Letters to the editor, week of July 25, 2012

Amendment 2 is troubling

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, as part of Missouri’s primary election, there will be a measure on the ballot known as Amendment 2.  The ballot measure is called “Freedom to Pray in Public Places” but this title is misleading.

Amendment 2 has numerous provisions that would violate the principle of separation between religion and state required by the United States Constitution. This includes a provision that would allow group prayers in public schools and a provision creating an expansive right for clergy to give prayers in public governmental sessions.  Another problematic provision allows a public school student to refuse to do a school assignment if he or she objects on religious grounds.  

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

Amendment 2 would be a source of division and would result in marginalizing those in minority religions, something that is antithetical to the fundamental principles of equality and tolerance that are the foundation of our constitution.  

In addition, because it conflicts with the U.S. Constitution in several areas, Amendment 2 would result in confusion for teachers, government employees and students, and, would lead to costly litigation at taxpayer expense.

And finally, the amendment is not necessary because the Missouri Constitution already protects the right to private, individual prayer in schools and other public places.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis urges you to VOTE NO on Amendment 2 on Aug. 7.

Phyllis Markus, JCRC President & Batya Abramson-Goldstein, JCRC Executive Director

Anti-circumcision letter riles reader

I cannot believe your editorial staff would allow such a “condemnation-letter” to be printed concerning the holy ritual of circumcision (July 4 edition). The Light, the only St. Louis-produced Jewish paper, should feel ashamed for publicizing such an opinion.

Circumcision is a procedure that was commanded by Hashem, Himself and for the record, which anybody can confirm, is done with the actual health of both genders. It takes one to two seconds.

I strongly suggest the Light staff, or whoever approved the letter read up on the true reason(s) that G-d commanded all Jewish males to have it done; I also reiterate that same look up the health factors concerning both genders.

Howard Sandler, Olivette

‘Kosher-style’  vs.  kosher

I recently received an invitation to an upcoming major event being held by a Jewish organization at the Jewish Community Center. Offered was a choice of grilled chicken or salmon. Further offered was a choice between “kosher-style” chicken/salmon, or Vaad Hoeir-approved chicken/ salmon.

It is bad enough that a Jewish organization serves non-kosher food. However, it is particularly troublesome that in this instance non-kosher food was misrepresented with the term “Kosher-style.” The psuedo-nicety of ‘kosher-style’ is deceptive and insults the intelligence of all Jews, whether they keep kosher or not. In the future, please don’t call non-kosher food ‘kosher-style.’

Marvin Stein, Creve Coeur