August 20, 2014

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Commissioner Tom Williams wants meetings to open with prayer

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

ELYRIA — When he first took office, Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams said he wanted to propose the idea of opening commission meetings with a prayer by clergy.

But after talking with friends who were attorneys, he decided not to.

“They told me to hold off for the time being,” Williams said.

But now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the long-time practice of prayer to open government meetings, Williams has pitched the idea again, saying he felt something had been missing at the county level for some time.

“With the vital matters we deal with in the county, it’s good to have an opening prayer,” Williams said. “It’s hard to fault anyone looking for guidance.”

On Monday, the nation’s high court upheld by a 5-4 vote the practice of opening government meetings with prayer. The ruling focused on the case of Greece, N.Y., a town of 100,000 near Rochester, N. Y., whose officials have begun town hall meetings with prayer.

The ruling said such prayers did not violate Constitutional First Amendment rights so long as they don’t promote or denigrate any particular religion or coerce anyone to take part.

The ruling was in response to a suit filed in 2006 by a Jew and an atheist who claimed the prayers were predominantly Christian in nature.

“We have different beliefs, but it comes down to believing in a God,” William said, adding he works with and supports people of different faiths.

All three commissioners agreed to have letters sent to different religions inviting them to take part.

“If they want to come, that would be great,” Commissioner Lori Kokoski said. “We’ll take it from there and see what happens.”

By inviting clergy of all faiths to offer prayer to begin commission meetings, “We show respect to all religions,” Williams said.

Neither Williams nor Kokoski foresee the proposal running into opposition.

“Why would anyone object to having an opening prayer?” Williams asked. “It just reminds us that Lorain County prospers.”

“It’s a positive thing for county government,” Kokoski said. “When I was on Lorain City Council, we always opened with a prayer. And they still do.”

Williams added he hopes the practice of having an opening prayer will bring the board of commissioners closer together “and show we’re not there to just represent the people but to do God’s work as well.”

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

  • stillsleepyeyes

    So now they think if they get god on there side, they can pass a levi…………..

    • Beth

      Exactly, it’s pandering to the majority: look we are religious so we can’t be bad!

    • B4CE

      Can’t wait until the first Muslim , Jew, Satanist, or Athiest petitions to say the opening prayer!
      This should be fun to watch play out!

      • SniperFire

        Not bright. Happens all the time. This is how it works in the US House, for example:

        ‘Chaplains are elected as individuals and not as representatives of any religious community, body, or organization. As of 2011, all House Chaplains have been Christian but can be members of any religion or faith group. Guest Chaplains, recommended by congressional members to deliver the session’s opening prayer in place of the House Chaplain, have represented many different religious groups, including Judaism and Islam.
        The current House Chaplain is Fr. Patrick J. Conroy, S.J., the first Jesuit priest to hold the position.[2][3] Conroy was sworn in May 25, 2011.’

        And no real atheist would want to do an opening ‘prayer.’

        • B4CE

          Lorain County is no House, I’m sure Williams hasn’t put that much thought I to it.
          Atheist have and will continue to give opening ” prayers”. Arizona had a field day with that!
          Regardless, should be fun to watch the folks squirm in their seats when a prayer is said that doesn’t sync with their beliefs.

        • Beth

          Atheist or humanists can give godless invocations to reason, an Arizona legislature does it.

          • SniperFire

            Well, there you go refuting B4CE’s lame ‘point’. LOL

  • Beth

    Are we paying the commissioners to pray now?
    Once again people of faith think that people who do not have faith (atheist/agnostic) don’t matter. They think people who have suffered religious abuse would want the hear prayers when they come to county meetings.
    Isn’t politics divided enough already? Now they add religion to it.
    I really hope the church of Satan sends some one to praise their god, I hope the Cleveland Freethinkers send someone to open with an invocation for Reason and not Faith. I hope they get members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Church of Bacon.
    Maybe that will show the pushy Folks to just go to do their jobs. I work of the county and I can’t imagine asking my supervisor to spend part of my day praying. I, unlike the commissioners, want to do my job and pray at home. Does your god only listen at county meetings? If you want to bless the county ask your pastors, rabbis and imams to do it on your own time.
    Will they be asking an anti-gay clergy to come pray, what about a pastor that speaks in tongues, snake handlers, clergy that preach that women should never work and be submissive to their husbands?
    We do not all pray to the same god! My Holy Book says praying to other gods is a sin, so I have to sit by while another faith leader prays to them?

    Don’t get me wrong, say and do what you want on your home and place of worship, but don’t expect anyone else to participate.

    • SniperFire

      ‘ They think people who have suffered religious abuse would want the hear prayers when they come to county meetings. ‘

      We have freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. Hope that helps.

