Open Letter to Freedom From Religion Foundation


Anne Nicol Gaylor


P.O. Box 750

Madison, WI 73701  

                                                                                       August  26, 2004

Dear Ms. Gaylor:

Marshfield has four supermarkets, Aldi, Festival Foods,  Pick’n  Save and Wal-Mart. In none of these stores can I purchase following items:  mayonnaise, spaghettis, cream cheese, unsalted butter, molasses  without contributing to the livelihood of an orthodox rabbi, or rabbis. All above mentioned  items are marked either with the kosher symbol U in a circle, standing for “The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations,” or a  K,  I assume standing for Kosher.  These stores by not giving me a choice as to kosher or non kosher products violate my First Amendment rights. Please do not tell me that these rabbis see to it that our food,  paper, aluminum  plastic bags, cleaning supplies  etc. are produced according to high standards of hygiene. This is not the job of rabbis but our government.

The son of  acquaintances is an executive for a paper company. He  did not remember   an exact Dollar amount,  but the cost to his company for a rabbinical inspection and the subsequent kosher OK was in the thousands of Dollars. If  a company introduces a new line of products or changes the manufacturing process a new rabbinical inspection has to take place. This cost to the company is deducted as a business expense, the rest is passed on to the customer.  I,  as an American citizen lose two ways, The government loses tax revenue  which has to be made up by somebody else and I have to pay a “religious tax”  per kosher item bought. I have read an estimate that the average consumer pays  between $200 and $500 a year for any of these kosher religious symbols.

On April 15, l998 the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Clarence Reinders filed a lawsuit in the federal district court of Madison alleging that the city of Marshfield violated  Mr. Reinders’ First and  Fourteenth amendment rights in as far as the Jesus statue in the Praschak Wayside was on public property.  Mr. Reinders claimed that the statue  has caused him distress and that he traveled  an alternate route so he would  not have to view the figure.

To refresh your memory I enclose the pertinent article from the Marshfield News-Herald (4/16/l998). Let me stress; Mr. Reinders could take an alternate route. He did have a choice.  I don’t unless I forgo spaghettis, cooking with unsalted butter,  making cheesecakes,  or gingerbread houses for which I need molasses. Seeing that Jesus statue did not cost Clarence Reinders a penny, but I have to pay or do without.

As a second related item, I have not eaten beef for years because I can not be assured that the animal has not been kosher butchered. For a cow, having its throat cut while fully concious can not be an easy death.  I would like my beef labeled  either: kosher butchered, or  non-kosher butchered meaning the animal was stunned first.. 

I request that you contact the four supermarkets  and point out to them that they are in violation of my First amendment rights. I would like to be  assured that in the future  I am able to buy non kosher products.

                                                    Sincerely yours,

                                                    Christine B. Miller

                                                    606 South Cypress Av

                                                    Marshfield, Wi, 54449


List: What are the kosher symbols to look for?

Marshfield News-Herald  (p1), 4/16/l998:  Federal suit filed to remove statue.


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