SLO atheists to partake in city council invocations

September 3, 2014

invocationA 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.


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SandyK

You have a little club, the “Jesus” club…..and you want to flaunt your “Jesus” club ideals every chance you get. You’re opportunists…anywhere you find a gathering you want to have your “Jesus” club prayer. Some of us don’t want to be in that club. Your invocation is not a small matter, and I’ll tell you why. Along with your invocation comes your belief system that evolution is nonsense, that the earth is really only about 6,000 years old, instead of billions of years old, and that women are second class citizens. Also, you assume that if one is religious, they must be a Christian, I say that because just about every prayer I’ve ever heard at a public meeting invokes “in Jesus’ name”, at some point. Now you’ve opened up a huge can of worms because there are so many religions, not to mention forms and interpretations of Christianity, it’s impossible to represent everyone. So, no one says that you can’t pray at home, or as much as you like in private, but many of us don’t want to associate ourselves with the backward kind of thinking that is Christianity. And, a final word, does ANYONE out here have some sort of proof, that those city councils who have a religious invocation at their meetings are somehow fairing better than the ones who don’t? Can anyone show that there is ANY kind of benefit from it? Seems more like a waste of time, especially if you’re an atheist who’s sole purpose there is to address the city council in regards to a civic manner, and get on with it.


tomsquawk

who is “You”?


SandyK

“You” is anyone who supports having a “Jesus” prayer invocation at public meetings…


tomsquawk

i suggest we opt for Cosijo


The Word

I don’t think everyone in the “Jesus Club” believes the way you have described. Sometimes prayer needs to be private. Mathew 6


SandyK

Did you read what I posted? I said, go ahead, pray all you want in private, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about Christian prayers at public meetings where not everyone’s a Christian….


MaryMalone

I agree with your post.


Can’t wait until the “christians” in the audience have to hear “In Mohammed’s name, Amen” or, better yet, “”Allahu Akbar!”


I consider those who feel they have to force their religion on others as Christ pimps…and at least one pet store in AG, after years of having what I consider to be aggressive painted sayings on their front windows (“Jesus is the reason for EVERY season!”) got a clue and took down those obnoxious window advertisements.


Old Salt

MaryMalone…

If YOU ever hear a MUSLIM say or yell “Allāhu Akbar (الله أكبر) in your presence you’d better run for the hills. It won’t be a greeting to you or anyone else…

Amazing that the liberals are still calling Terrorists ‘freedom fighters’.


ToHellinaHandBasket

@SandyK,


You are a bigot, hater, and Christophobic. You are in league with those groups [according to your opine here], of those who disagree with homosexual marriage, transexualism, the flooding of illegal immigrants into our country, abortion [the murder of a human being], etc., etc., etc. However, you need not be.


John 3:16-21 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”


Stop the HATE. May I suggest a good few reads to you? The case for a Creator, The case for Christ,The case for a real Jesus, The case for Faith. Lee Strobel. He was once like you are now. If not all, at least read The case for Christ.


May our Lord and Savior Jesus bless you.


kettle

“Stop the HATE.” Yes stop it already with the anti freedom bigotry.


Freedom is defined as not having someone force there unprovable theories on people.

You have every right to believe what you will, you have no rights to force another.


Old Salt

The Isaacs – “From the Depths of My Heart”



SandyK

Uh, no thanks…


OnTheOtherHand

While I agree with your last 2 sentences, you are really going overboard with your stereotyping of Christians. Yes, some fit your description and in some parts of the country they are sufficiently powerful to present the problems your describe. However, I know many that do not fit that stereotype and I think that they are far more numerous around here than you would believe.


Unfair, broad generalizations like these only serve to alienate reasonable people and undermine any attempts by you to correct legitimate problems. Lighten up a bit and be tolerant until a specific case of unjust imposition of views by a religious advocate occurs.


SandyK

I get your point, but when over half of the Republican candidates in the 2008 election said that they did not believe in evolution, I nearly fell out of my chair. If these people are put in charge, we are headed back to the dark ages, and we will be the laughing stock of the rest of the world.


achillesheal

Evolution, like intelligent design, is a theory. If it did happen and continues to happen, it cannot be observed. Evolution has not been disproved but that does not make it fact.


People of faith do not believe in evolution despite scientific evidence, which can be at times misleading. If you don’t believe that look at all the scandal with the global warming situation and scientists cooking their books for grant money.


I am neither camp, but I would not ridicule those who do not subscribe to either theory.


SandyK

Wrong, evolution real Next…


ironyman2000

Religion does not belong in Government. Not Federal and not in local. Period. .