      • Beth

        From all religion? Good to know, I’ll let the members of the church of satan know, they can come in, and I’ll let Muslims know they can try to pass Sharia law..if they can get supporters for it why not? We don’t have freedom from religion.
        We’re not a Theocracy, hope that helps :)

        • SniperFire

          ‘, I’ll let the members of the church of satan know, they can come in’

          Works for me, Beth. Let the voters decide if they have a problem with their elected officials and their pentagrams before meetings.

          And if you don’t know that the USA is a defacto-theocracy, you aren’t very bright. Read our Founding Documents sometime.

          • luvmytoaster

            Didn’t the “voters” have this information beforehand?

      • Ohio Atheist

        I don’t think you know what freedom from religion means.

        • SniperFire

          Sure I do. You think your existence is purposeless and pointless. Nobody will argue.

          • Ohio Atheist

            Not sure what your comment has to do with mine. Nice equivocation and red herring.

            Please, indulge me. What do you think freedom from religion means?

          • SniperFire

            ‘Please, indulge me.’

            I have no interest in ‘indulging’ peeps who believe their existence to be nothing more than curiously animated carbon atoms biding time until its eventual and inevitable entropy. I just enjoy making fun of your stupidity.

          • Ohio Atheist

            You made an erroneous claim (mis-defining freedom from religion). You responded with something that has nothing to do with my comment, and made further erroneous claims about me and my beliefs, to which you have no knowledge whatsoever. If you want to go through life mis-defining things and not even understanding what atheism is, that’s your mistake. You’re making some pretty faulty assumptions. If you choose ignorance, that’s unfortunate.

          • SniperFire

            ‘ and made further erroneous claims about me and my beliefs’

            You believe, by definition, that your life is pointless and intrinsically, without purpose. It would be silly for you to tell us your existence has any ‘value’ or that ‘morality’ and ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are anything beyond pretended concepts for you to help you kill time until the inevitable day you enthropy into the useless pile of carbon you claim to be. We believe you. LOL

            What is amusing is that you spend times on the interwebs arguing about it.

          • Ohio Atheist

            Tu quoque.

            By what definition do I believe these things? Again, you’re making assumptions, and speaking from ignorance…again.

          • SniperFire

            ‘you’re making assumptions.’

            I am making an observation.

            You believe your existence is without purpose, by definition. Any silly ‘value’ or ethos you pretend to claim your pointless collection of curiously animated atoms to ‘have’ is stupid on its face.

            You can’t argue any of it.

          • Ohio Atheist

            By what definition? Can you please provide me this definition that you have used to define me? You’re making baseless judgments about what I think, without a single shred of evidence.

          • SniperFire

            ‘By what definition?’

            By your own, as I will demonstrate. Does your existence have ‘purpose’ or ‘value’ beyond what you are pretending it to have until your entrophy? Yes or No?

          • Ohio Atheist

            You’re shifting the burden of proof. You made assumptions about my beliefs that, by the way, have absolutely nothing to do with atheism. You’re claiming that I have certain opinions about purpose, value, morality, etc. Then you said it was ‘by definition.’ I made no claim. You did. You made assumptions about my beliefs, without evidence, said it was ‘by definition,’ without providing a definition, and then shifted the burden of proof on me. You made a claim, not me. I have no burden as I made no claim.

            You’ve made numerous fallacious claims about what I believe. Now back it up. I’m not doing your homework for you.

          • SniperFire

            ‘You’re shifting the burden of proof. ‘

            I stopped reading right there. We both know you are deflecting because you can’t handle the truth.

            Why are you afraid of the question? Let’s try it again:

            Does your existence have ‘purpose’ or ‘value’ beyond what you are pretending it to have until your entrophy? Yes or No?

          • Ohio Atheist

            “I stopped reading right there.”

            That’s your problem. If you read the entire post, you might understand the problem.

            Are you aware that you have completely deviated from the topic at hand? Let me remind you.

            You: “We have freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. Hope that helps.”

            Me: “I don’t think you know what freedom from religion means.”

            You: “Sure I do. You think your existence is purposeless and pointless. Nobody will argue.”

            Right there, you’ve deviated from the argument. You started going down some crazy path, telling me what I believe (without evidence), which has absolutely nothing to do with freedom from religion, which is what I am refuting. Again, stop with these red herrings and shifting the burden to me. Your line of questioning has absolutely nothing to do with freedom from religion. I stated that you don’t understand what that means, and I stand by that statement.

            You made a fallacious statement about freedom from religion, then started attacking me based on claims I never made.

          • SniperFire

            LOL. What a complete coward. You make a dozen posts telling us what you believe, but won’t answer a simple yes or no question which destroys you.

            Why are you afraid of the question? Let’s try it again:

            Does your existence have ‘purpose’ or ‘value’ beyond what you are pretending it to have until your entrophy? Yes or No?

          • Ohio Atheist

            Your entire line of questioning has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, freedom from religion.

            Do you understand this?

