Monday, December 06, 2010

Atheists Put 'Fear of god' in Municipalities

With government revenues shrinking, cities across America are scrambling to avoid a costly run-in with atheists' lawyers threatening to sue any municipality daring to pray to God Almighty.

-- From "Roosevelt Park proactively studies policy for prayer at meetings" by Brian McVicar, The Muskegon Chronicle 11/20/10

The Roosevelt Park [Michigan] City Council is grappling with a thorny, often controversial issue: praying at city meetings.

In an effort to avoid litigation, council member Eric Grimm and city staff members have crafted a draft policy that is being examined by the city council. Grimm is an attorney at Williams, Hughes & Cook, a Muskegon law firm.

Although the city has had few, if any, people complain about its invocation practice, Grimm said he’s tackling the issue “proactively rather than waiting until the problem arises.”

Among the items the draft policy addresses are discouraging the mention of specific religious figures such as Jesus Christ, or urging council members against asking audience members to bow their heads or say amen. It’s also says participation in an invocation is optional, and that council members can deliver an invocation without making “any reference to ‘God,’ ‘Father,’ ‘Mother,’ ‘Creator,’ or any deity,” according to the draft.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Proposal to eliminate invocation at council meetings rejected" by Drew Winchester, Lehigh Acres Citizen 11/22/10

Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz backed off his hope of removing the prayer prior to the start of Cape Coral [Florida] City Council meetings after he failed to garner any support Monday.

Residential support was lacking, too, after several citizens laid out their feelings before council at the podium during public comment.

Debra Ivey said she would be "ashamed" to live in a city where prayer is not a part of government.

"Why else would you want to remove prayer unless you were ashamed of God?" Ivey said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Cape Coral City Council may nix prayer practice" by Denes Husty III, News-Press (Fort Myers, FL) 11/18/10

Chulakes-Leetz said that a few residents suggested eliminating the opening prayer. He said the city attorney agreed that “because of the separation of church and state constitutional issues, the easiest way is to do away with all of it and have a moment of silence.”

The councilman said he believes this would be more beneficial to everyone than the recitation of one of the three form prayers contained in the present resolution. All three prayers ask for guidance or mention an appreciation of local government. One prayer includes the words God and Lord.

The ACLU believes that “it is not a good decision for a local government to endorse a non-sectarian or monotheist God,” [said Glenn Katon, American Civil Liberties Union of Florida spokesman]. He said a moment of silence and reflection is preferable.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Proposal to stop prayer from Cape Council meetings dropped" by Christina Mora, WZVN ABC TV-7 (Fort Myers, FL) 11/23/10

After receiving a letter from the "Atheists of Florida" ordering the Cape to cease prayer at city meetings, residents spoke up Monday night. Their voices were heard loud and clear.

"I am offering $1,000 to anyone that can show me and hallucinate for me any place in the Constitution of the United States of America where it calls for separation of church and state," said Cape resident John Larson Shudlick.

While handful of speakers defended prayer at meetings, just one spoke out against it.

It was a victory for those fighting to keep god in government.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.