PB Guest Post: Philosophical David Singer
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Last week I published a letter to Councilman Patrick Fiore that was extremely ill-timed but certainly not ill-conceived. I purposely broached a subject that mixes religious values and politics to make a very specific point.
There were some readers who understood my concerns but some were so violently opposed to what I had written that the feedback I received is not fit for publication. A majority of the negative emails requested that I never use religion to debate a political position.
The separation of Church and State has been debated since the First Amendment to the Constitution was written. It continues to be hotly debated when discussing abortion rights and gay marriage. I am not the first person who has brought religion into a political arena nor will I be the last.
The truth is I did not make this a religious issue. Mayor Shelley Stanczyk’s legislation (below) made it a religious issue.
“Lighting shall not be installed or used for outdoor recreational areas, except for underwater swimming pool lighting, by religious facilities, private schools, child care facilities or other non-governmental public assembly uses in any single-family residential zoning district. This provision shall be self-executing and become effective upon the date of adoption by the electorate.” [Emphasis added by SDM.]
Once again, this Charter Amendment attacks the land rights of Churches, Schools and Day Cares Facilities in the Village of Palmetto Bay. These are the same land rights afforded to every single homeowner in the Village of Palmetto Bay. In fact, I have received numerous legal opinions that state this resolution is simply unconstitutional.
Attacking religious or educational institutions is not new for Mayor Shelley Stanczyk or Councilwoman Joan Lindsay. This is the same tactic they used to rally their troops for the past four years. It helped them get elected. Think about “Neighborhood Protection Ordinance”.
It’s hard to accept that any resident who lives in the Village of Palmetto Bay could be so narrow-minded to contemplate Churches and Schools shouldn’t have the same basic rights to any amenity as an individual homeowner. It defines the word discrimination. It defines the last four years of the Mayor’s tenure.
To apologize for my letter to Mr. Fiore is to admit I’ve done something wrong. After the past four years, we need elected officials who govern based on integrity and honesty. I believe one of the benefits of religion is to teach those principles, which can be used to govern and lead.
I have confidence that the residents of Palmetto Bay understand the need for those qualities and, if lacking, these individuals don’t deserve to be a Council Member.
Just because you have the ability to shut your eyes to the truth doesn’t mean that the truth is not present.
SDM Note: We don’t always agree with Mr. Singer. In fact, we’ve written that we would not have written the Fiore letter in that way. On the other hand, the self-righteous howling that followed the letter were out of all proportion to its contents. Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Council Member Joan Lindsay injected religion into the village code and now want to inject the subject into the village charter. Doing so is discriminatory on its face and voters must reject this unethical pandering. Bravo Mr. Singer for standing up to the bullies.