          • SniperFire

            Gutless. Coward. Why are you so afraid of a simple question on your belief system after you made a dozen posts telling us what you believe? LOLOLOLOLOL

          • Ohio Atheist

            Do you understand the problem here? I called you out for not understanding freedom from religion. You completely ignored this, then went on off-topic rants. Stop changing the subject.

          • SniperFire

            For you convenience, I have posted the simple question (the answer to which destroys your sense of self-worth) on the part of this thread where you are telling everyone about your belief system. Certainly, you will buck up and answer it there. LOLOLOLOLOLOLO

          • Ohio Atheist

            Do you understand that your line of questioning has no relevance to your original claim about freedom from religion?

            This is a yes or no question.

          • SniperFire

            I am not interested in the original line of questioning. I am interested in destroying your credibility, which is now complete.

          • Ohio Atheist

            Glad to see you’re choosing to ignore the actual topic at hand, and to unilaterally make up your own topic and attack.

            Your debate skills are poor, you have no concept of burden of proof or logical fallacies, and you are, at times, childish. I don’t debate children.

            This discussion is over. Goodbye.

          • SniperFire

            You have been crushed. See, you have no credibility to speak of esoteric concepts such as ‘freedom’ if you think existence is meaningless. May as well eat your neighbor as love them. It just doesn’t matter to scum such as you. But I will give you one more chance to show up you aren’t just pretending to believe in such heady things, and that you actually DO believe in good, evil, right, wrong and all of that. Simple question.

            Does your existence have ‘purpose’ or ‘value’ beyond what you are pretending it to have until your entrophy?

          • Beth

            Have you ever met an open atheist? There are good atheist and bad atheist. Just as there are good religious people and bad. From what I learned, atheist tend to focus on helping people in this life because they are not worried about what comes next. ‘The Atheist Experience’ in YouTube and iTunes is a good place to start if you want to understand a view point different from your own.

          • SniperFire

            ‘ There are good atheist and bad atheist. ‘

            Ridiculous. By self-definition, their life is pointless and intrinsically meaningless – so silly notions such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are, therefore, all pretended. All you have to do is ask them, and they run. LOL

          • Beth

            I’m sure you interact with atheist all the time and you have no idea. There are plenty of good atheists out there and there are plenty of bad religious folks. I have asked atheist what they believe in. I got some pretty good answers. They make their own meaning to life. Fine by me, I don’t see atheist denying anyone marriage rights, or bombing buildings, or forcing their beliefs on others. Believe it or not, keeping church and state separated isn’t an atheist idea. An atheist idea is telling people to listen to why it is illogical to believe in any gods.
            Ever look up how many atheist are in prison? Not too many.

          • SniperFire

            You are babbling because you can’t grasp the argument. And if you actually knew anything about Jefferson and the Danbury Baptists exchanges, you would know how foolish you sound with you nonsensical take on ‘seperation’ of church and state. You have it exactly backwards. Jefferson opened up the Federal building on Sundays for worship services. Learn the difference between Freedom of religion and the freedom from religion as you heathens attempt to distort.

          • Beth

            Hmmm
            Maybe I am wrong. So if we are a defacto-theocracy which interpretation of the Bible do we use to rule us? Pentecostal, Unitarian, baptist, Methodist, Mennonite, Amish, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Christian scientist, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, presbyterian, episcopal…
            Seems like if we just let everyone believe as they like and keep religion and government separate we’d have much less fighting.
            We can keep saying ‘the founding fathers wanted…’ And we’ll both come up with citations where they used God or where they wanted a separation. ‘ But they left us this country, it’s our turn to decide what is best. We don’t own slaves anymore, we allow women to vote…times change,

          • SniperFire

            ‘Maybe I am wrong. ‘

            Uneducated on that which you speak would be a better descriptor.

            ‘if we are a defacto-theocracy which interpretation of the Bible do we use’

            Rather dimwitted take, once again. Unalienable rights granted by the Creator (yes, that is a proper name in our Founding Documents) is the basis of our entire culture. It is not any particular ‘denomination’.

            The rest is just more of your mindless babbling on ‘separation’ of church and state, and you haven’t a clue what that means. Read the Danbury letters and educate yourself before speaking of it again.

          • LOLOLOL

            HAHA your creator is a lie and never existed.

            If he did he would have came back by now but instead you are an institution of child molesters and if you dont agree then forgive me

            How many children has your institution raped this year?

            Atheist 1
            Sniper fart losses…AGAIN!

          • LOLOLOL

            Its got to be tough to lose on the internets in front of all your friends,

            uh oh looks like you are done with your break and actually have to do some work

          • LOLOLOL

            Atheist existence is to make the world a better place and not have to live in fear of an eternal hell.

            We make it a better place because we dont live under threats and lies.

            On another note when is the last time an Atheists went crazy and shot up a school, workplace or anything like that?

