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Lancaster mayor apologizes for his 'Christian community' remark

Members of Los Angeles-area Islamic organizations said Tuesday they welcomed an apology from Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, who drew criticism after telling an audience of mostly Christian ministers that he was “growing a Christian community.”

"This episode demonstrates that we must all come together as Americans to uphold the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, and to maintain the values of inclusiveness and fair treatment," Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the greater Los Angeles area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.

Parris touched off a firestorm after saying in his Jan. 27 “State of the City” address that Lancaster was “growing a Christian community, and don't let anybody shy away from that.” The mayor added that he needed the community to stand up and say “we're a Christian community, and we're proud of that."

On Monday, Parris acknowledged to a group of local leaders, including representatives of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities, that his remarks might have caused a lot of people to feel left out.

Kamal Al-Khatib, founder and president of the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley, said in a statement that he accepted Parris’ regret, and hoped the mayor would now “work with the rest of the community to help heal the division and tension that his remarks caused over the last 16 days."

-- Ann M. Simmons

Comments () | Archives (27)

Oops!, Thank God for spell check!
He owes this registered voter and Veteran no apologies. Any elected politician that says he owes an apology should not expect this veterans vote for any elected position. I hope all news media reports what elected official called for his apology and posts it front page. So that the 85% of citizens that believes in God we trust and One nation under God remembers them come Election Day!

This Parris idiot is just another religious wacko. Hey Parris, do you believe in Santa Claus too? Why not? We see Santa about as often as we see Jesus so whats the bloody difference? I know! Santa is a fairy tale that was invented so kids behave, and Jesus is a fairy tale that was invented so grown ups behave!

Mayor Parris, you have proven yourself a coward.
Hussam Ayloush, Amerika WAS founded as a nation BASED upon Christian principle, "...and don't let anybody shy away from that.”
Assimilate! And if that's not to your liking, then get the hell out and go back to your Islamic 'paradise' where I'm sure that you'll adjust to the rampant sectarian mayhem and killing. After all, THAT is the predominate face of Islam Muslims show the world.

This is nice that he appoligizes. But, does this get rid of the attitude behind it. NOT!

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris absolutely believes he is growing a "Christian Community". The rest of us are simply unimportant leftovers. That is what people like him are all about. That is what the people who elected him are all about. It didn't bother anyone in that audience of mostly Christian ministers, that the main speaker said that only Christians count. It isn't a matter of "hurt feelings". If it were only Jews, we would call it anti-semitism. But it was all non-Christians; it was anti-every religion and un-religion. It was ugly bigotry. All those ministers who remained silent, and the mayor, are bigots.

Julian, I think I will accept the apology. I'll even take yours too, since you don't want it, and now I have two apologies. Thanks.

Now please kindly take your superior, holier than thou attitude and find something to do with it other than polluting comment boards on newspaper websites.

All the people who reside in Lancaster, who are of different faiths, or have no religion at all, should move and take their tax money with them. We will see how much of "just a christian community" Lancaster is. He apologized because people might, i repeat might have felt left out.

More proof that minorities shouldn't be asking for more power from the government and instead want to reduce that power. In a democracy, minorities really don't have a voice, unless someone in the majority group feels sorry for them and decide to unite with them.

Blacks wouldn't have been successful during civil rights if it weren't for sympathetic people of the majority group and coalitions with other minorities.

Here we go again...religion was made up to control people...until jesus comes and introduces himself to me i refuse to accept anyone's religion. i live my life based on facts and common sense...too bad 85% of Lancaster base their beliefs on fairy tales!!

Rex is a bad dream that wont quit. PLEASE DOJ free us from this maniac..


- a concerned AV resident

Rex, you're a wimp- but Jesus loves you anyway!

You know the Mayor's Apology is FAKE and only for the sake of politics did he say "Sorry" but he does not mean it...One little bit!!!


Typical Republican Christian, nobody else matters but them and their agenda.

Oops! The USA is good for all. Muslims should go back to Mecca and all Islamic countries to teach their Muslim leaders this lesson that... NO DISCRIMINATION OF FAITH and NO MORE ISLAMIC NATIONS.

It's a shame to see a veteran who worked so hard fighting for our freedoms now pushing to take them away from any citizen different from him. Sad.

look people lets be racist,what he said was wrong. This country has freedom of religion and separation of religion and state. Even if this country was founded on christian beliefs you can't just say stuff like that like also I'm atheist so i can see the offensiveness.

Big Al,

I hate to break it to you but I guess you were sleeping during history class. America was NOT founded as a nation based upon "Christian" principles. The majority of our founding forefathers were Freemasons and the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were based upon the principles of freedom of religion due to the persecution of certain religious views they witnessed in England.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

So if you live in THIS country, it does not matter if you believe in Christianity, Judiasm, Islam, or any other religion. THAT is why this country is the greatest and the reason the US Constitution is the shortest and oldest constitution still in use today.

You need to assimilate to the great vision our founding fathers put in place...

I'm still waiting for the Islamic apology for 9-11 and the beheading of an American Citizen all in the name of "The Religon of Love"...

Why is it demanded that we accept and honor their religon and yet they have no problem in rejecting our beliefs and even killing someone just because of his Jewish Faith??? Where is the worldwide outrage?

