Linda Stephens, one of the plaintiffs (along with Susan Galloway) in the recent Supreme Court case that ended with religious invocations at government meetings being declared legal and a member of the Atheists Community of Rochester, wrote an essay for the Democrat & Chronicle about the upsides to losing the case.
It’s nothing you haven’t heard already, but all the more interesting given its source:
First, the court ruled that governments can no longer exclude potential speakers on the basis of religion, as the Town of Greece did for years. If a government relies on outsiders to deliver a solemnizing message at meetings, it must now allow monotheists, polytheists, and nonbelievers to do so as well.
Another bright spot: Henceforth, those giving invocations may no longer proselytize or disparage religious minorities or the nonreligious. Having been on the receiving end of some disparaging and hurtful remarks hurled by overzealous Christian pastors at Greece Town Board meetings, I commend the court for laying down the law about this matter.
As bad as I think the Court’s ruling was, we won’t see a change in public perception of the decision unless non-Christians start delivering more of these invocations. We need more atheists — or, better yet, Satanists, polytheists, Muslims, etc — to sign up and get in front of the microphones in their own communities. (And videotape it.)
(Thanks to Brian for the link)