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Religious prayers for secular county business?

Apparently, the troglodyte country bumpkins who sit on the Carroll County Board of Commissioners in Westminster, MD not only fail to understand the Constitution, but fail to exhibit or show any signs of basic decency or common sense.

This not so much a kerfuffle or tempest in a teapot, but a major blow to federal rule, the Constitution and rights of all. The Commissioners begin – and have begun for years – their Board meetings with a prayer. Sometimes – most times, it seems - prayers have mentioned “Jesus” “the savior” and similar things before beginning the secular business of the secular county.

They point out that they have always started meetings with prayer and that this in itself is a reason to continue.

“We always had it like this. It was always this way”, so the logic goes. Well, let’s look at some things that we always had and were different in the past in this country and that we no longer do, and for good reason.

We had slavery for several hundred years. That’s gone, not to come back.

We did not allow women to vote until 1920. (Had we continued this, it is unlikely that Commissioner Robin B. Frazier would have been on the Board of Commissioners.)

We at one time did not allow women to own property or control their own assets or money. That went slowly, state by state.

Those of different races were not allowed to marry. That went with the 1967 Supreme Court decision on Loving v. State of Virginia, in which all southern states were required to eliminate this discriminatory law. Mildred (black) and Richard (white) Loving had been sentenced to a year in jail for marrying each other. The Supreme Court did not see this as a crime, despite the fact that it had always been “illegal”.

Children had no laws to protect them from abuses until the early part of the 1900’s.

Dog fighting and other forms of animal fighting and cruelty were legal until 1867 in the US and earlier in England (1835), again not to come back.

At one time in early Virginia, part of the taxes collected went specifically to the Anglican Church. That stopped with legislation initiated by George Mason.

Despite the Emancipation Proclamation of Lincoln in 1863 and the later 1865 continued rejection of slavery, blacks continued to endure official and approved prejudice into the 1960’s.

There was an almost official prejudice against Jews, as per the Olympic Committee head Avery Brundage involved boycott and removal of Marty Glickman and Sam Stollman, both Jews, from the four-man relay track team of the 1936 Olympics.

From 1851 to 1923 the New York Times ran ads that included “NINA” clauses (no Irish need apply), another discrimination.

We could have continued this way, since slavery, denying the vote to women, dog fighting, denying money and property rights to women, NINA clauses, etc, was the way it was always done.

But let’s look at this a little differently, in a way that the good if willfully ignorant Carroll County commissioners may not have considered.

Suppose we have prayers in the Carroll County board meetings to “Allah” or “Mohammed”, or just to keep the Hindus happy, “Ganesha” and “Krishna”? Should we have prayers including the Mayan gods Balon, Yakte, and Choc, or to Victor Hugo of the Cao Dai religion? Could we have prayers to Zeus, Ra, Odin, Thor, Mithras?

Perhaps the county commissioners should get out of the thinking and ruling business and into something simpler and easier to handle mentally. I know of a nice business which only requires learning seven words.

“Would you like French fries with that?” They should be able to handle that without a brain strain.

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