January 12, 2002
Gary Moskowitz BURBANK -- The federal indictment of a Jewish activist will not affect his lawsuit against the city for allowing sectarian prayers at council meetings, his civil attorney said Friday. Irv Rubin was indicted Thursday on suspicion of conspiring to bomb a mosque and the office of an Arab-American congressman. The nine charges could mean two life sentences, plus 75 additional years for Rubin if he is convicted. "[The indictment]
November 14, 2001
The continuing courtroom battle over whose god should be banned or permitted in pre-meeting prayer in the Burbank City Council chambers is a war of words, nothing more. It all started when Irv Rubin of the Jewish Defense League just happened to stop by a council meeting and received the shock of his life when the name of Jesus was invoked by a minister praying in the municipal venue before the meeting was gaveled to session. Rubin argued at the podium that the religious reference to Jesus in a room that conducts city business establishes sectarian prayer, which is prohibited by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.
November 3, 2001
Ryan Carter CIVIC CENTER -- Burbank city attorneys have filed a brief with a California court claiming that a trial judge's injunction on religious prayer during open Burbank City Council meetings is unconstitutional. In a brief filed Tuesday, the city asked that the state Court of Appeal overturn the November 2000 decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alexander H. Williams. Williams ruled that a prayer invoking the name of Jesus Christ preceding a City Council meeting violated the separation of church and state.
February 24, 2001
Get a grip. All Irv Rubin was objecting to was using the name Jesus in a prayer at a government proceeding. Church, state ... remember? How did you get from there to no more picnics in the park, a ban on bumper stickers, no pray in the air, no more last rites, a prayer police patrol, lynch mobs and prostitution? I can't even imagine what a far-off place you would go in your mind had the council used the word Yahweh. Talk about being wrapped too tight.
February 14, 2001
Not surprisingly, my Jan. 3 Community Forum critique of the court ruling against prayer in the Burbank City Council has made me a target. Laraine Herman's Jan. 13 letter accused me of missing the point, which is "good manners." Her apparent belief that it is the duty of the judges and Irv Rubin's Jewish Defense League to punish bad manners enforces my point that the assault on our constitutional freedom is increasing. Remember, the assault started in elementary school with the excuse that children are unable to resist being indoctrinated by any mention of religion.
January 3, 2001
I am pleased that the Burbank City Council decided to appeal an order by Superior Court Judge Alexander Williams restricting prayers by local ministers at the opening of council meetings. But why doesn't it simply ignore the judge? The L.A. City Council wasn't held in contempt of U.S. Supreme Court for its religious persecution of the Boy Scouts. So why should the guardians of beautiful downtown Burbank fear a lesser magistrate? As Bill Clinton demonstrated, we don't have to obey laws we don't like.
December 13, 2000
Irv Rubin won his case at the Superior Court level, barring sectarian prayer at the Burbank City Council meetings. Apparently he is going to take a tour of other city councils in the county to see how they measure up. He displays a trait of arrogance that probably doesn't endear him to many people. His attorney, Roger Diamond, seems to share that trait as well. If I was a member of the Jewish Defense League -- of which Rubin is chairman -- I'd question his use of the organization's money.
December 2, 2000
Please note: All published copies of the U.S. Constitution have gotten the words wrong. The 1st Amendment doesn't really say, "Shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech." The real words will no doubt be distributed courtesy of Irv Rubin, his friends and a court. And by the way, Mr. Rubin, would you have us apply your logic to all public sectors? We could remove the study of the Holocaust and reading of books like "The Diary of Ann Frank" from public schools because they reference a sectarian religious group -- the Jews.
November 15, 2000
Paul Clinton BURBANK -- Lawyers on both sides of a lawsuit seeking to bar sectarian prayer from the Burbank City Council chambers eagerly waited for a ruling from the Los Angeles Superior Court judge who is hearing the case. Superior Court Judge Alexander Williams on Nov. 3 said he would try to draft a tentative ruling to hand out in the days prior to issuing a formal ruling on Thursday, when the trial begins again in downtown Los Angeles. Jewish activist Irv Rubin sued Burbank in December, after he attended a Nov. 23, 1999 council meeting in which a Mormon pastor prayed "in the name of Jesus Christ."
May 3, 2000
Robert Blechl CIVIC CENTER -- With neither side willing to flinch, a September court date has been set in a lawsuit filed by a San Gabriel activist over the constitutionality of Christian prayers before City Council meetings. Irv Rubin, national chairman of the Jewish Defense League, contends the denominational prayer he witnessed at the Nov. 23 council meeting violated the separation of church and state by invoking the name of Jesus Christ. Rubin attended the November meeting -- his first in Burbank -- to voice his views on airport expansion, he said.