Arroyo Grande axes prayer from council meetings

December 11, 2014

invocationFollowing a threat of Satanism preaching at council meetings, the Arroyo Grande City Council voted to eliminate its longstanding invocation practice.

The council voted 3-2 on Tuesday to stop holding invocations and replace them with moments of silence. Council members Barbara Harmon and Tim Brown dissented in the vote.

Four members of an atheist group spoke during public comment at the hearing. One said a local satanic group is forming, and due to a recent Supreme Court hearing, the city would have to allow them to participate in the invocation practice.

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that faith-based invocations are permissible at public meetings. However, the ruling shortly followed the city of Pismo Beach choosing to settle a lawsuit filed by an atheist group, claiming prayer that occurred at council meetings had violated the California Constitution.

The Pismo Beach City Council agreed to stop allowing prayer at the beginning of its meetings and to pay $47,502 in legal fees and damages to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

In addition to Pismo Beach, the cities of Atascadero and San Luis Obispo also do not have invocations at their council meetings. Grover Beach and Morro Bay councils each conduct moments of silence, according to an Arroyo Grande staff report.

Paso Robles is now the only city in the county that still has invocations at council meetings. Representatives of any faith, including atheism, can participate.


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kayaknut

No prayer at meetings but no problem with many polling places being at churches?


willnose

Jesus would weep, then get the whip to drive it out of the place of worship!


bobfromsanluis

Using churches as polling places is the one “payment” those buildings can be used by all to help equal out for the tax exemption those buildings get.


Vagabond

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlbR8H2hJZM


One of the better invocations IMHO


panflash

Yeah, governing body religious invocations are just great if you are the only one who can pick the invocators and what they say.


Absent that, it’s probably best for the governing body members to practice their own personal beliefs outside the government facilities and meetings, and for the governing body to just get down to its business when it meets.


Moments of silence are probably acceptable, because that means at least that none of the governing body members are talking- thus providing us with momentary relief from their insufferable verbosity. Nevertheless, all things considered, it’s probably better to just get the meetings over with as soon as possible and let everyone just go home.


After all, the more that governing bodies talk, the more likely they are to do something damaging to their citizens and taxpayers.


surferdude

“Moments of silence are probably acceptable, because that means at least that none of the governing body members are talking- thus providing us with momentary relief from their insufferable verbosity”.


“Nevertheless, all things considered, it’s probably better to just get the meetings over with as soon as possible and let everyone just go home. After all, the more that governing bodies talk, the more likely they are to do something damaging to their citizens and taxpayers”


Agreed. You said it!


tomsquawk

the Sword of Damocles


Black_Copter_Pilot

Brother Ted? Where art thou, Brother Ted?


Vagabond

Oh this is just terrible, after all it was with Ghods guidance that the AG City council has been a beacon of righteousness and brotherly (and sisterly) love. Now it’s just going to go to Hell in a hand basket.


Rambunctious

Yeah whatever you do don’t ask God for his help and guidance because we’re man and we can do it all. We don’t need help from the heavens our elected leaders are all we need so lets just sit in silence for a moment.


OnTheOtherHand

You can ask God (as you perceive him) all you want. Just don’t pressure others to do the same.


achillesheal

Drip, Drip, Drip… How long before the moment of silence is eliminated because people “might” be praying.


I am not a religious person, but find it disturbing when a very small minority of individuals is granted the power to dictate public behavior that is constitutional.


OnTheOtherHand

While I don’t see this as a high-priority issue unless the person leading the prayer is either proselytizing or attacking those who don’t share his/her beliefs, it is consistent with the wishes of the founding fathers. One thing many of them agreed upon was that government shouldn’t take an ADVOCACY position in matters of religion because of the potential that it could form a union of church and state which could be oppressive to those whose beliefs were even slightly different. The British government against which they rebelled was a case in point.


SloTownMan

Hill gets an F


dogeatdog

Slotownman why does Hill get an F?


Do you not like him or was it his stance on this? If it was his stance then why do other coiuncil members not get an F?


SloTownMan

I like him.


zaphod

give me a U !


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