Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Town of Greece Board Will Hear Secular Invocation Tonight

While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last month in Town of Greece v. Galloway validated the existing invocation policy of the New York town involved (see prior posting), in a sense things are changing in Greece.  According to Justice Kennedy's description of the town's policy:
[Town] leaders maintained that a minister or layperson of any persuasion, including an atheist, could give the invocation. But nearly all of the congregations in town were Christian; and from 1999 to 2007, all of the participating ministers were too.
The American Humanist Association has announced that at tonight's Town Board meeting, for the first time a "secular invocation" will be delivered.  As reported last month by Religion News Service, tonight's invocation will be offered by Dan Courtney, a member of the Atheist Community of Rochester, NY, located nearby. Courtney says his invocation will stress that government needs to represent all the people regardless of religious belief. The American Humanist Society has compiled a list of individuals around the country available to deliver invocations that do not call on a "supernatural entity" for guidance.