This January, a member of the Atheist Community of Lubbock will be delivering an invocation before a city council meeting. That’s fantastic news and it ought to be a non-issue at this point… but this is Texas. The existence of atheists is already controversial. Atheists doing something Christians think is a privilege only they’re allowed to have is downright heresy.
But kudos to atheist Tracey Benefield for making the request and planning what I’m sure will be a fine speech.
Now imagine you’re a local news station trying to cover this matter. You have to be “balanced,” right”? You can’t just say, “Atheists are giving an invocation, and it’s not a big deal, and let’s move on to real news,” can you?
So Lubbock’s KLBK spoke to David Wilson, pastor at Southcrest Baptist Church. And wouldn’t you know it, he had nothing intelligent to say.
Whatever they do, it will not be an invocation, because an invocation, by definition, [means] to invoke or ask for the presence of a deity.
…I think people have the right to believe like they want, but it seems to me that, today, a lot of the atheists are not just accepting the right that they don’t believe in God, but they don’t want anybody else to believe in God!
So I don’t understand why they would want to do something like this when they’re not going to be talking to God, because they don’t believe in God!
Way to go, Pastor Wilson. You really cracked this case wide open.
An invocation doesn’t need to involve a supernatural power. It really just means calling for help from any authorities. Atheists can always deliver invocations calling on officials to reflect upon the responsibilities voters placed in them. See?! Easy.
In fact, Benefield told me her plan was to “invoke ideas such as compassion, respect, and reason to help guide the decisions of the city council.”
And that bit about atheists is completely nonsensical. Literally nothing about the invocation involves atheists demanding the city officials stop believing in God. He made that up because it makes him feel better. He’s religious. That’s what they do.
The only sensible thing he said was “I don’t understand.” Too bad he put other words around it.
Benefield will be giving the invocation on January 10. Even if some pastors are too confused to understand her.
Also, in case the news story wasn’t frustrating enough, a local website posted a Facebook poll asking people if the city should have offered an atheist the opportunity to give the invocation. I’m tempted to say that’s a ridiculous question since the alternative, but they went ahead and mentioned that, which means this question is essentially asking people if city officials should break the law just to spite atheists.
As of this moment, only 35% of people think the city should allow an atheist to speak. There’s more than enough time to change those numbers around, meaningless as they may be.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)