            Best of all I wont do you harm and ask a magi man in the sky for forgiveness I would seek forgiveness from those I dont wrong.

            How many homosexual child predators has your religion brought forth this year alone?

            I crush you and your friends

          • LOLOLOL

            SUURE, its got to be tough getting through life with minimal reading comprehension, Why dont you ask your gil Courtney about that.

            Dont know so much after all do you

          • LOLOLOL

            My existence has a purpose to help people realize they have been railroaded by child predators that havent seen any evidence of god in 2000 years.

            Otherwise known as the stone age.

            Thats the beauty of it. Rather you believe in science or not, Its still true.

            Your god on the other hand allows your leaders to molest children.

            Thats something atheist dont do.

            Case closed and you lose LOLOLOLOLOL

          • LOLOLOL

            Dude you got smacked down!!! and lost real bad, Im kinda embarrassed for you

          • LOLOLOL

            So your reading comprehension isnt that of a 12 year old sniper

            Thanks for clearing that up

            Logic and reality has always been your worst enemy

      • LOLOLOL

        Exactly, Thats why there are so many of you child molesting christians out there.

        Its working out good for you isnt it?

    • luvmytoaster

      Seriously? Have you “suffered religious abuse?” I doubt it….
      Maybe if nothing else he can be offered a moment of silence for himself if the other two choose not to believe…..

      • Beth

        I’m all for a moment of silence :)

      • Beth

        I’m talking about people who have been abused by clergy, I have never been, but members of county have.

      • tatoo

        Yes, i have. I was sent to the principal’s office for not bowing my head and praying when I was in the 7th grade. They still had prayers in school then. I wasn’t an atheist then, but I am now, and it is partly due to that humiliating experience.

    • luvmytoaster

      There is something seriously wrong with you….”Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Church of Bacon”…..
      Schedule your weekly appointment with your psychiatrist…..

      • bob

        Google it. Beth is actually well informed of other religions that exist besides her own.

        • luvmytoaster

          I did google it – and I feel really sorry for all who believe in it.

          • Beth

            May his noodley appendage touch your heart. :-P he boiled for your sin! You know at one time Christians were thought to be the weirdos right? Try reading the Letters of Paul some time.

          • MN Atheist

            Well then you didn’t get it…the pastafarian religion mirrors that of christianity…except they “believe” in the noodle, not jesus. It’s parody at it’s best.

          • tatoo

            I can see noodles. And taste them. Yum

        • Beth

          I like to read about all religions and non-religion. I actually find it helpful to learn about things I disagree with.

    • Pablo Jones

      If you don’t believe why does it bother you? To you they are just a bunch of crazy people mumbling.

      • Beth

        It’s a waste of time, we have problems in this county. Prayer can be done at home, use the meetings to work

        • Pablo Jones

          How much time is wasted? They have a fixed pay so it won’t cost more money. How about they say the prayer at 6:58 and their meetings start on time at 7 (or whenever their meetings are)? Would you have a problem with that?

          • Beth

            I still see it as trying to peach to people who have to be there for county business. Moment of silence would be okay with me, but in a perfect world they would just get to work

          • Pablo Jones

            Really? Preaching? Come on I’m sure you’ve been to a church service once in your life and have heard a prayer at some other time. You can’t compare the two. If you sneeze and someone says “God Bless You” do you get offended? People can listen if they want or not listen and keep on talking if they want. Religious freedom does not mean politicians can’t have a religion or express their religious views. It means the government can’t force a religion on you or treat you different based on your religion (or lack there of). Forcing the removal or banning of anything religious is essentially suppressing people’s religion which is against the 1st amendment.

    • Razorback Twou

      Thank you, Beth.

  • johnnyfootball

    Dear God: Please dont let Matt Lundy beat me by a big margin.

  • GreatRedeemer

    An invocation is not so wrong. Not necessary but not wrong.

  • anyMo

    Do they even bother to recite the Pledge of Allegiance? Yes, people have been abused by religion. Judged, persecuted and outcast by its doctrine and beliefs. Ostracized by its parishioners. There is too much freedom of interpretation for religion i.e. extremism. This opens the door for anyone to show up at a meeting and use prayer as an excuse to cause harm and even more controversy that isn’t necessary. I’m all for a moment of silence so that each individual can say a prayer to the God of their choosing…or not.

    • johns62

      the commissioners always have

  • Amy Johnson

    Great! Providing of course that the Commissioners rotate their opening prayers between the recognized religions of the world, and perhaps practice a moment of silence or reflection out of respect for those who practice no religion.

    While the SCOTUS has upheld this broad interpretation of our Constitution, I’m QUITE sure the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but it also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. The Establishment Clause also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.

    Given these Constitutional protections, I will be watching closely to see that all religions (and no religion at all) are EQUALLY represented AND RESPECTED during this new practice!

