All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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The Sonoma Valley Ministerial Association has come out against putting the crèche back on the Plaza.
In a statement to the Sonoma City Council, which will be debating the issue at its meeting Wednesday evening, the ministers said they don't believe the "display of the crèche on the Sonoma Plaza would serve the religious and spiritual health of the community at this time." The statement continues, "Some of us strongly oppose having local, state, or national government involved in the practice or promotion of any religion, including our own.? Some of us believe that, no matter what the motivations behind the current effort to amend city law, the result will be a change that grants Christianity an inappropriately privileged place in the public square.? Some also believe that a display of the crèche on public property takes one of the powerful stories of the Christian faith out of the context of the community of Jesus' disciples and, as a result, strips it of its deepest meanings. "
They point out that within three blocks of the Plaza, there are four churches that already either display the crèche during Advent or Christmas or would make their grounds available for a crèche display. "Some of us believe that, in light of the presence of those locations for the display of a creche, the current focus on returning the crèche to the Plaza is more of a political, not religious statement," statement concluded.
The statement was signed by the Rev. Rich Gantenbein of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Susan Allison-Hatch, Trinity Episcopal Church; the Rev. Pamela D. Cummings, Sonoma United Methodist Church; Donna Barton, Church of Scientology Mission of Sonoma; the Rev. Tim Arensmeier, Sonoma Valley Community Church; the Rev. Nancy Taylor, First Congregational Church of Sonoma; and Rabbi Jack Gabriel, Congregation Shir Shalom.
The council will take up the matter at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First St. W.