Florida County Council Denies Anti-Theists Desires to Pray at County Meetings

When one thinks of an invocation, one should immediately think of prayer.  If you do, then this is a natural and logical progression.  An invocation is meant to petition God for His blessings, guidance, and wisdom during particular proceedings.  Many times the opening prayer of worship will be referred to as an invocation.  So one would not think that an anti-theist group would feel left out of such a thing.  But, you would be wrong.

Christian News reports:

An atheist organization has filed a federal lawsuit against a Florida county over its policy banning non-religious persons from delivering the invocation at the start of commission meetings.

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That’s right.  The anti-theists are crying foul because they cannot take part in prayer.  Apparently, the county has a list of participants, and there was no anti-theist on that list.  So, an anti-theist group sought to have their names added to the list so that they could give the invocation in their turn.  But, this idea was soundly rejected.

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Christian News continues:

Brevard County Commissioners voted unanimously last August to deny Williamson’s invocation request after he sent correspondence to Chairman Mary Bolin Lewis asking that the group be added to the county’s list. The county stated that Williamson’s group does not qualify for the invocation because it is defined as a “prayer presented by members of [the] faith community.”

Williamson is clearly seeking to be a trouble maker.  He simply wishes to stop prayer.  This is similar to bullying tactics used by other anti-theist groups.  These groups call out the government for allowing certain displays of religious adherence and say it is unfair that they are left out.  Then, they seek to participate in some perverse or ridiculous way, thereby, making it too costly for the government to be fair.  This forces the government officials to abolish the observation altogether.  But this might not work this time.

Christian News reports:

“The prayer is delivered during the ceremonial portion of the county’s meeting, and typically invokes guidance for the County Commission from the highest spiritual authority, a higher authority which a substantial body of Brevard constituents believe to exist,” the response from the commissioners and the county attorney outlined.

“The invocation is also meant to lend gravity to the occasion, to reflect values long part of the county’s heritage, and to acknowledge the place religion holds in the lives of many private citizens in Brevard County.”

But this explanation is not good enough for the anti-theist because they do not want an explanation.

To deny anyone the right to offer an invocation at this meeting and segregate them into a public comment period, which is what they’ve chosen to do, can be seen by any reasonable observer as an endorsement of religion,” Central Florida Freethought Community spokesman David Williamson told local radio station WMFE.

The Florida Freethought Community and the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have now filed a federal lawsuit against the county over the matter.

This means that the ACLU will be pushing for a case where no one is being denied any rights.

As Councilman Smith explains, “If they were a religion and they honored the word of God, they would have every opportunity to speak to us during that period that we set aside to honor God,” he stated. “The business of the community is secular, and these folks are admitted secularists, so they can take part in the secular business anytime they wish.”

If you do not believe in God, then you have no part in the things set aside for God.  You want to be secular, then refrain from participating until your time comes.  The problem is that all know that you cannot have truly secular and truly religious.  They intertwine, hence, the invocation.  Man takes all his action within the sovereign Providence of God.


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