Church-goer rights

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In our modern American democracy, can we possibly satisfy the equal rights of all citizens? Isn’t it OK to protect the rights of religious church-goers anymore? Or are we now a country of freedom from religion vs. freedom of religion?

Regarding the EQT Run on a recent Sunday: Doesn’t the local government have room to mitigate conflicts with the religious by scheduling the EQT Run around Sunday morning services? It’s hard to understand why the city, with Catholics and Christians generally everywhere in the administration and in the city departments, would allow its Department of Public Works employees to block access to St. Peter Church, or any church for that matter.

Several DPW employees, getting paid overtime (which would put me in a good mood) and blocking our routes to St. Peter at the intersections on Cedar, North and Brighton roads, thought it OK to rather rudely tell me that I “should park [my] car elsewhere, get out and walk to church.” I could have walked to church, but there were no signs announcing the race. I wonder what they said to the elderly drivers who drive to our church.

Fortunately, just after 10:10 a.m., another employee showed up in his truck and had the smarts to open a gate at Ridge Avenue and West Ohio Street and let us through. But I am guessing that many had turned around and hasted home. Our 10:30 Mass was noticeably thinner than usual.

I think parishioners and religious individuals in Pittsburgh should be annoyed, maybe rising to irritated, but not get angry, mind you. I proposed to other parishioners to send letters/​emails/​feedback to our city council members, to the mayor’s office and to our incoming Mayor Bill Peduto (his recent ad assures something like this shouldn’t happen during his administration).

ANDY BAILEY
North Side


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