A few weeks ago, me and several other atheists attended a meeting of the Rowlett Texas City Council. They decided they were going to hold a public display of their Christian religious beliefs at the commencement of every meeting, posted on their agenda, and that they weren’t going to correct this practice regardless of the law or community response. That night the community’s response was exclusively secular, and representative of at least 1/3 of their constituency.
We tried to reason with them. We tried to explain why secular government is necessary. We offered a compromise explaining that a ‘moment of silence’ would be inclusive rather than deliberately divisive. Some of the testimony was heartfelt emotion. But despite the accusations of several of the city council members, we were respectful and conducted ourselves accordingly.
I pointed out how intentionally exclusionary their invocation is. I also explained how it is unconstitutional both at the state and federal level, and that it is inappropriate conduct for a few other reasons. Their response was inappropriate too. In the image above, some of them were -at that moment- facebooking derisive comments against us, calling us ‘children’ and saying ‘piss on us’, comments like that, things no elected representative should be saying at all, but especially not on social networks, and certainly not when sitting on the bench while testimony is still being delivered.
I should add that the mayor made no attempt to control the vitriol against us on his own facebook. All he did do was to warn his associates to be careful what they said publicly. So he was aware what was being said and could tell what was being implied.
Just to be clear, regardless how justified your political views may or may not be, the secular perspective is one which does not evoke or involve religion. Religious views are often asserted as fact, but -make no mistake- religious views are NOT evidently true, and cannot be verified to be accurate. Historically they’re usually wrong on many other levels too. That’s just how religion is and has always been. This is just one of many reasons why religion should not be regarded nor encouraged in the rulings of any governmental body.
I believe in posting appropriate responses. I also believe people in representative positions should show responsible conduct too. But then I also believe in accuracy and accountability and a number of other ethics not apparently shared by this not-really representative body. Perhaps I’m more of a ‘believer’ than they are.