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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So, did anyone hear the first atheist invocation at the Paso City Council meeting? How did they do?

What did they say?

We have posted the text of the invocation on our website here:

Being an Apathetic Agnostic (don’t know, don’t care), I find it funny that these people think they are saving us money and time by wasting both. And please, just because I am nonreligious, don’t assume that you speak for me.

I think that they are making a logical mistake in asking to take part in the invocations. If atheism is the absence of belief as they claim, this is contrary to that position and they are beginning to function just like a religion even if they reject belief in gods.

They have some basis to oppose the whole idea of an invocation — although I personally don’t see that as worthy of concern unless someone is pushing the limits of it as one pastor was doing with the Pismo City Council meetings.

Let’s see, atheists deny the existence of God, or as some put it, an omniscient being. To discount an infinite God in an infinite universe, you, yourself have to have infinite knowledge of that universe. So what you are denying existence is an omniscient being…so deny that, you, yourself, have to be omniscient. The atheist argument is a self-defeating one. What they actually KNOW, is that they DON’T KNOW.

I hate the inability to edit. :)

“So what you are denying existence is an omniscient being…so [to] deny that”

It seems that one could turn that argument around for believers. In order to know that their is an omniscient being, one would have to have infinite knowledge of the universe. Since this is obviously not the case there is also no way to KNOW that there is a god. (This is why I consider myself an Agnostic — not an atheist or a believer. And yes, I have heard the semantic arguments about it being possible to be more than one.)

I agree. Atheism is as much a belief as any other organized religion. They take it on faith that there is no higher being, God or whatever.

Enter the agnostic. Pretty sure there’s no omniscient being but no way to prove it….either way.

This is incorrect.

Faith is a belief without evidence. Many Atheists have come to their belief simply due to the lack of credible evidence for god(s). What makes evidence based reasoning (science) different from faith is that science will change its belief if new evidence comes along. That is the case for Atheism; if there were compelling evidence for god(s) which appeared many Atheists would change their beliefs.

It is of course possible that there is a higher being for which no evidence has been found. But for the Atheist it makes no sense believing (or worshipping) in such a being until some sort of evidence is available.

As it stands, due to the lack of evidence for god(s) and science’s credible explanation of the universe without a creator, there is no reason to “believe” and for me, there is never a reason for faith.

Great response Terrence…

Do I believe in flying cows? No. Why not? I’ve never seen one fly. Do I believe in talking trees? No. Why? I’ve never seen a tree talk. Do I believe in God? No….

I wanted to add to what I wrote. Not only have I not seen any of these things, but no one else purports to have seen them either. So, I figure they don’t exist. No one could convince me that they had seen, or talked to God. And usually when they do in a public forum, it’s to take the chance to say that God agrees with them, or spoke to them…..and never, with any proof.


Atheists United.

Such a bigoted, hateful, and Christophobic group. I wonder why the leftist media never goes after these bigoted, hateful, and Christophobic groups. [Sarcasm].

I do know. Because Jesus Christ was hated before all who would believe after Him.

John 15:18-25: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22 “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 “He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law. – NASB

1st Corinthians: 18: “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 19: “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” – NASB

John 14: 5-6: 5″ Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – NASB

3 things to contemplate:

1. Jefferson and the Bill of Rights.

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, whose letter to the Danbury Baptists Association is often quoted in debates regarding the separation of church and state.

In English, the exact term is an offshoot of the phrase, “wall of separation between church and state”, as written in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. [This is the creed of orgs like Atheists United.] It is not in the Costitution of the USA. Just a letter. See #2 below.

2. Amendment I:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

3. Multiculturalism: It’s what has destroyed many countries. As goes the USA. This story being one of the many reasons.

3. Multiculturalism: It’s what has destroyed many countries. As goes the USA. This story being one of the many reasons.

And now you are a bigot, just as you accuse others, judge others.

Also save the caned copy and paste.

Seems like there is a misinterpretation of the establishment clause of the 1st amendment by many of the posts here. It prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion. That is separation of church and state.

Government can accommodate religion through invocation at public meetings without endorsing a particular faith. The SCOTUS just ruled on it in May in the Greece, NY case. Even dissenters such as Obama appointee Justice Kagan agreed that a public forum need not be free of prayer.

QUOTING TAX ME AGAIN: “What a pain. These people are costing us all tax dollars.”

The politicochristian christ pimps have been doing this for decades now.

MaryMalone, how does saying a prayer before a meeting cost the taxpayers money?

Phfffttt, pales is comparison to what the enviro-“pimps” from the First Church of Global Warming have cost the taxpayer. Another example Mary, the Willits bypass in Mendocino County. Two million plus dollars in additional construction costs because of protests against building a bypass that adhered to environmental reviews that these same “protesters” imposed. Lefties despise religion because it supports family unity, which distracts from their the state as god zealous beliefs. Yes beliefs, because everybody believes in something Mary.

I find it laughable that politicians would conduct any kind of religious ceremony before getting down to what they do.

I find it sickening that people like you hold such hideous beliefs.

He’s not knocking religion, he’s knocking government. Meaning Government business is so dirty, disgusting, and sinful it’s laughable that they pray – kind of like bank robbers praying that the job goes as planned.

Some of the comments regarding this article are indicative of why Christianity and other religions are in decline, while atheism and agnosticism are increasing….

I’m always amused when someone offers lies like “…Christianity and other religions are in decline…” as if they are fact with zero back-up. Pure bull manure.