In a motion filed May 3, Eureka City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson asked a Humboldt County Superior Court judge to dismiss a lawsuit targeting City Council invocations and Mayor Frank Jager’s annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
The pending lawsuit, filed by Eureka attorney Peter Martin on behalf of Eureka resident Carole Beaton, requests that the city stop holding invocations — sectarian or otherwise — before City Council meetings, and that Jager stop using his position and city resources to promote the breakfast.
The following is an opinion piece by Eureka resident Larry DePuy.
Keep Your Religion Out of Our Government. Thank You Very Much.
European countries were once ruled by monarchs and churches with a long history of wars, crusades, inquisitions and the renouncement of science. Galileo was forced to recant his life’s work, even though the Church knew he was right. Giordano Bruno was burned alive at the stake for his belief in the plurality of worlds and other scientific theories.
Our Founding Fathers wanted a country where people could worship freely without being told by a state church or government how to worship. That’s where separation of church and state comes in.
If religion mixes with government, then you have one religion that is accepted by the government as the official state religion, and all the other religions become heresy and crimes against the state. This is what they have in some Middle Eastern countries. As a nation, I would like to think we have advanced beyond public stoning for committing abominations like eating shellfish, especially here in Crab-and-Oystertown, USA.
It’s not just our Founding Fathers’ documents that have made this country great. Our inventions and scientific advancements, several attributed to Benjamin Franklin, have made us a world leader. Our pursuit of higher learning and our great universities have been the engine that has powered our impressive achievements. Today, there is a large part of the religious community that is at war with science, which is to the detriment of the nation, and is of great concern to the majority of the learned scientists in this country.
God was added to the Pledge of Allegiance and added to our dollar bills in the mid-20th century. It’s new. Did Jesus want His God the Father represented on coins and associated with money? Prayer at government functions may seem innocuous enough and it offends maybe 10 percent of those attending, but it violates the Constitution. It also violates the teachings of Jesus Christ! Matthew 6:5-6:
“And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most certainly, I tell you, they have received their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
So even Jesus was opposed to prayer at public meetings.
So where is the precedent for public prayer? If someone starts bowing to Mecca and praying to Allah during a meeting, shouldn’t that be included too? Can I stand at a meeting and praise Thor, son of Odin, king of the gods, or orate a five-minute Hindu chant?
Most people think there is no harm in a little Christian prayer, and it makes them feel good, but Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time to do things and a time not to.
Government meetings are for government business, and closets
are for prayer.
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The Humboldt Sentinel welcomes opinions, submissions, comments and suggestions from all points of view.