TaxMeAgain

That’s an interesting philosophy, ironyman2000. If you ever start a country or write up the laws for a country, you may implement that. Here in the USA, however, this country was formed so that the citizens could be free to practice their religion and our country believes in God. Period. It’s in our laws and it’s on our money. If you don’t like it, this IS a free country and you are more than welcome to leave and practice your non-belief wherever you choose.


I guess it irks me that because you have the right to speech and the right to protest and we do have separation of church and state that you feel you can systematically bilk the local governments for $50,000 at a crack to slap us around.


kettle

TaxMeAgain says: “It’s in our laws and it’s on our money. If you don’t like it, this IS a free country and you are more than welcome to leave and practice your non-belief wherever you choose. ”


In America we are free to worship or not as we wish, to tell us to leave is unAmerican and your irks are inmaterial.


“It’s in our laws and it’s on our money.”


It’s on the money because of the RED scare not faith.


kettle

“The final form of the motto and its placement upon currency were forged entirely within this crucible of national turmoil (lasting from 1861 to 1865).


At least part of the motivation was to declare that God was on the Union side of the Civil War.”


“Outside of constitutional objections, President Theodore Roosevelt took issue with placing the motto on coinage as he considered it sacrilegious to put the name of God on money.”


SandyK

TaxMeAgain, you’re part of the problem. “our country believes in God”? NO, MANY OF US DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD, AND YOU DON’T SEEM UNDERSTAND, OR APPRECIATE THAT. Not everyone thinks or believes as you do.


TaxMeAgain

SandyK, I get it. You can believe whatever you wish to believe. Our “country,” that is our legal system, our laws, and our founding fathers all believe in God. This country was here LONG before you were. You may live where ever you wish. This country, however, is based on God. It’s a fact that you don’t agree with, but quit trying to change it.


Ana di Plosis

TaxMeAgain: Please cite the official documents on which you base your claim that “This country . . . is based on God.” You might start by actually reading the US Constitution, which, you’ll find, is completely devoid of any references to God/religion, except for the First Amendment and the clause prohibiting a test of religion to hold a public office.


SandyK

You tell ’em Ana! :)


SandyK

TMA, No, not all of our founding fathers believed in God, and even if they did, does that make it right. You want our country back the way it was then? You’re saying don’t try and change it…? Well then, let’s bring back slavery, and not let women vote…..oops….yikes, that IS what the Republicans are pretty much recommending! TMA, it’s obvious that you have no idea about how to think for yourself….


ironyman2000

Anyone can practice their religion within legal boundaries. Governments have no

obligation, responsibility or right to support religion as part of governmental

proceedings. Period.

.


Perspicacious

Wrong. Government does not belong in religion. You have the first amendment backwards there.


kayaknut

As much as the government should not be in the marriage business.


Old Salt

Atheists United: Whom or What are you summoning?

Really, what is your purpose or reasoning to be there at all?


Invocation:

1. A calling upon a greater power such as God or a spirit for help


2. a casting of a spell in an attempt to make an evil spirit appear, or the spell itself


Next you Atheists will be demanding to climb up Sacred Morro Rock with the Chumash and Salinan people for their annual religious solstice ceremony.

Where will it end?


kettle

“Where will it end?


When your religion is out of our government.


kayaknut

The founding fathers never wanted religion “out” of government…… they wanted to allow all religions.


MaryMalone

Allahu Akbar


ToHellinaHandBasket

@ MaryMalone… “Allah Akbar”? Really? You give worship to satan? Islam being the antithesis of Christianity? IIslam is exactly that.


I’m certain that you will be of the many who will accept the mark of the beast and worship him MaryMalone.


You have no idea what is coming your way.


Repent of your sins, for all are sinners. Give your life to Jesus Christ and be saved. For He took upon Himself the sins of you, and the whole world.


John 3:16-21 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”


kettle

““Allah Akbar”? Really? You give worship to satan” “mark of the beast”


You have no idea what you are talking about and discredit everything you say.


“A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion.

Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input. An individual’s construction of social reality, not the objective input, may dictate their behaviour in the social world.Thus, cognitive biases may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly called irrationality.”


OnTheOtherHand

Keep it simple. I don’t think that ToHellinaHandBasket can comprehend your point. The phrase “Information from an Echo Chamber” and the word “Brainwashed” come to mind as examples.


kettle
MaryMalone

QUOTE FROM KETTLE” “When your religion is out of our government.”


YOWZER, BABY!


aft50s

Perhaps Steve Arkowitz could open up with something like this…


“Our father Jerry Brown, oh heavenly checkbook that you are, please bless Liberty Healthcare, for which I am so grateful and owe everything to. Please bless me by continuing to sending those checks…”


MaryMalone

Allahu Akbar!


hijinks

“Next you Atheists will be demanding to climb up Sacred Morro Rock with the Chumash and Salinan people for their annual religious solstice ceremony.” Hell no! They’re there for religion, not law and ordering. It will end when government wipes the hypocrisy of false religion off its nose.


