After Alaska City Assembly Creates Controversy with Invocation Policy, They Vote 5-2 Against Government Prayers

Earlier this month, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly in Alaska decided to approve an ordinance allowing invocation prayers at their meetings (though it still needed to survive a final vote). While that’s happened all over the country, what made this ordinance stand out was that the prayers would be coordinated by the Ketchikan Ministerial Association (a Christian group) and they would be asked to reach out to local clergy, shutting out most non-Christian groups and almost certainly excluding non-religious ones.

Assembly member Glen Thompson (below) said most of those other groups would be welcome. Most.

I don’t have a problem with having an inclusive denominations, be they Hindu, Islam, Bahai faith, Christian, what have you. I will draw the line on Satanists or atheists.

He later retracted that statement.

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Celebrating Secular Invocations

The Central Florida Freethought Community put together this fantastic video showcasing the great secular invocations we’ve seen since Greece v. Galloway:



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Alaska City Assembly Votes for Inclusive Invocations, but They Will “Draw the Line on Satanists or Atheists”

Last night, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly in Alaska decided to approve an ordinance that would allow invocation prayers at their meetings. No surprise there. Since Greece v. Galloway, many city governments have been doing just that. But one part of the ordinance seems a little off:

The Ketchikan Ministerial Association, a non-denominational group of Ketchikan clergy, is in favor of this ordinance and has offered the support of its members to provide the invocation on a rotating basis. If Ordinance 1740 is approved by the Assembly, the Clerk’s Office could coordinate with the KMA, and local clergy, for a member to provide the invocation at the beginning of each Assembly meeting.

Considering the KMA is an explicitly Christian group, that means Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Pagans, and everyone else would be shut out of the invocation-delivery business…

But at least the Assembly members realized that, right? Proposal sponsor Glen Thompson (below) sure did and he says those groups will be welcome. But just those groups:



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Washougal City Council (WA) Votes to Have Invocation Prayers, but Not Without Silly Arguments from Both Sides

The Washougal City Council in Washington state just voted 4-3 to have religious invocations at their meetings, but it didn’t happen without a furious debate. The dissenters aren’t just a bunch of typical liberals, either:



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Pickens County Board of Trustees (SC) Will Allow Invocations, but Only Religious Groups Will Be Invited to Give Them

The Pickens County Board of Trustees in South Carolina just decided to allow sectarian invocations at their meetings. And they think they’re above the law on this one despite the advice of their attorney:



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