Why People Of Faith Should Support Non-Theistic Invocations by Bill Mefford

Excerpts from article posted at this link :
…..And this is why it is mystifying to me, and I would argue it would be mystifying to Paul as well, that Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives (many of whose members I am sure are devout Christians) would refuse to allow people who hold non-theistic beliefs to offer invocations. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives allows members of faith-based religions to offer invocations to open House sessions. For some odd reason, they are not giving this same opportunity to members of non-theistic groups as well, leading Americans United and American Atheists to sue. The House is engaging in discrimination, pure and simple. Like Athens, the United States is pluralistic. Any government body that represents people of many different faiths, as well as people of no faith, is legally and morally required to treat them all equally. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives should be willing to accept a non-theistic invocation. An invocation is simply an opening statement that offers thoughtful and reflective ideas before a meeting or event of some kind. I have done this dozens of times. The practice of invoking means literally to beseech or earnestly call for something to happen. Commonly used at the beginning of meetings or events, invocations attempt to bring people together and help establish a mindset for cooperation and effective work. In an age where many legislative bodies have become bitterly partisan, we need all of the cooperative spirit we can get! In the case of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, the proposed involvement of non-theistic people in giving invocations is a helpful reminder that government serves people of many backgrounds and if some are allowed to offer invocations, then all must be given that same opportunity. The refusal to allow non-theistic people to offer invocations does not do anything to promote Christianity. Again, Christianity thrives when pluralism is practiced and embraced. And this means allowing all people to express their beliefs, or to express no belief, in whatever way doesn’t cause harm to anyone else. When people of non-theistic beliefs are shut out of participation and are blatantly discriminated against, as is the case in Pennsylvania, it does no one any good. Indeed, it creates unnecessary harm. Discriminating against people with non-theistic beliefs is a denial of who we are as United States citizens …..
Title of article:
Why People Of Faith Should Support Non-Theistic Invocations
by Bill Mefford

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