Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

City officials under fire for pro-Christian comments

Posted by faithandthelaw on February 13, 2010

Two city officials in a California town are being targeted for possible hate crimes over comments they made recently about the Christian and Muslim faiths. 

Speaking to a group of Christian ministers on January 27, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris stated: “We are growing Christian community — and don’t let anybody shy away from that.” And Councilwoman Sherry Marquez has been criticized for posting biblical references on her Facebook site encouraging Christians to defend themselves — along with quotes from Muslim leaders exhorting followers to convert the world to Islam.
 
Now, according to the Antelope Valley Press, the local human relations task force will convene on Monday evening to discuss whether those remarks could potentially be “hate incidents.” Darren Parker, chairman of the task force, tells the newspaper that if the mayor’s comments are so deemed, “a complaint will be made to the [federal] Justice Department” and to state and county district attorneys.
 
In addition, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a federal civil rights complaint over Parris’s comments. CAIR says the mayor violated the civil rights of non-Christians by stating, during his annual State of the City address, that Lancaster was “growing a Christian community.” (See earlier story)
 
CAIR says the mayor should not have used his official capacity at the event to advance a particular religion. Parris has told a Los Angeles newspaper that would “absolutely not” apologize for his remarks.
 
Marquez posted comments on her Facebook page in reaction to a New York trial involving a Muslim man who had been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly beheading his wife, who was seeking a divorce. Like Mayor Parris, the councilwoman has refrained from apologizing for her comments, but she has apologized to her follow council members for any problems it may have caused them.

 

Courtesy of One News Now

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