Christopher Alcantara, a City Commissioner from Deltona, Florida who just got elected in November, has a nasty habit toward the end of meetings. Instead of wrapping it up with words of wisdom or talking about the people in his community, he pulls out his Bible and begins reading.
Not during the invocation, mind you (which would be a problem we’re already familiar with). He just reads the Bible aloud at the end of meetings. Because Jesus, that’s why.
Those verses include ones that say “Cursed be the man who trusts in man,” and “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him,” and “The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State recently sent him a letter explaining why this was illegal. When an elected official reads the Bible like that during a meeting, it’s effectively government promotion of that religion. Not that Alcantara cares.
On Facebook, he responded with a curt dismissal of AU’s letter.
I guess some folks don’t want me to read scriptures. I replied to the letter with a simple email:
“Didn’t bother to read all of your letter. I am not going to stop. Have a great day. God bless.
He has no defense of what he’s doing, though. That’s because there isn’t one. Even someone as ignorant as Alcantara has to understand this is the sort of religious promotion that he would never get away with if he were reading from the Qur’an.
AU hasn’t said how they will respond just yet. But it’s hard to see how this could be interpreted as anything other than proselytizing. Not all the Bible verses he reads have secular value to them.
Even his colleagues don’t get it.
“Nobody’s ever done that before,” [Mayor John] Masiarczyk said of Alcantara’s approach. “Commissioner comments have normally been what’s going on in the neighborhood” and things of that nature.
Alcantara doesn’t give a damn about his neighborhood. He thinks the voters elected him to be a preacher. So why waste time talking about the community he represents when he can send a message to Muslims and Jews and atheists that they’re going to Hell?
Maybe at the next meeting, he can do himself a favor and read the First Amendment, since he’s apparently never seen it before.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Brian for the link)