The town of Chino Valley, Arizona, likes to pray to Jesus at the end of their meetings. Rabbi Adele Plotkin of Chino Valley’s Beit Torah congregation protested this practice on Tuesday and was removed from the proceedings by the master at arms—a local police officer—on Chino Valley Mayor Chris Marley’s orders.
Marley announced before the Jan. 26 council meeting that he did not intend to perform the invocation at that meeting or the meeting on Feb. 9 until council members had a chance to discuss how they wanted to conduct future invocations after receiving recent criticism. He confirmed that intention in an interview with the media after Jan. 26 meeting.
Plotkin contacted a Chino Valley Review reporter before the Feb. 9 meeting to confirm that no invocation was planned, saying she couldn't attend if they intended to pray to Jesus. She said she wanted to attend the meeting so that she could begin to build bridges with the council members on this issue, but would only do so if there was no invocation.
Mayor Marley when a lot further on this subject, tying in the Bill of Rights and religion and civic duty into a twisted knot:
“Unfortunately, the content of the invocations offered here in Chino Valley has become the subject of some contention, so we - your Town Council - will deal with it," Marley said in an opening statement. "Our Bill of Rights protects us against the establishment of religion by the state, and yet it would appear that secular humanism with its mantra of political correctness has become just that, the state established religion which the First Amendment was supposed to protect us against.
"Our oath of office requires that we defend the Constitution, and yet we are being asked to give up our right to freely worship according to the dictates of conscious. As a nation, we have already lost a number of our freedoms: The right to peacefully assemble and our protection against unreasonable search and seizure are already gone, and a number of others are being stripped away as we speak.
"I can't speak for the rest of the Council, but I believe it is time to draw a line in the sand, at least for me it is.”
In an unrelated piece of news, here’s Matthew 6:1 through 6:7.
6:1 “Be careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. 6:2 Thus whenever you do charitable giving, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and on streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth, they have their reward. 6:3 But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 6:4 so that your gift may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
6:5 “Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. 6:6 But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. 6:7 When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard.
You can watch Chino Valley’s mayor “draw a line in the sand” and let his left hand know what his right hand is doing, below the fold.