Reader Opinion: Religious displays
What could be more un-American than repeatedly violating our Constitution? Little Falls Mayor Greg Zylka received a second warning letter from a legal group on Oct. 18, 2018. It reads in part: "We have received a response from City Administrator ...
What could be more un-American than repeatedly violating our Constitution?
Little Falls Mayor Greg Zylka received a second warning letter from a legal group on Oct. 18, 2018. It reads in part: "We have received a response from City Administrator Jon Radermacher to our April 13, 2018 letter, which requested removal of a religious display in the Carnegie Library." In this email response, Mr. Radermacher asserts that the council had "determined that it was allowed by law." In fact, the city attorney advised the council against accepting it or hanging the drawing because of the risk of constitutional litigation. See Terry Lehrke's "LF Council accepts pencil drawing years after it was gifted," Morrison County Record, June 22, 2012.
We also understand that the council recently decided to remove a donated piece of artwork called "New Iraq" because it discovered that the artwork contained a religious message. Councilman Jerry Knafla sent a message to the donor that said, "If the writing on the front does say Allah is Great, then it has religious comparisons and can not [sic] be placed in a public building, I believe."
It is perfectly clear that (a) the City of Little Falls has been advised by its attorney that displaying religious items it unconstitutional (or at least legally questionable), and (b) that the city is willing to apply the law correctly to non-Christian religious artwork. We refer you again to the legal precedent cited in our previous letter and ask that you remove the religious display in the Carnegie Library. Additionally, your refusal to remove another religious display with a Muslim message is in itself a violation of the separation of church and state. "The government may not favor one religion over another."
Six years it has hung in the Carnegie Library, until recent removal.