This past week in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked to reverse a court ruling which barred religious groups from holding meetings inside public school buildings. These meetings, all of which take place
after school hours and are in no way affiliated with the school, have traditionally been held in public schools because it is a cheap option in terms of rental fees, and school facilities often have larger rooms to accommodate
more people. Thus far Mayor Bloomberg has remained silent on the issue.
Last year, here at Pilgrim, I helped to organize a small conference with religious leaders from our community to discuss issues of racism, stereotyping, and how to peacefully coexist with people who have differing views. Included on our panel of guest speakers were leaders from the Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, and Islamic faiths… and while these men did not preach religion, they did preach acceptance of each other, and offered insight on how people can learn from each other’s differences.
I had planned on organizing a similar even for this spring, however in light of the current climate, I wonder if such an event would be welcomed in the same way it was last year. Perhaps if I include someone representing Atheism? The purpose of the conference is not religion, it is peaceful coexistence…
What do you think?