Tuesday, April 18, 2017

An invocation or moment of silence at the City Commission meeting tonight? The elected next up in the rotation makes that choice.

How did we get from a prayer, or “invocation”, opening each Commission meeting for many decades in our City’s history and now a choice of a moment of silence instead?

There’s still some confusion on how we got to this point. The process now is each one of the electeds — the mayor and commissioners in order — has the option of giving a short prayer, having someone in the community give brief comments in the form of an invocation, or have a “moment of silence”. So. How did we get here?

It all started in December of 2014.

The Insulting Atheist Preston Smith (see below) took advantage of the City process for giving invocations and hijacked the stage. He was given his few minutes to speak and his ‘invocation’ was quite insulting to many, especially for those in attendance that day, including myself. Except for a few people it was a lost opportunity.

Mr. Smith had the option of educating the public about atheism that day and explaining what it is and what it is not. But he chose another option and a lot of you remember that.

It’s interesting to note that since Mr. Smith’s insulting show not a single Atheist from Lake Worth has stepped up to the plate to represent their beliefs, or lack thereof. Why would that be? Possibly some day an Atheist here in the City will take the opportunity to change that image of atheism some still have after Mr. Smith packed up and left town after insulting all of us.

Mr. Smith came to town for an hour or so. Then he left. But things have changed since then and we’re a better City for it.

“He’s coming back for the New Year”, hailed The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) during our Christmas holiday season in 2015.
Some were quite thrilled the Insulting Atheist would return to Lake Worth for an encore. He never has. Would it be the shock/surprise factor has worn off?

Following Mr. Smith’s insulting show the City had meetings, discussion, and ultimately took another route and tweaked the process for giving invocations, or not giving one.

You see, a problem was created for the little City of Lake Worth by Mr. Smith, the Insulting Atheist, and the City began the process of fixing it as best they can. The ‘fix’ is not perfect and not everyone will be happy. There were a few malcontents in the religious community who were quite upset about the prospect of a moment of silence. But they’ve since gone completely silent on the issue.

And so it goes. . .