    • johns62

      your making a lot of assumptions Amy. Amherst and Loran AFAIK have had prayers before council meetings for years without making an ‘offical religion. In fact Amherst is done by a member of council. dont think they’ve had a clergy member in quite a while.

      • Amy Johnson

        What assumptions have I made, johns62? Commissioner Williams states that he has made his most recent request based on the recent Supreme Court ruling that allows prayer before government meetings. I haven’t assumed anything. I’m just pointing out that if the Commissioners intend to continue to follow the spirit of our US Constitution, I would expect that they will represent every religion and in some manner find a way to respect the beliefs of non-believers as well. Christians aren’t the only folks who pray-and to only have Christian prayers or to not have some meetings that are started with a moment of silent reflection out of respect for non-believers would, in my opinion. be in direct violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of our Constitution.

  • Sis Delish

    Most of the folks working in the Administration Building already pray every day to the Leader of their Political Party… To keep their jobs.

    A Civil Servant Prayer (D):
    “Dear God of Democrats, please slay the Evil Republicans who might desire my elected officials position that I may enjoy the fruits of other’s labor. Please also sneak in wage and benefit increases for me and my fellow Democrats whom have no other viable private sector skills. Please also protect all Union Leader, for without their partisan support, me and mine would be lost. We ask all of this any anything else we can sucker the lowly Taxpayer out of, now and forever, Obama.”

    • kiddingme

      wow, you really bought the party line hook line and sinker, huh? it’s almost too easy. want to buy some gold from me? it’s anti-obama gold!

      • Sis Delish

        Was someone Left out from the Civil Servant Prayer?

        Thanks about the gold offer, but you probably need all your teeth.

  • Phil Blank

    I’d rater have prayer back in kindergarten and the lower level clases, and the Pledge of Allegiance every morning.

    • ClevelandBill

      The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Utopian Socialist. The original salute to the flag was the same salute the Nazis used. We need to end the Pledge of Allegiance. It upholds a false God and it is un-American. Americans don’t pledge allegiance. That’s the whole point of being American.

      • Starryeyes63

        The pledge was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in
        1942.[1] The official name of The Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945. The
        last change in language came on Flag Day 1954 when the words “under God” were
        added. He was Baptist minister.

    • Ohio Atheist

      For what purpose?

  • Air and Light

    He should resign. He probably doesn’t believe the earth is billions of years old either, and doesn’t believe in evolution, climate change, or anything else that goes against what his fictional book dictates. What a terrible, delusional person to be in a position of power. There is no such thing as god(s), get over it, deal with it, and grow the up. Or…just be a good person, because Jesus Christ superstar, Allah, Santa Claus, Buck Rogers, Buzz Lightyear, and other fictional characters are watching. Because, like, you know, they all work for the NSA and the rebel alliance.

    • golfingirl

      And you should stop posting photos with every comment.

      Make your point, without all the distracting videos and pictures!

    • Starryeyes63

      I would rather live my life believing in God ( or a higher power). And find out there isn’t one than live a life disbelieving and end up in HELL……..

      • Air and Light

        I bet you wonder why the tooth fairy doesn’t visit you anymore either.

        • Starryeyes63

          No I know because unlike you I HAVE ALL MY TEETH……………

          • Air and Light

            So, in other words you probably can’t wait for one to fall out, so you can finally get a visit. Boy are you going to be disappointed.

      • MN Atheist

        Choose wisely then. Zeus may just damn you to the underworld if you don’t…or Odin, or Baal, or Allah, or ……….

        • Starryeyes63

          why do you care what I believe?????

          • Ohio Atheist

            It’s a little less about what you believe, and more about what you do with that belief.

          • Starryeyes63

            Like your religion of atheism………… STOP shoving it down MY throat

          • Ohio Atheist

            First, atheism is not a religion. That’s absurd. And how is it being shoved down your throat?

          • Starryeyes63

            see above reply

          • MN Atheist

            I don’t. Just pointing out that the logic in playing Pascals Wager is quite illogical when you think about it. I just hope your faith is more sincere than that. Otherwise you may as well not.

            I do quite enjoy your avatar though…

      • Ohio Atheist

        Ahhh…Pascal’s Wager. You dropped the ball on that one.

        • Starryeyes63

          OH well………………..I KNOW I won’t burn in hell you not so much

          • Ohio Atheist

            Threats. Nice. You may have an anger problem.

          • Starryeyes63

            No threats

          • Ohio Atheist

            Telling me I’m going to burn in hell is a threat. Not very Christian of you.

          • Starryeyes63

            I said I wasn’t SO SURE AND SINCE YOU DON’T BELIEVE WHAT’S the harm………….

          • Ohio Atheist

            What’s the harm in you threatening me with hell?

            AND WHY ALL THE YELLING?

      • Beth

        That is called Pascal’s wager. You can look it up, and how the atheist answers it.

