SLO atheists to partake in city council invocations
September 3, 2014
A San Luis Obispo atheist organization that opposes the practice of conducting prayer at city council meetings will now be participating in council invocations in San Luis Obispo County.
Atheists United San Luis Obispo is planning on joining the regular rotation for city council invocations in Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles. In a press release issued last week, organization president Steven Arkowitz said Atheists United would begin participating in the Paso Robles invocation at the council meeting which took place Tuesday.
“While we think that our government’s time would be better spent governing and not praying, if a council insists on holding invocations, Atheists United will be there to ensure that the non-believers in our community are represented,” Arkowitz said.
Previously, the organization challenged the invocation practice at Pismo Beach council meetings. A member of the San Luis Obispo atheists chapter sued Pismo Beach, along with the nonprofit Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Pismo Beach settled the lawsuit by eliminating its practice of prayer before council meetings and by paying nearly $50,000 in legal fees and damages.