An upcoming Tulsa city council meeting will begin with an invocation from an outspoken atheist.
You might want to take a moment and re-read that opening sentence.
The word “invocation” literally means calling up on a deity for aid. To whom is the founder of the Humanist Association of Tulsa directing his invocation?
“I’ll be invoking the council, not a deity,” he siad.
Religion haters from across the country, even in my adopted hometown in the heart of Texas, have tried to ban prayers at the beginning of city council meetings.
In many of these cases, as in the one closest to me personally, a public backlash causes city leaders to think better of prohibiting a time-honored tradition.
Now it seems the godless few have taken their crusade to the meetings themselves as a consolation.
“It’s better than nothing,” said Bill Dusenberry of Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Northeast Oklahoma Chapter. “The best would be not having prayer at all,” he continued, calling invocations “just pandering to the tyranny of the majority.”
So Tulsa chose a man, a former Southern Baptist of all people, to deliver this godless prayer.
The invocation’s conclusion was published by local media, which quoted the atheist’s contention that “we need not look above for answers but instead recognize the proven potential within ourselves and in each other to overcome any challenges we face.”
I’m not asking that every public prayer be from someone whose brand of Christianity aligns perfectly with mine. I firmly believe in freedom of religion as an essential cornerstone in our beautiful nation.
I am, however, upset by those who contend our Founding Fathers wanted to keep church out of government, rather than vice-versa. Atheists have had an opportunity to make their case for an end to invocations. Sometimes they have been successful, but when the people speak out in favor of a religious prayer for their community, those same atheists do not automatically deserve an opportunity to hijack that event for their own nihilistic propaganda.
This was not the first atheist invocation and will certainly not be the last. It seems minority groups (be they religious, ethnic, or sexual) seem to feel entitled to the right never to be offended. As offensive as it may be to their sensibilities, though, there is no such protection in a free society.
Just ask a white, (heterosexually) married Protestant like me.
Nonetheless, and whether they like it or not, I’ll be praying for them!
Photo credit: reuvenim (Creative Commons)