June 8, 2012
Note to Mailbag contributor Bob Hastings, who believes he needs to pray more for his civic leaders (“Fuzzy reasoning from this council,” May 26). Don't waste your time. Instead, use your vote, the only power you have over them, to drum out of office Gary Brick, Dave Golonski and Jess Talamantes. This triumvirate is responsible for $1 million a year of taxpayer money siphoned off for employee bonuses, while at the same time cutting city services, including public safety. They gave $2 million to the golf course while year after year ignoring needed repairs at the closed Verdugo Municipal Pool.
August 22, 2013
The Obama administration has surprised its supporters and some in the Republican party by agreeing that town councils should be allowed to open meetings with a Christian prayer. Several towns across America have been taken to court and lost cases brought by those who believe that beginning a political meeting with prayer violates the Constitution, and that if Christian prayer is allowed, then other religions should be represented, too. The Conservative Family Research Council said of the decision, “It's gratifying that even the Obama administration recognizes that courts are not qualified to censor prayers.” But Americans United for Separation of Church and State said, “A town council meeting is not like a church service, and it shouldn't be treated like it is.” Q: What's your take on this issue?
June 23, 2001
Molly Shore HILLSIDE -- "God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, The better the world will be." The words were written by Confederate Army chaplain Edwin McKendree Bounds (1835-1913) after his hometown of Franklin, Tenn., was decimated on Nov. 30, 1864, in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Now, more than a century later, the chaplain's words will be remembered at a community-wide Concert of Prayer set for 6 p.m. Sunday at Emmanuel Evangelical Free Church of Burbank.
May 7, 2005
Rosette Gonzales The National Day of Prayer didn't attract large crowds of worshipers to St. Finbar Church, but of the handful who gathered in the sanctuary Thursday, many would have stopped by anyway. "After I have lunch, I usually come to church," said Mark Flores, a Disney employee. "In my daily life, I'm so busy ... I have to give some time to God." St. Finbar Church hosted an interfaith praise and worship service from noon to 2 p.m., welcoming all to lift their hearts and the nation to God in prayer.
November 4, 2000
Paul Clinton DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES -- A Jewish activist and his attorney left a Los Angeles Superior Court courtroom Friday confident about their effort to prevent Burbank from allowing sectarian prayer before City Council meetings. L.A. Superior Court Judge Alexander H. Williams asked the two sides to return Nov. 16, when he is likely to render a final decision on the issue. After more than four hours of arguments and testimony, Santa Monica attorney Roger Jon Diamond boldly predicted that Rubin would prevail.
December 2, 2000
Paul Clinton CIVIC CENTER -- Maintaining the stance that city officials shouldn't tell ministers what they can or cannot say during invocations, the City Council decided to appeal a judge's ban of prayers specific to one religion. In closed session Tuesday, the council unanimously decided to contest a Nov. 16 ruling from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alexander Williams. In public remarks following the vote, council members brushed off criticism that the city's hands-off policy on prayer content perpetuates an exclusionary atmosphere at meetings.
September 11, 2002
Ryan Carter Members of the Burbank City Council are mulling over how far they will go for "Jesus Christ," as they consider whether to appeal this week's state appellate court decision upholding a ban on sectarian prayer prior to City Council meetings. The council will meet in closed session with city attorneys on Sept. 17 to discuss Monday's decision by three appellate judges, who validated a county judge's November 2000 decision to prohibit references to a religious deity during council meeting invocations.
August 9, 2000
Paul Clinton CIVIC CENTER -- Despite their setback in Superior Court, city officials are defending the city's hands-off policy on prayer at City Council meetings. Because they don't play a role in choose who delivers the prayer or dictate what is said, council members and the city's lawyers insist the policy is both fair and legal. They assert they were unfazed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alexander Willams' denial of Burbank's request to toss out a Jewish activist's lawsuit.
December 1, 1999
Prayers before government meetings: A refreshing spiritual boost for citizens and city officials or a reckless assault on the United States Constitution? The answer depends on who you ask. A Jewish activist's visit to the City Council has raised that sticky question in Burbank, where invocations by members of the city's religious community have been a part of council meetings for as long as anyone can remember. City officials have been quick to defend Burbank's prayer policy as constitutionally protected, but their arguments do little to dissuade those who say that religion should have no role in the political process.
November 28, 2001
Laura Sturza HILLSIDE DISTRICT -- This year, the observance of Ramadan, a month of practices designed to increase spiritual purity, has been particularly poignant for the Khan family. Bibi Khan has lived in the United States since 1981. Like her 15-year-old daughter, Yasmin, she cried as she spoke about the ways that recent world events have transformed their experience of this most holy time of year. "This Ramadan, we're especially conscious of the misfortunes of people, people who celebrated this year without family members," said Khan, 48, "We're more appreciative of the freedom we have being American Muslims."