Terrence

Old Salt, our chapter president summed up nicely in the article why we participated in this invocation:


“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.


Indeed, we feel that invocations as you defined them have no place at a government meeting. We elected these officials to use the powers within themselves to govern. As was said in the invocation:


“In the decision making process, please be guided by your knowledge, your experience, your education, and upon sound scientific evidence.”


Is this not a reasonable thing to ask of your government?


As for your last assertion (i.e. Chumash): No we will not. What citizens do in a private religious ceremony is of no concern to us. What the government does when it is mandated to representing all citizens equally does.


tomsquawk

I pray that government would become less self-serving


kettle

That’s not how it works, voteing not prayer.


tomsquawk

no sense of humor today?


kettle

No.

Dealing with people who want to force “the way” onto free people is like dealing with used car salesman or a comcast rep, they don’t listen, don’t care.


NorCoMod

Another solution in search of a problem. It what happens when overindulged people have too much time on their hands.

How about some sort of invocation or tribute to people’s dogs next?

Colossal waste of time!


tomsquawk

i read about a dyslexic who didn’t believe in dog


MaryMalone

Pray for the dog…at the next City Council meeting you attend.


hijinks

We actually do that sort of thing. Ever read the silly proclamations most city councils issue at the beginnings of their meetings? Dogs are right about the speed of it.


jonhartz

I find it fascinating that “non-believers” define themselves by a negative, (like I am a non-female, non-young, non-criminal) as there is no positive. They also spend more time obsessing over God than I, a believer, do!

All I can surmise is that they had a very disruptive childhood to get so mixed up.

All they have to do to be “free” from religion is ignore it! You will not be tortured, taxed, or decapitated (in the USA) for not participating in what most of us do.

My guess is most of them are participants in the Religion of the Left, which includes faith in unproven global warming, and faith in big government, which has proven to be a disaster.

“Everyone has to believe in something, I believe I will have another drink”. WC Fields.


achillesheal

amen brother!…oops, can I say that?


MaryMalone

QUOTING ACHILLES HEAL: “amen brother!…oops, can I say that?”


I prefer “Allahu Akbar!,” but to each their own.


kettle

You have confused faith with science.


But you can live fact free if that is what you are into.


MaryMalone

The term “freethinker” is widely used by those who don’t accept religious (and other) dogma but instead form their own opinions.


Perspicacious

And are close-minded to those different than themselves.


OnTheOtherHand

I take it that if you personally know any atheists, they avoid having conversations with you because of your obvious stereotyping of them. If you did, you would realize that they are all over the political spectrum. (Probably more are on the left than the right but there are still plenty of Libertarians such as Penn and Teller). I have never heard of one in the US being worried about torture or decapitation here. Some do object to the tax-free status given to churches whereas non-religious organizations must pay property taxes.


Many don’t make a big deal of it at all unless pushed. The biggest objections by those who do speak out is to the injection of specific religious beliefs into government — especially when it is used to suppress well-established science without evidence — and the use of government resources to support specific religious positions.


While most of the Founding Fathers were religious to some degree, most of them also saw the danger of a specific religion using government to establish dominance as the Church of England had done. That is why the concept of separation of church and state is part of our national heritage. It is not a statement against religion but against religious use of government to force views upon others who don’t share their beliefs.


Rich in MB

Of course they will, they wouldn’t want to work on issues that matter to the community, like homelessness, child abuse, budget in deficit and such. We have to go after those darn evil Christians cutting off heads and sexually abusing girls and woman around the world. That’s the ticket…prayer at City Meetings is the real problem we must rally to fight…give me a break Steven. When you take on a real issue that affects people’s lives, let us know.


ToHellinaHandBasket

@ Rich,


“We have to go after those darn evil Christians cutting off heads and sexually abusing girls and woman around the world. That’s the ticket.”


I sense sarcasm I hope? Hot debate? 30/22.


If sarcasm, it is still a reprehensible comment to make. As many who are lost will believe it.


1. Christianity [truth]: Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life. Followers of Christ don’t cut off heads, and sexually abuse girls and women.


2. Islam: satans mocking of the truth. The islamic Caliphate cut off heads and sexually abuse girls and women.


Period.


kettle

“Period.”


Not even close, back into the echo chamber for you.


achillesheal

Since Webster defines invocation as “the act of asking for help or support especially from god”, I am curious as to what an atheist invocation entails. Should be interesting.


TaxMeAgain

What a pain. These people are costing us all tax dollars.


In God we trust.


kettle

“What a pain. These people are costing us all tax dollars.”


I know right? Easy fix, stop dragging “faith” into our logical system of governance.


If it can’t fix a pothole or arrest a creep, it has no place in our halls of government.


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