Save Yourself - They Won't

   Is it a city meeting or  did we go to church?

 

The 1st Amendment of the Constitution is very clear. American's enjoy the right to freedom from religious tyrany. That means that no one in government can tell you what, if any, religion to practice.

It has been an off and on theme to have the Lafayette Council meetings start with prayer. Always Christian in nature. No Wiccan, no Hindu, no anything else. Not even an opportunity to not participate. Just a general instruction of bow your heads, let us pray.

Its also been a long fought battle to get this use of tax dollars to stop. So much so, that many involved in the topic are waiting for high powered decisions by those in the judicial realm to say yay or nay. When I first brought this up, I received an email from Linda Lyon advising all kinds of personal judgments about me and people in our community; even her own son. I knew it would be a hot topic, but had no idea that it would be made so personal.

Even the Christian bible forbids this kind of worship. But, these good Christian folks carry on their way to provide a message for all.

American's United has been an excellent resource in this venue. They attended a Lafayette City Council meeting once to observe this highly debated spectacle for themselves.

Could the council hold this prayer outside of tax funded building, prior to the meeting? Could they invite those that wished to participate to join them? Certainly. But, they have chosen to involve staff against their personal preferences. They are paying staff to be a part of this. They are taking up agenda space and council time. Even the councilors that choose not to participate are forbidden from stepping forward due to council rules.

There are supposed to be rules to regulate that no staff may recruit a person to offer the prayer. People are simply to contact city hall to be put on a list. But, it has happened numerous times and I have been advised, by staff, that no list exists. I have also been advised by the officiates that they did not offer their services; they were asked by staff or council. Ironically, the council had directed that the rules be written and presented for approval. The first prayer took place before that ever happened.

Will this unconstitutional use of tax funds continue? Most likely. Even if the highest court makes a determination it is not allowed, it will continue in our little berg. This mayor has already violated a number of first amendment rights. This would simply be one more "you can't stop me from doing what I want" action.

I will be following the national cases and highlighting them on the website. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.