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Wauconda: Bible Proclamations Sooooo Last Year

By Margaret Lyons in News on Dec 1, 2004 7:36PM

Margaret was an altar girl in her youth--that's going in the Trivial Pursuit: Chicagoist edition.Not sure how this escaped our radar, but last week was National Bible Week. Mayors in 400 communities across the U.S., and in at least 35 Illinois communities, made proclamations that…proclaim…Bible Week. The National Bible Association organizes events and stuff to encourage everyone to read and discuss the Bible.

Wauconda Mayor James Eschenbauch had made Bible Week proclamations for the last 10 years, but this year, he backed off. (Wauconda is about 50 miles away from Chicago.) Wauconda resident Joe Bogacz, "a self-professed agnostic" according to the Trib, filed a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission after last year's proclamation. Joe, don’t get your heathen panties in a twist about this! What's the big deal about government officials making proclamations about the Bible? Hello, that's what the government is for: moral and spiritual guidance. Jeepers creepers!

Bogacz complained at a Village Board meeting that the mayor's proclamation unfairly privileged one religion over others. So what does the Village Board do? They fail to mention Bogacz's comments in the official minutes, which Bogacz says is a violation of Illinois's Open Meetings Act. Uh, good call, Village Board. Well done! Section 2.06.3 says that "Minutes shall include:…a summary of discussion on all matters proposed, deliberated, or decided."

Rudy Magna, a village attorney defending the mayor, denies that the omission of Bogacz's comments constitutes discrimination and says that mayoral proclamations aren't a big deal anyway. "The mayor could proclaim the hours of noon to 6 p.m. every Tuesday as night, and it has just no legal effect…It's just a proclamation," he told the Trib. Way to keep your eye on the ball, Rudy.

Mayors of communities with more than 10,000 residents receive a letter from the National Bible Association's Mayors' Chair. Please please tell us that we're not the only ones a little bugged by the fact that these letters appear to go out on government stationery. You want to send people Bible notes, that's totally your choice—but isn't it horribly inappropriate to use government resources to promote Bible Week? God damn. Let's have a proclamation on that, biatches.

Related: The Bible and Iams share a motto.