The Freedom From Religion Foundation clearly goes the hard way to confront Christianity instead of taking the high road to have their secular views included. Although Christianity represents one of a multitude of other religions, the FFRF will direct the majority of attacks against Christian expression.
Instead of submitting a challenge to have their views included, typically the FFRF will sue to restrict the religious expression of Christianity.
The problem according to the FFRF is the opening prayer conducted by Huntsville City Council meetings conducted in the state of Alabama. The FFRF wrote the council a letter around February 2012 raging that the prayers of the council were “coercive” and amounted to “a governmental endorsement that excludes 15 percent of the American population that is non-religious.” The FFRF threatened legal action if the prayers were not stopped.
The FFRF does have a valid point concerning not having their religion lifted up, but the FFRF does not act to have their views included, they sue to stop others from expressing their religious viewpoint in a move begging for confrontation instead of cooperation. Restricting religious expression violates Amendment One of the Bill of Rights which protects free expression of one’s religion.
Huntsville City Council acquiesced and began including other religious viewpoints as an invocation before the council began their business which is a fair resolution.
Inclusiveness was not received very well by the community who objected to a Wiccan priest Blake Kirk delivering an opening prayer before the Huntsville Council Meeting, so much so that a second planned prayer was cancelled by the city council involving Kirk. The city featured prayers in Hindu, Buddhism, and Muslim leaders without incident.
So where does the Huntsville City Council do now to make the FFRF happy? The answer is on the way as North Alabama Freethought Association Board Member Kelly McCauley will be offering an atheistic prayer to open the meeting. Should not the FFRF object to McCauley’s prayer? The government endorsement of atheism is being done then, right?
Many will be tuning into McCauley’s prayer today, September 25th, at the Huntsville City Council meeting to see how an atheist prays. According to an interview give to the Christian Post reporter Stephanie Samuel, McCauley will invoke intelligence, and shared responsibilities and civic values of citizens in attendance and elected leaders. It will not be the intervention of a divine power.
Will it be a slam against religion or merely invoking the very resources claimed by McCauley and his belief system? Typically there is a slam against one or more religions for having a belief system anchored in a specific deity or deities. Buddhism has no deity, however there has not been words articulated by a Buddhist monk or official that denigrates Christianity or other religions at interfaith observances.
McCauley apparently is going to give an invocation that is non-sectarian and will lend gravity to the meeting and point to our civic values.
There is nothing wrong with that as long as there is not a disparaging comment directed to other religions concerning their religious beliefs.