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Tampa City Council rejects atheist invocation

rickymrickym Member PEx Veteran ⭐⭐

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"Remember all those religious folks who recently said atheists can just keep quiet during the "under God" part of the Pledge? At the time, HNN wondered what those religious people would do if the shoe were on the other foot – if they had to listen to, say, an invocation of atheism.
Now we know how the religious city council members of Tampa, Fla. will react. They'll up and walk out, but not before interrupting the invocation. Michael R. Harvey of Atheists of Florida is making national headlines for an invocation he was invited to lead before a meeting of the Common Council of Tampa on Thursday, July 29. Councilman John Dingfelder had invited Harvey to lead the invocation, which begins each meeting of the council and has been predominantly led by a member of the protestant clergy. "

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if the United States allows the religious to place "under God" in their pledge, do you think they should allow an atheist to a public "invocation of atheism"?


  • bubuyogbubuyog buzzzzz PExer
    How would the atheist invocation sound like?
  • mac_bolan00mac_bolan00 Banned by Admin PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    "atheists will prevail, god willing."
  • vinta18vinta18 What the frell?!? PExer
    There was a book launching I attended once that had a Wiccan invocation. I didn't know if the author really did practice Wicca but I found it refreshing. It's a welcome break from all the Christian prayers we're inundated with.
  • SpartanSpartan Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Originally posted by rickym

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    if the United States allows the religious to place "under God" in their pledge, do you think they should allow an atheist to a public "invocation of atheism"? [/B]

    Well I think you are trying to presuppose that "under God" shows the state as supporting or endorcing christianity. So the question I have to ask is if Mr. Harvey is trying to illustrate the notion that the state is sponsoring religion by trying do something like it-- having the state (the city council) endorce atheism. I think that he is.

    However, I do not believe that "under God" endorces religion. Even Juscite Sandra Day O'Connor said, "No reasonable person, aware of the country's history and tradition, would agree... that "under God" is government endorsement of religion.

    But getting to your question if an atheist should be allowed a public invocation of atheism... sure. That's freedom of speech. But does Mr. Harvey legitimately speak for the council? No. Because the invocation of atheism does not reflect the "country's history and tradition" in the same way God does. Mr. Harvey may have the right, because he was invited, to make an invocation of atheism, but then the council members had the right not to participate in it. If we are going to say that children do not have to participate in the pledge, then it is perfectly reasonable for these council members not to participate in the invocation.

    I think that Mr. Harvey did not act in accordance with either the sentiments of the council nor follow the traditions in the operations of the council.

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