An atheist invited to give the opening prayer at a Lake Worth, Florida, City Commission meeting recently called on the “wisdom of Satan” and declared “if almighty Thor is with us, who can ever be against us,” a perversion of a New Testament verse.
It was not altogether surprising as people with nontraditional beliefs increasingly are demanding their place in the public square.
But in this case, a number of city commissioners expressed their opinion of the “invocation” – without saying a word.
They got up and walked out.
See the incident:
“Free speech works both ways,” Mayor Pam Triolo told WPTV after the event. “You can say what you want, and I can choose to leave.”
The invocation was offered by Miami “anti-theist” Preston Smith, according to a column by Tim Brown at Freedom Outpost.
Brown described the statements as “utterly moronic” and noted that three other commissioners walked out with Triolo then returned for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Brown wrote that Smith states people “can create a better, more equal community without religious divisions.”
“Of course, we all know that is not what he wants. He simply wants people not to speak about God and morality,” Brown wrote.
“Though he mentions Satan, Allah, Buddha, Zeus, and even Jesus, it all comes down to the fact that he openly states that he wants people to ‘do good for goodness sake’ and he doesn’t want to hear about damnation or judgment.”
Brown said the problem for Smith is that he has “no authority outside of himself to determine what is good.”
“Second, by his own logic, he has no means to impose his view of goodness upon anyone else,” Brown continued. “He mocked true prayer by calling on the remaining members and others in attendance to ‘pray.’ In a similar manner to the RINOs in the House, who stood by reverently as an Islamic imam offered a ‘prayer’ to Allah, these people stood by silently with heads bowed reverently as Smith demonstrated his foolishness. ”
WPTV said Triolo explained she left not because of Smith’s beliefs but because of an earlier Twitter message in which he presented an offensive interpretation of the Bible. She told the station she was concerned the “invocation” would be more of the same.
When the council members walked out, Smith said, “Duly noted.”
Then Smith said: “Our collective atheism, which is to say, loving empathy, scientific evidence, and critical thinking leads us to believe we can create a better more equal community without religious divisions. May we pray together.”
Mother Earth, we gather today in your redeeming and glorious presence to invoke your eternal guidance in the universe, the original creator of all things. May the efforts of this council blend the righteousness of Allah with the all knowing wisdom of Satan. May Zeus, the great god of justice, grant us strength tonight. Jesus might forgive our shortcomings while Buddha enlightens us through his divine affection.
We praise you Krishna for the sanguine sacrifice that freed us all. After all, if almighty Thor is with us, who can ever be against us? And finally for the bounty of logic, reason and science, we simply thank the atheists, agnostics, humanists, who now account for one in five Americans and growing rapidly.
In closing. Let us above all, love one another, not to obtain mythical rewards for ourselves now, hereafter or based on superstitious threats of eternal damnation, but rather embrace secular-based principles of morality, and do good for goodness sake.
And so we pray, so what?
Commissioner Christopher McVoy stayed for the invocation, saying he felt he had a responsibility “to respectfully listen.”
But Brown warned that when a nation “forgets God, God brings judgment upon that nation and we are seeing it before our eyes … blasphemers, idolaters, sodomites and other sins and crimes abound in our nation, and why?”
“The church has not been salt and light, but rather has pampered herself and whored herself out, despising the cross of Christ for the accolades of man,” he said. “It’s time the church repented and stood against the gates of Hell and prevailed over them once again. Without such repentance, there is simply more judgment to look forward to.”
Smith’s speech has now inspired at least one other atheist activist, Chaz Stevens, to send an email to Lake Worth city commissioners, asking for permission to deliver a Satanic invocation at a future meeting.