The Washougal City Council in Washington state just voted 4-3 to have religious invocations at their meetings, but it didn’t happen without a furious debate. The dissenters aren’t just a bunch of typical liberals, either:
Councilors Brent Boger, Joyce Lindsay and Paul Greenlee opposed the resolution for several reasons.
Lindsay said faith lies beyond the realm of the council, and she expressed concern that the prayers would put some in an awkward position. Boger, who noted his Christian faith, included himself in that group.
“This rule change will lead to a situation where I would appear to be joining in a prayer led by a non-Christian,” Boger said. “I would appear to be worshipping a non-Christian god. That is something I cannot do.”
Voting against the resolution prevents no one from praying on their own time, he said. Ultimately, Boger reluctantly said he’ll just have to step out of the room during the invocations.
Well, no one ever assumes the councilors promote the religion of the invocation speaker, so I’m not sure what conspiracy theory Bogan is working off of… but at least his conclusion is the right one.
The other councilors don’t seem to give any damns about the comfort level of citizens. They just assume they know what’s best for everyone because they’re religious:
“For 6,000 years, people have been calling on God,” [Councilor Connie Jo] Freeman said, addressing the other councilors. “And we here on the Washougal City Council have an opportunity to welcome God formally — because I know we all believe in God. I know we’re all professors of faith.”
How does she know what “we all believe”? And when you elect a Creationist to the city council, you’re stuck with someone who makes a lot of mistaken assumptions. (How do we know she’s a Creationist? That one’s left as an exercise for the reader.)
Councilor Dave Shoemaker, one of the more vocal proponents of the resolution, said prayer belongs in council meetings. He contends the removal of prayers from any public meetings undercuts First Amendment rights.
“We’ve got a tradition of doing them in this country, and that tradition is under attack,” Shoemaker said. “I don’t believe in relegating God to someplace off the agenda.”
The removal of prayers would maintain neutrality, not promote atheism. And I’m pretty sure God will get over it if He’s not listed on a Washougal City Council agenda.
This is a council that could use the influx of Satanist, Pagan, and atheist speakers. Maybe once Shoemaker and Freeman realize the size of the door they just opened, they’ll be first in line to slam it shut.
All of their email addresses are on this page. I would encourage the Satanic Temple and atheists who live in nearby Portland, Oregon to contact them immediately to get on the list.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)