Arizona Town Council Changes Prayer Policy to Avoid Non-Christians Delivering Invocations

For some reason, the Chino Valley Town Council in Arizona used to begin meetings with invocations delivered by elected officials (which the law doesn’t permit). So for a couple of weeks, while they decided on a legal alternative, the council members promised to skip the invocation during meetings. Eventually, though, they settled on something that was still a problem:

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The Invocation Policy in Greene County (TN) is Unconstitutional and No One There Seems to Know Why

Greene County, Tennessee has a strange and completely illegal invocation policy.

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Mayor David Crum just invites pastors he’s friends with to deliver the prayers. And wouldn’t you know it, when you do that, Muslims and Hindus and atheists get left out of the mix. In fact, when an atheist requested the same opportunity as Crum’s pastor friends, he was rejected.

That’s why the Freedom From Religion Foundation got involved last month.

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Atheist Calls for Unity and Decency in Secular Invocation at Jacksonville (FL) City Council Meeting

On Tuesday in Jacksonville, Florida, First Coast Freethought Society founder Earl Coggins delivered the city council’s first-ever secular invocation:

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This is What Happened When an Atheist Politician Gave an Invocation on the Arizona House Floor

It’s amazing how much Christians will overreact when an atheist politician says some kind, inclusive words before they all get to work.

On Thursday, Arizona State Rep. Juan Mendez delivered his third secular invocation on the House floor. (The first time he gave one, a Christian colleague felt obligated to deliver a second Christian invocation the following day.)

The only reason it was controversial was because House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro tried to block him from speaking last month, saying there was a rule that all invocations had to be made to a Higher Power. There’s no such rule. After all, that would fly in the face of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Greece v. Galloway, which said that atheistic invocations were legal in government settings alongside religious ones.

So Mendez gave his invocation with no reference to a Supreme Deity:

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An Atheist Invocation in the Arizona House Led to a Massive Overreaction from Christian Politicians

Earlier today, a secular invocation in the Arizona State House was rebuked and challenged because it didn’t reference a Higher Power.

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