Diverse religious leaders urge New York’s Whitesboro Village to change emblem

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Christian-Hindu-Buddhist-Jewish-Baha’i-Native American leaders have urged Village of Whitesboro in Oneida County of upstate central New York to think of changing its controversial official seal as many considered it inappropriate and offensive.

Senior Greek Orthodox Christian Priest Stephen R. Karcher, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Buddhist Priest Matthew T. Fisher, well-known California-Nevada Jewish Rabbi ElizaBeth Webb Beyer, Baha’i Teacher Bradley S. Corbin and American Indian Spirituality Scholar Brian E. Melendez; in a statement in Nevada today, said that although the Village emblem might be a reminder of a historic moment, but many now considered it not fit to represent a community in the 21st century.

Karcher-Zed-Fisher-Beyer-Corbin-Melendez further said that we should be more sensitive to the feelings of others and urged Whitesboro Mayor Patrick OConnor and Village trustees to come up with a more acceptable Village seal depicting harmony.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that we all needed to work towards creating goodwill among all the sections of the society.

Village of Whitesboro, which is said to have been founded by Hugh White, was reportedly settled in 1784 and incorporated in 1813. The Sauquoit Creek runs through the village. Notable people associated with it include ice hockey players Robert Esche and Mark Mowers and baseball player Mark Lemke. The village seal is said to be dating back to 1883.

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