Fair? Holier than us?
Equally accepting each others beliefs??
I think not!!!

you know what muslims and christians have in common? They get down on the knee to pray while a loved one is dieing. just like other humans that read a different book being religious or non religious.

CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator of terrorism. It’s primary supporter is Saudi Arabia, a country which disallows a single Christian Church or Jewish temple to exist.
Daily around the world adherents of the theology cair is part of are murdering Christians and other non-believers.
Their aims go beyond intimidating Christians and Jews with lawsuits. I hope people educate themselves about cair and it’s real agenda. It is a foreign army inside of our shores

This is NOT a christian nation. As a lawyer, this fool should know better than to try to taint our government with his silly jesus nonsense. Religion and all its fairy tales have no place in our society.

As much as I cannot stand the islamic religion and all its ignorance and hate, I equally cannot stand christians who try to force their fairy tales on others.

I am so sick of the ignorance that comes from the religious right. While our numbers are SLOWLY growing, agnostics and atheists (I am agnostic) need to stand up and be more vocal about the injustices perpetrated by religious lunatics and their fairy tales. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a good start.

This is the problem with the modern day “Christian”. Jesus called us to be separate, not to be politically correct. I didn’t see Jesus as being concerned with not offending people, in fact the opposite is true. You can’t have it both ways! Our politicians are too concerned with doing and saying what they think is going to get them re elected instead of standing up for what they believe.

Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
John 15:20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

*Maybe this mayor should take a page from Santa Clarita councilman Bob Kellar for standing up for his beliefs and not being pushed around by minority activists groups. It’s like these groups just look for comments to take out of context strictly to cry racism for the sole purpose of dividing. Makes one wonder, who’s the racist?

He should not apologize. Who does he wish to please--God or man?

Look @Posted by: Big Kori, your assumptions and/or lack of historical education carry no value in this argument! Unless you have a sound command as to the underlying minds of the founders thought, you will continue to comment in error. As I mentioned elsewhere in a related comment, I suggested a good read to start would be; "Under the Cope of Heaven, Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America”, by Patricia Bonomi.
You will never really 'get' it without reading the personal letters and correspondence of the founders themselves. There are many publications informing to this topic. MOST ALL of the founders were firm practioners of the Christian faith and incorporated such thinking into the design of the founding documents. Have you even read one sentence of the Declaration of Independance for instance. And if you actually understood that the CONstitution is NOTHING more than a corporate charter (in order to conduct COMMERCE) no different than Microsoft or AT&T you would know that it has no effect whatsoever upon any free man/woman outside of employment or contract, (this includes entering/petitioning govt courts) The Bill of Rights is a condition put UPON the CONstitution. Please try to avoid displaying your ignorance of a topic BEFORE educating yourself.
And thank you @Shane Haffey, where push comes to shove, you are entirely right. It's just to bad MOST Christians are either too lazy, busy or ignorant to grasp the concept. They are under a mandate from God to have NOTHING whatsoever to do with man's secular governments! One joins to the peril of their own ignorance. You've been warned wouldn't you say?
And as I also further stated elsewhere, the mayor was addressing (pandering to?) a particular, specific audience. So he excluded the Muslims, boo hoo, it was not your venue!

BigAl---you obviously know nothing about the founding of this nation. I am so sick of delusional christians thinking our nation is a christian nation. IT IS NOT.

As a Native American, it saddens me to see how christians, jews and muslim fight over religion. Native People's never fought over religion. We all have our own spiritual beliefs and they should remain private.

Christians are the worst though, they claim this is their land (it is NATIVE land), they claim their book tells them they are right so they are right, they pick and chose what to follow from their fairy tale book and they are so ignorant as to their own history. Ask a christian what the council of Nicea was. Ask a christian to explain the gnostic gospels. Try to explain to a christian that the STORY of Jesus is an Astrological Allegory for the Sun passing through the Zodiac each year....much like the basis for all Western religions.

HE SHOULD HAVE NEVER APOLOGIZED, HE HAD NOTHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR. Our nation was founded under GOD, you can try and remove it, but I will tell you one day, you WILL pay the price. As far as muslims and everyone else that is anti America and Anti God. Go back where you came from you are not welcome here. You are tainting America and its beliefs with your wacked out thinking. We don't need you here in America. Go taint your own country. If you live in America you need to conform to Americas beliefs, not American's conforming to yours. I will never, I will fight your anti cynical beliefs as long as it takes. And with Gods help we will prevail. you watch and see, You are no match for HIM, you all will only go so far, before he puts a stop to all of it. I would hate so bad to be on your side at that time. As far as the mayor he did nothing wrong, and as christians we will continue to speak out, YOU WILL NOT SHUT US UP and yes I said CHRISTIAN.

Sylvia Donovan---you a prime example of the ignorance that is the religious right in this county. First of all, I am Native American and I would NEVER leave my land simply because your wacked out religion and silly notions of god have tainted my land. YOU leave.

Understanding the separation of church and state does not make you Anti American, it means you understand the true purpose of the founding of this nation. Any religious zealot that thinks this is christian land is delusional. Religion and its irrational mindset have no place in our government. Our government is founded on common sense, rational thinking and simple notions of fairness and equality for all citizens; not just "christians" or those who believe in god. You do not need a religion to recognize right from wrong. When will you people get it?

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