Wilton voters to express concerns

Voters at Wilton’s Town Meeting will have the usual list of warrant articles to decide, but this year, thanks to residents’ petitions, they’ll have two that involve the ongoing national debate over immigration.

In the first, voters are asked to vote on this:

In order to ensure that (Wilton) is a safe and welcoming community for all, employees of the town of Wilton shall not enquire about, report or act upon any person’s immigration status under any circumstances while performing their duties.

And in the second:

The town of (Wilton) affirms its commitment to the rights ensured by the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America and declares that in the town of (Wilton) no person shall be required to declare their religious or philosophical belief or affiliation, nor to sign a registry for any belief or affiliation.

There will be many cities and towns across the nation voting on such articles this year, and at least one more in New Hampshire: Peterborough has the same articles (substituting “Peterborough” for “Wilton”) on tap for its May town vote.

It will be interesting to see how they fare.

We will say this, though: The idea that any town official anywhere in this nation would ask someone his or her religious affiliation should be anathema. And to sign a registry? Please. That should be, on its face, too absurd even to contemplate.

Yet there are people concerned that, under the aegis of the Trump administration, such a thing could happen.

Already we have seen an uptick in violence against people based on their religion, or perceived religion, and not just people believed to be Muslim, but Jews, too. Destruction in Jewish cemeteries and bomb threats against Jewish organizations have risen dangerously since Trump.

Oh, he denounced, in rather stilted language, the attacks upon Jews, but his denunciation lacked the passion that generally goes into his other attacks, such as those upon the press. It was as if he were reading his denunciation out of some obligation, rather than out of profound belief.

And it didn’t seem to work. Threats to Jewish organizations continued after the president’s denunciation, perhaps because Trump wasn’t as forceful as he is on other subjects.

The warrant articles offered to voters in Wilton – traditional Town Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at Florence Rideout Elementary School – will say two things that we believe are important and very pro-American:

1. That town’s voters do not want religious tests, nor do they want to stomp upon religious freedom.

2. Somebody is angry and concerned about what’s going on in this country.