        • Starryeyes63

          I know what it is, I have more faith than that. Is an easy answer…….I give to those who that make fun of my Christianity………ie Air & Light. I have friends and a son in law that are agnostic. I know a bit more than they think.

          • Beth

            Tone is hard to decipher in text, it was just a suggestion. I wasn’t calling you dumb or anything.

          • Starryeyes63

            I took no implacation was just explaining.

    • Beth

      We don’t want to jump to conclusions about things commissioner Williams believes. We know he is very religious and that he wants prayer. Let’s focus on those items and not assume that he is a creationist or climate change denialist unless he comes out and says it.

  • Air and Light

  • Air and Light

    ….

  • jjq

    How about skipping the prayer and get down to business and actually solve some issues…. instead of debating such a non-issue.

  • golfingirl

    How about a 30 second moment of silence, and each can do as they wish with it.

    They can bring a blanket and bow to Allah if they wish. Who cares.

    I am all for prayer, but this is a waste of time to debate.

    Focus on county business.

    • Air and Light

      ,.,

    • Starryeyes63

      We have been invaded again must have gotten put on a liberal age.

  • Pluto Animus

    Typical Christian moron.

  • Ohio Atheist

    ““We have different beliefs, but it comes down to believing in a God,””

    No, Tom. It doesn’t.

    Does he think that atheists don’t exist?

    • Starryeyes63

      No you have the religion of Atheism and are trying to shove THAT down our throats.

      • Ohio Atheist

        LOL I’m still laughing at your other comment about atheism being a religion. Go look up the word “religion” in a dictionary. You will find nothing about atheism there.

        • Starryeyes63

          Then stop treating it as one.
          religion : a specific fundamental set of
          beliefs (or agenda) and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: Sounds like a religion to me global warming would also fall into that.

          • Ohio Atheist

            So what is the fundamental set of beliefs and practices?

          • Starryeyes63

            That there is NO God……………………. duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh you just made my argument for me.

          • Ohio Atheist

            You didn’t answer the question. You named one belief (albeit incorrectly), not a set of beliefs. And you named no practices. The definition calls for a set of beliefs and practices. You gave one belief (not a set) and no practices.

          • Starryeyes63

            Are you atheist or agnostic??? Seems you’re not sure……

          • Ohio Atheist

            I’m both. They’re answering two different questions.

            And it’s *you’re*

            Still waiting on evidence of atheism being a religion. And you have yet to address the ‘shoved down your throat” part, too.

          • Starryeyes63

            You can’t be both maybe you need a dictionary……….

          • Ohio Atheist

            No, I think you need to re-read yours.

            Atheism is about belief. Gnosticism is about knowledge. Two very different things. Most atheists are agnostic (as am I). You can believe (or disbelieve) something without claiming knowledge.

          • Starryeyes63

            a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. See one believe no existence the other questions or says is unknown.

          • Ohio Atheist

            Yes, that’s what I said, basically. I am an atheist because I do not believe that any gods exist. I am agnostic because I do not know this for a fact (as you stated, “unknowable.”)

            Again, belief and knowledge are two different things. It’s like saying I believe my girlfriend won’t cheat on me tonight, but I don’t know she won’t. I am making a claim of belief, but not a claim of knowledge.

          • ekwaykway

            She’s cheating.

          • Starryeyes63

            He has no “faith” in his girlfriend.

          • SniperFire

            Does your existence have ‘purpose’ or ‘value’ beyond what you are pretending it to have until your entrophy? Yes or No?

          • Ohio Atheist

            I suggest you also look up the terms “weak atheism,” “strong atheism,” and “spectrum of theistic probability” for a better understanding. I am a “weak atheist” and a 6 on the spectrum of theistic probability.

          • Starryeyes63

            You are organized, have members, have a goal. What more do you want.

          • Ohio Atheist

            You just described every organization in existence.

            Whether atheism is organized is debatable. And organization is neither a belief or practice. Having members is neither a belief or practice. Atheism has no goal. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. That’s it. You’re making atheism out to be more than it is.

            So you have yet to name a set of beliefs, and not a single practice.

          • Starryeyes63

            Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.

          • Ohio Atheist

            Yes and no. Some atheists take the position that there are no deities. That would be a gnostic atheist. That person would lack belief in a diety, and say that it is a fact. Most are not like this.

            Theist means belief in a god. The prefix “a” means “without.” Therefore, an atheist would be “without” belief in a god. Claiming that there are no gods is a stronger stance that also include gnosticism.

          • Sis Delish

            Ohio Atheists are not Real Aheists.

          • Starryeyes63

            But you are boring me. I am going to bed will say a prayer for your eternal soul. Have a BLESSED day.

        • Starryeyes63

          Then why do need “representation” in the Military?????http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/us/27atheists.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • Beth

      It’s because of people like him many atheist have to hide.

