There has been much discussion today about the Hartford City Council inviting Islamic Imams to open their meeting with a prayer. This comes as a total surprise in light of the recent rally in Washington to Restore America. Led by conservative commentator Glenn Beck the rally called for more religion and moral leadership from each of us.
Suddenly the liberal leaders of the Hartford City Council are looking for prayer at their meetings. Can it be they are really closet viewers of Glenn Beck? Are they soon to come out of the closet and begin to cut back on the size of government?
Before thoughts wander too far afield and away from the decision to bring Islamic prayer to the opening of the next City Council meeting let’s take a look at what is going on. The proposal was made by Councilman Luis Cotto and he defends action by saying his goal in having an Islamic prayer was to speak out against in his words, “the current wave of Islamophobia” in this country.
He said, the idea was to reflect the diversity of Hartford and our nation. Mr. Cotto got a bit condescending when he said, “Hello. We have a city with how many different people speaking how many different languages?” Well hello, to you too Mr. Cotto the diversity of languages has nothing to do with religion. Apparently he is looking at ethnicity and somehow equating that with religious diversity or perhaps he is doing a bit of racial/ethnic profiling.
Mr. Cotto later said he expected Council President Jo Winch to reiterate the council’s support for the Islamic convocation at today’s press conference. So is that an endorsement of a religion he is expressing? Where is the plaintiff from Enfield so excited about the separation of church and state? Will Luis Cotto be debating Federal Judge Janet C Hall the distinguished jurist that found attending a public event in a church would violate our Constitution? Oh my, what is going on?
Is this a change of policy to bring religion and prayer back into the meetings of our city fathers? All hail, a return to the traditions of the founding fathers, perhaps the next step will be more moral leadership within the chambers and less political posturing. I say, Amen to that!
Unfortunately, I tend to think the first tradition of a religious nature we can expect to see from the Hartford City Council will be to pass a collection plate, then in the name of diversity a collection basket followed by a call for a tithe from every resident. Of course this would all be done in the name of diversity and understanding to show our strength as a community.