In Plainfield, New Jersey, mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs is having a “feud” with city council member Rebecca Williams:
What is Williams doing that’s such a travesty to the city?
First off, councilwoman at-large Rebecca Williams “grunts” during meetings, says Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and even worse, the mayor says, Williams doesn’t salute the American flag.
But she didn’t stop there. Robinson-Briggs repeated her comments, first made in a public meeting, to the local newspaper and, upping the ante, added that some local veterans were “offended by that kind of behavior.” The mayor says Williams doesn’t participate in prayer either.
As far as the grunting goes, that’s their business.
But not saluting the flag? It’s symbolic and irrelevant. Who cares.
Not praying? That’s separation of church and state. Prayer doesn’t belong in a city council meeting. Save that for home or church.
Williams, by the way, is a Christian.
“There are many municipal councils that don’t pledge or pray before a meeting. I don’t see why it’s necessary,” Williams said. “There have been residents who have come to the council to say it’s rather superfluous.”
That… makes so much sense.
Even though the mayor won’t admit it, it seems like a lot of this stems from bad blood from other contentious issues, but Williams isn’t taking the bait and caving in:
[Williams has] been on the council more than year, and no one ever mentioned the issue to her. And, despite a lot of personal attacks, she doesn’t want to explain herself — she has a right to religion, and a right to keep that religion private, she says.
“I’ve been getting e-mails from all across the country. People telling me ‘get the hell out of our county, you’re not an American, you should step down.’” she said. “I haven’t responded to any of this.”
Without knowing the politics behind everything else, I can at least say this: Williams is doing nothing wrong by not saluting the flag or saying the Pledge. Other council members — and the mayor herself — would be wise to follow her lead. To suggest anyone is any less patriotic because of these actions is slanderous.
(Thanks to Tom for the link)