  • tatoo

    I bet they will exclude atheists from giving a secular invocation.

  • Joe Smith

    Just have a moment of silence before a meeting and silently prey to your God of choice or just sit there quiet for a minute and respect whatever you believe in. This does not have to be a difficult thing.

    • skipsailing

      Why?

      First of all it is “pray” NOT “Prey”. That’s two dramatically different words.

      next, what gives you the right to dictate restrictions on this?

      • Joe Smith

        Show me where I said anything about restrictions, if you comprehended my post you would see that I was saying to allow anybody to do what they want during that time which is actually the opposite of a restriction.

        Tom could pray if he wanted and anybody else could do whatever they believe in or nothing at all.

        Everybody would have the freedom to do what they wanted.

        Also since it is before a meeting, it would not interfere with any business that needs to be taken care of.

        Thanks for the spelling correction that was likely a spell check miscorrection, that is usually mentioned when someones point has no real merit. I fixed it for you, feel better?

        • skipsailing

          Here is where you said something about restrictions:

          “Just have a moment of silence before a meeting and silently pray to your God…”

          Why does it have to be silent? Why can’t we speak of our faith in public? Who does it harm?

          • Joe Smith

            Yep, that makes sense, 50 people speaking all at once saying different things trying to talk over each other, that wouldn’t be chaos at all.

            It was the respect portion of my comment.

            It would just be common sense, but if you think common sense is restrictive then more power to you.

          • Starryeyes63

            No, I think they mean, what is the harm of one person leading a prayer/ invocation. 30second-1minutes. No one of forcing you to join a Church. If you don’t believe so be it.

          • Joe Agnost

            “…one person leading a prayer…”

            That looks like ~you~ are the person putting restrictions on others… why are you restricting the other people from leading the prayer?

            What Joe Smith wrote is logical and not restrictive in the slightest… a moment where everyone is free to do what they want before the meeting. Done.

          • Starryeyes63

            he said 50 people speaking at once……

          • Joe Smith

            I agree it would not hurt a bit, it sure wouldn’t bother me if I was there and I am not religious but people won’t just agree to that, you will have a Muslim offended that you spoke a Christian prayer, a Christian would be offended if you spoke a Jewish prayer, a Atheist will be offended that you spoke a prayer at all and somebody would be raising hell no matter what you did.

            Thats why I mentioned that if you just had a moment of silence everybody could just have a silent prayer of their own religion or just sit there and think about the baseball game that is coming up or how nice that gal sitting next to you looks etc

            Nobody should be offended and I am not aware of any religion that bans a silent prayer but I could be wrong.

            It is a solution that should be ok with most everybody as nobody has a certain religion crammed down their throat or religion at all for that matter.

            What is wrong with that? .

          • skipsailing

            This is the crux of the matter: someone MIGHT be offended!!

            God forbid that someone in America, anywhere, for any reason, MIGHT be offended.

            I’m sick of living like that. I’m sick of giving up my rights be YOU MIGHT BE OFFENDED if I have the nerve to do something, anything.

            If some muslim is offended let him or her get over it. Anyone offended by a prayer has a personal problem and should be shunned by adults everywhere.

          • Joe Agnost

            skip wrote: “I’m sick of giving up my rights be YOU MIGHT BE OFFENDED…”

            But you ~never~ had the right to start municipal meeting with a Christian prayer. You aren’t “giving up” any rights!

          • Starryeyes63

            Umm the SCOTUS seems to disagree……..Like it or not the Constitution is based on Judean Christian believes…

          • Joe Agnost

            Starry wrote: “the Constitution is based on Judean Christian believes(sic)…”

            Really? I have to wonder why the Constitution flat out breaks the first commandment then… your freedom of religion breaks (at least) the first 2 commandments in fact.

            And the Constitution speaks about Christianity exactly ZERO times… but sure, I bet they meant to base it on “Judean Christian believes(sic)”.

          • skipsailing

            Tell us how the constitution breaks the first commandment.
            That should be entertaining.

          • Joe Agnost

            skip asked: “Tell us how the constitution breaks the first commandment.”

            1. Thou shall have no other gods
            2. Thou shall not worship graven images

            Your freedom of religion directly breaks these 2 commandments.

          • skipsailing

            No, actually it doesn’t and I don’t see how you can say this with a straight face.
            Just because the constitution permits all manner of faiths doesn’t mean that the citizens are compelled by the government to worship all these other gods. That makes zero sense.
            I understand that hindus, for example, worship a vast array of gods and godesses. They are free to do so in America. And I am free to obey the ten commandments myself.
            What part of this don’t you get?

          • Joe Agnost

            The claim was made that the Constitution was based on “Judean Christian beliefs”… I am simply pointing out that had this been the case one would expect to find the 10 commandments respected in that document.

