Casselberry (FL) City Commissioners Debate Invocation Policy That Specifically Excludes Atheists

The City Commission in Casselberry, Florida has no idea what to do with prayer at meetings. For a while now, they’ve been giving the prayers — which is clearly illegal — and they have to come up with an alternative.

The right answer is: Don’t have them at all and get to work. But that’s not what they want and a discussion about what to do took up quite a bit of their meeting on November 9.

Atheist Joseph Richardson, who recently delivered a non-religious invocation in the city of Apopka, is paying attention to the issue and he told me the Central Florida Freethought Community already sent the commission a warning letter. (Maybe that’s what prompted this discussion in the first place.) And if you listen to their meeting, which Richardson just put online, you realize at least one of the commissioners has no idea what she’s doing.

Richardson was kind enough to timestamp/summarize the relevant parts of the meeting:

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NYT Writer David Brooks, Without Explanation, Links Secularism to “Nationalism, Racism”

In one of his most slippery columns to date, New York Times columnist David Brooks opines on the peace that, for many, can be found within holy texts. Mining wisdom and contentment from a religious book is, of course, fine as far as it goes. (I prefer Italo Calvino and Gabriel García Márquez myself. To each his own.)

But as an observant conservative Jew who is gravitating more and more toward Christianity, Brooks finds it necessary to give secularism an ill-explained (and, as far as I can tell, undeserved) spanking.

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What We Can Learn from the Paris Attacks (Without Ignoring the Elephant in the Room)

[Click on image for the full graphic]

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Florida City Commission Accidentally Said the Pledge of Allegiance Without “Under God”

A week before Veteran’s Day, the Mayor of Kissimmee, Florida had every intention of saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the City Commission meeting. But just to make things interesting, he decided to play a video of entertainer Red Skelton‘s famous bit defining every word in the Pledge. The story, as Skelton tells it, is that when he was younger, his school’s principal felt the students were just reciting the Pledge without really understanding it, so he explained to them its true meaning.

Just one problem. Even though Skelton gave his speech in 1969, that story took place before 1954, when the words “Under God” were added.

Which led to mass confusion when all the Commissioners began reciting the Pledge along with Skelton…

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Disease Promoter Jenny McCarthy is Mad That Charlie Sheen Didn’t Tell Her He Was HIV Positive

Jenny McCarthy, who played Charlie Sheen‘s love interest on several episodes of Two and a Half Men, is furious that the actor didn’t tell her he was HIV-positive when they worked together. Because, you know, she might have caught it in some way.

She made the remarks on her SiriusXM radio show:

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