At a meeting of the city council in Carey, Ohio, on March 6, Law Director Emily Beckley recommended that the council discontinue their public prayer before each meeting. She reminded the council members that it could potentially lead to a lawsuit in the future. That’s good advice.
The Mayor, Armand Getz, then suggested they also do away with the Pledge of Allegiance. It is technically legal to recite The Pledge at meetings, but the current version with it’s “Under God” phrasing (added in 1954) is no longer appropriate especially for public meetings of government. Mayor Getz said he thought including this might make people feel uncomfortable, and he didn’t want citizens to feel uncomfortable.
Good for them for respecting the Constitution, people’s right to not participate in religion or in one they don’t belong to, and good for them for respecting the privacy of prayer. After all, don’t most religions tell their worshippers to pray in private? Everyone wins!
Since that time both Mayor Getz and Law Director Beckley have received serious threats for their suggestions. These threats were serious enough that both have left their positions. The article (linked below) is unclear whether they left on their own or if they were pushed or voted out, but one cannot help but assume that the threats affected their choices in some way. The fact remains that they were threatened for upholding the Constitution and religious freedom for their citizens. They are heroes. They are exactly the people you want in office, working for you, protecting your interests.
What is this country coming to? According to the 1791 First Amendment to The Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Enough with the Christian Taliban! We have the right to leave our homes and churches, to take part in government, go to work, etc. and not have to deal with religion. And don’t most religions require that you keep your praying and worship to yourselves so that you will “not be like the hypocrites” praying in public?
Our Taliban here, our extreme Christians, aren’t just killing people who look different than them or helping to spread hate and fear. They are pushing our leaders to violate the Constitution and use prayers and The Pledge at meetings. Not only are they insisting on prayers at government and school meetings, but they are choosing which prayers, which specific religion. These extremists are fighting for Ten Commandments statues and nativity scenes on government properties. They are pushing for our laws to be based on their religion. They are telling us who can get married according to the Bible and who can have medical care. They are a big part of why women are still struggling for equal pay and equal protections in the work place.
These Christian extremists are hurting us. The Christian Taliban does not belong in the United States any more than any other religion’s taliban does. If these Christian extremists want a theocracy they need to find another chunk of land to build it on because this one is taken. The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic, and we take our Constitution seriously.
Now get off my rights, you kids!
Link: “An Ohio Mayor Is Resigning After Getting Threats For His Decision to Stop Prayers at Meetings” – by Hemant Mehta in Friendly Atheist
Link: “WATCH: Oklahoma State Rep says rape and incest are the ‘will of God’ in abortion bill hearing” – by Erin Corbett of Raw Story