Atheists cry foul over Pismo Beach City Council’s Christian invocations
July 2, 2012
Members of Atheists United of San Luis Obispo have repeatedly asked the Pismo Beach City Council to stop allowing openly Christian invocations at its meetings. They note that while invocations at public meetings can refer to a God, they are not permitted to include explicit references to any religion including Christianity.
However, Dr. Paul Jones, who regularly gives the city council’s invocations, has made references to “the baby that was born so long ago in Bethlehem’s manger” and calls upon “Christ our Lord.”
Jones has also stated in several of his invocations that civic order is dependent on religious faith.
In a May 15 letter to the council, local atheists argue that the invocations are not only “inherently dismissive of non-religious persons,” but also violate the law.
“Atheists United of San Luis Obispo remains hopeful that an acceptable resolution can be reached with the city of Pismo Beach, but is considering further action should the city continue to be unresponsive,” the group said today in a press release.