Borough Council Members in Greenville, Pennsylvania Are Keeping Christian Prayers at Their Meetings

The Borough Council of Greenville, Pennsylvania has been reciting prayers at their meetings for decades. So when a local resident finally told the Freedom From Religion Foundation about it, you know exactly how council members reacted when they got the complaint letter:

It’s tradition!

Why would anyone complain about this?!

We have freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion!

Here’s what they said in their own words, anyway:

“I am perfectly OK with prayer at meetings,” Councilman Anthony D’Alfonso said. “I think it’s a long-standing tradition that should be honored.”

The prayers, led by a rotating slate of clergy who are almost entirely Christian, “provide guidance and blessings to council and the community,” D’Alfonso said.

“I don’t see it at an issue that should be addressed,” he said.

The complaint “came as quite a surprise,” D’Alfonso said.

Councilman Ted Jones called the complaint “pretty crazy.”

“I think it’s pretty stupid,” Jones said. “I don’t think we should do anything.”

“Pretty stupid” is reciting a Christian prayer at every meeting when you know damn well that you represent people who are Christian, Jewish, non-religious, and everything else in between.

They could always allow non-Christians to deliver some of the invocations or make sure the prayers are non-Sectarian. But none of their comments allude to doing anything of the sort. They’re sticking with what they’ve always done, no matter what anyone else thinks.

I’m sure the Greenville taxpayers will appreciate the waste of their money when the lawsuit comes around.

If you live in the area, feel free to let your representatives know how you feel (politely, of course).

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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