Sunday, August 31, 2014

Florida County Unanimously Bans Atheists from Delivering Invocations at Public Meetings

From Raw Story via AlterNet:

The county commission in Brevard County, Florida, voted unanimously on Wednesday to prohibit atheists from offering invocations at public meetings, Hemant Mehta  reports.

The commissioners voted to send a letter to David Williamson, founder of the Central Florida Freethought Community, indicating that his group doesn’t qualify to deliver the invocation because it is defined as “an opening prayer, presented by members of our faith community.” 

More here.

If we're going to do this, if we believe that prayer before public meetings doesn't violate the first amendment, then we can't show favoritism, which would clearly be tantamount to the government "establish(ing) an official religion." So we've got to give everyone the chance to do their thing, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, Satanists, Hindus, Scientologists and other UFO cults, pagans, Flying Spaghetti Monster worshipers, and yes, atheists.

That's why I think it's better just to do away with these kinds of government invocations and benedictions altogether. But the Supreme Court tells us that's not what the first amendment means. So let's bring on the atheists and other weird religions. It's the only way.