14 township employees with the possibility of more to follow.

A lawsuit would cost taxpayers financially and in reputation, just as the headlines involving the firing of the township clerk, the lawsuits, the removal of the prior mayor from office and the revolving door in the township manager’s office cost us.

Arch Liston is being a responsible township manager by trying to avoid inviting litigation on this issue.

The comments of Councilman Tyrrell and Mooney are examples, too, of the blinkered approach that needs to be eliminated from council. Both of them leaned on the often-repeated talking point about “activist judges” who “misinterpret the law” in regard to secular vs. religious issues, and yet they appear to forget that the most of those judges currently sit on the U.S. Supreme Court and decided to declare that corporations are people and therefore can dump as much money into elections as they please to sway the election. Religion has been a divisive element for centuries, and to invite that kind of division to council meetings is ridiculous.

One of the most disappointing comments was made by Mrs. Jezycki when she said, “If a member of council is opposed to hearing a prayer, he or she can be excused,” and “Everyone knew how the meetings ran, why run for council?” The people of this township are a very diverse group that includes many religions, cultures, ethnicities as well as financial and educational levels, and it is not just one person who is offended by the insertion of religion into a business meeting.  

Mayor Purdy is correct – there is no need to have a prayer at council meetings. If hearing a prayer from a clergyman is that important, go to your house of worship. The clergy people will be happy to see you there.

Sherry Sauerwine


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