The Atheist of Florida group has been on a mission to get the Tampa City Council to drop their pre-meeting prayers.
As this is going on, it should be noted that the council also says the Pledge of Allegiance. So how are the atheists handling that?
They say it along with everyone else. But at the relevant part, they say “One Nation, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.” No mention of “Under God.”
And that’s apparently pissing off council members:
Council attorney Marty Shelby told [the atheists] Thursday to remain silent during that portion of the pledge if they find the words unacceptable. It’s “disruptive” when they jump directly to the “with liberty” phrase, he said. Some have said it confuses others reciting the pledge.
Council member Joseph Caetano took it further, saying he was offended that some people refused to recite the pledge appropriately.
“If they can’t, we have got to remove them,” Caetano said, while council member Charlie Miranda cast a disapproving look. “I know how you feel, Mr. Miranda. That’s not right. If they don’t like it, they should keep their mouths shut.”
Caetano doesn’t seem to realize that it’s the atheists who are getting it right — they’re sticking to the way the pledge was originally written.
Rob Curry, the executive director of the group, doesn’t see anything wrong with what his group is doing:
“It’s really a slap in the face for them to try to silence us by calling our sincere feelings disruptive,” Curry said. “That’s the way my parents learned (the pledge), my grandparents and my great-grandparents.”
There’s a simple solution to all this, of course. Just don’t say the new version of the Pledge. And don’t say your prayers before the meeting.
Just keep your religion to yourself. It’s not the government’s job to lead everyone in worship.
(Thanks to Ungullible for the link)