… Mitchem said that not only will invocations remain in Lincoln County, but that he would see to it that no non-Christian prayers are delivered on his watch.
“A Muslim? He comes in here to say a prayer, I’m going to tell him to leave,” Mitchem said. “I have no use for [those] people. They don’t need to be here praying to Allah or whoever the hell they pray to. I’m not going to listen to [a] Muslim pray.”
“Changing rules on the way the United States was founded, Constitution was founded [I don’t like],” Mitchem said. “I don’t need no Arab or Muslim or whoever telling me what to do or us here in the county what to do about praying. If they don’t like it, stay the hell away.”
Lovely man, isn’t he?
Well, he’s backtracking quite a bit since (I guess) realizing everyone thinks he’s a jerk:
“I was not speaking for the entire board,” he said. “I was speaking my opinion and that was probably a mistake on my part.”
When reached on Thursday, he said that if a non-Christian gives an invocation, he would not ask them to leave. Instead, Mitchem would leave the chamber and return afterward to perform his duties as chairman.
“I’m not going to listen to (a non-Christian) pray,” he said. “So any other prayers or anybody that uses the Koran as their guidance or any atheist or any other non-form of religion that does not believe in the same God as I do, I will not listen to that. I will remove myself and then I will return and do county business.”
So he still holds every non-Christian speaker in contempt and plans to walk out on them for not honoring his imaginary friend… but he sees no problem in having Christian invocations thrust on everybody else.
But better he leave the room than asking them not to speak in the first place.
The Commissioners plan to meet tonight to figure out their invocation policy moving forward. If it’s not inclusive of people of all faiths and no faith, Americans United for Separation of Church and State may file a lawsuit.
Lincoln County, by the way, is a stone’s throw away from Rowan County, which has its own set of invocation problems.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)