Tavares, FL Oct. 22, 2015
Here is today's Daily Commercial article on a Satanist requesting to give an opening "prayer" (invocation) at a future Lake County, FL Board meeting, and quotes an emotional statement from Jimmy Conner.
Update: Oct. 22, 2pm - WFTV also reported this issue on Orlando Channel 9 TV (The don't allow comments)
Updated Oct. 23, 2015 - Local TV station FOX Orlando 35 posted a story about this HERE. Apparently the requester sent a notice to the Commission and probably all the media, indicating he wanted publicity and a public controversy.
I posted a shorter version of my article below on the two newspaper sites.
I wrote a long article on this issue several months ago for the local Focus magazine. The Satanist is correct about the Supreme Court Decision. This plays into one of the documented objectives of the Communist Party which is to reduce religion and family values in the US.
The picture shows an atheist giving an invocation at the Lake County Board meeting in early 2015.
The primary objective of these Atheists (the article didn't mention the
Freethought group are atheist proponents) and this Satanist is to get a
local government to make the mistake of prohibiting them from giving an
invocation in order to justify a lawsuit that they may win.
These groups have been successful in lawsuits, and the government agency
could even lose when the Government tries to add a second, Christian
invocation at the same time or provides a statement that is insulting to
those beliefs. And, you can't introduce them with a personal, snarky,
emotional statement like Jimmy Conner said in the articles. If a government staffer or elected official said derogatory remarks at the meeting, it could also lead to a lawsuit since you would be implying their beliefs are not of equal importance to other belief systems.
I do not agree with dropping public prayers, but the Supreme Court ruling is
clear that non-religious beliefs must have equal access to invocation
statements at public government (not private) meetings.
I am not an attorney, but based upon researching other local government entities with these problems, I recommend:
1) Sharing with the meeting audience that there is a court decision that mandates allowing non-religious invocations from atheists and Satanists at public government meetings (not private ones).
2) Then state that your choice to remain legal means either drop all
prayers by any belief, or allow occasional invocations by non-Christian
groups that some attendees might not like.
3) State you have decided to continue to allow public prayers with
those restrictions and ask all viewers to understand why. Specify that people who disagree with the invocation provider can step out of the room until it is over. State you would rather continue all prayers, even from groups some voters may not like, than drop them entirely due to the Supreme Court ruling.
Then let the applicants provide the invocation.
- I would research the per capita count by belief system (Christian,
Jewish, Muslim) vs atheists, etc. in the County or Florida and use those ratios to allocate turns at providing invocations. Ask legal to determine if there is a legal basis or do it anyway until challenged.
- Legal should make decisions based on legal research and ALSO research
of public articles which may contain much better information than legal sources on what is really happening and the intent of the atheists and Satanists.
- Research who is funding these challengers. You might find some