Tavares, FL August 5, 2015
A North Carolina County Board this week followed a new court ruling prohibiting "Christian only" invocations and allowed a Muslim to give the invocation. Then the Chair walked out and the remaining four Commissioners voted to replace invocations with a "moment of silence". Can this happen in Lake County, FL government agencies?
The practice of holding Christian focused invocations at public meetings is in doubt as new court rulings are cited as reasons why secular or non-Christian groups now must be invited to give invocations.
Due to the cited court case supported by atheist groups, the Lake County, FL Board of Commissioners allowed an atheist to give an invocation. Although citizens filed angry complaints, the policy continued, but mostly Christian invocations were given in subsequent meetings.
Here is the article I wrote on Invocations for the April, 2015 Focus Magazine with details on the court ruling and atheist groups pushing for implementation:
- The Board Chair then walked out of the meeting.
- The Board then voted to discontinue invocations, and instead provide a "minute of silence".
So, City and County Boards in Lake County, FL should prepare for an event like this, when a Muslim applies to give an invocation. The atheist group behind this practice told me earlier that they have notified Satanists to apply to give invocations, so I expect other groups, including Muslims to also apply.
I recommend the Lake County Board does NOT discontinue the invocations, but allow them with a preliminary introduction AT EACH MEETING describing the court case and a policy decision to accept invocations by all "faiths". They should explain they would rather accept a few non-Christian invocations than give them up all together. Or, they could create an online survey and get feedback which way to decide.
Note: There is no use for the Board or public to ignore the court rulings, because other groups have done that and been sued by the atheist groups and lost.