            Since the Constitution explicitly allows for the breaking of several commandments I don’t know how anybody can claim the Constitution is based on Christianity in any way. The Government doesn’t have to “compel” a citizen to do anything, the fact that it explicitly ~allows~ citizens to break commandments is enough to see that the Constitution isn’t Christian in nature.

            The fact that America allows Hindus to worship the many gods that they do makes clear that the Constitution isn’t a Christian document.

          • skipsailing

            It seems that the problem is that we’ve made it to simple for you to grasp.
            I’ve explained this. But I will try again.
            As christians we are commanded to love on another. Yes, even those who act in unchristian ways. The constitution embodies this quite well.
            You seem to think that if christians wrote the constitution they should have created a theocracy.
            Jesus said: Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and render unto God that which is God’s.
            That seperates the secular from the religious. Sorry this is too simple for you.

          • Starryeyes63

            He has no clue…….

          • Joe Agnost

            Starry wrote: “He has no clue…”

            And yet I answered ‘skip’ long before your words of wisdom…

            Are you really going to deny that the Constitution flat out breaks some commandments? And if you were to codify into law some of the other commandments they would be blatantly unconstitutional?

          • Starryeyes63

            No it does not…………..you said the first two. There is no explanation to why you “feel” this way.

          • Joe Agnost

            Commandment 1 says you can’t have any other gods but the Christian bible God. This is directly in conflict with the Constitution in that the Constitution explicitly makes it clear that you can worship as many gods as you like.
            There is nothing to “feel” about that, either you understand English or you don’t…

            What part of that do you disagree with?

          • Starryeyes63

            As a free individual you have the right to worship satin or the spaghetti monster god, or no god at all By exercising, the right it is the Individual who broke the Commandment no conflict with the commandment. again free will. On a side note it says no gods before me nothing about lesser gods…….

          • Joe Agnost

            But you cannot claim the Constitution is “based on Judean Christian beliefs” when it literally codifies breaking commandments in its very text!

            And of course Christianity, Jesus, God – all completely absent from the document. You would think, had they wanted the Constitution to be based on Judean-Christian beliefs, that they would have mentioned it in the document. Instead we see the opposite, not a whiff of these in the document.

            Can you imagine if the tea-partiers got to write their own version of a Constitution? It would be riddled with ‘Jesus this’ and ‘Jesus that’. ‘God this’ and ‘God that’. They would make explicit mention of the bible.
            The founding fathers did none of this because the Constitution is a secular document, not a religious one.

          • Starryeyes63

            But there is no conflict. If you read the federalist papers God is mentioned, but The Constitution states: “We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights” Creator the god of your choosing

          • Joe Agnost

            Starry wrote: “…Creator the god of your choosing”

            Which is in direct violation of Judean-Christian principles… ‘no other gods’ sound at all familiar?

          • Starryeyes63

            The full text is no other gods BEFORE me. The writing & history shows the founding father were religious men.

          • Joe Agnost

            Starry wrote: “The full text is no other gods BEFORE me.”

            That depends on the version of bible you look at. But that is all beside the point anyway – the bible clearly forbids worshiping other gods, which the Constitution explicitly allows.

            Starry cont’d: “…the founding father were religious men”

            So what? Some were and some weren’t. Many were Deists. Newton was a religious man (Christian in fact!) but that doesn’t mean his Principia Mathematica is based on “Judean Christian beliefs”!

            In short, just because some of the authors of the Constitution were religious men does not make the Constitution a religious document or (as you claimed) based on Judean Christian beliefs.

          • Starryeyes63

            we will have to agree to disagree, but of all the people on this page you are the only one who has had a “conversation” I respect your thoughts and appreciate the debate.

          • Joe Agnost

            Fair enough… cheers.

          • skipsailing

            you are quite confused it seems.
            The commandment applies to those who chose to obey it. Tolerating the faiths of others has nothing to do with obeying the rules of your own.
            Can you really be this confused?

          • skipsailing

            Joe wrote:

            “Can you imagine if the tea-partiers got to write their own version of a Constitution? It would be riddled with ‘Jesus this’ and ‘Jesus that’. ‘God this’ and ‘God that’. They would make explicit mention of the bible.
            This is nothing but bigotry. You have no facts to support this. The good old boys in the south got nothing on you in the bigotry arena. Eat your heart out Bull Connor.
            The fact is that America was founded on Judeo Christian principles. The founders were steeped in the morals of the christian faith.
            They understood what was wrong with England’s mandatory church. After all many of the original settlers here left Europe to escape religious persecution. Not because they weren’t christian but because their version of christianity wasn’t acceptable to the government under which they lived.
            The founders wanted to avoid this and they were right to do so. But the tolerance that is present in our founding documents, and the appeals to a higher power, come directly from the founders’ understanding of the faith that surrounded them.
            The athiests have tried to wrestle the founding away from the christians but they can’t convince everyone of their falsehoods. Sophistry doesn’t work on everyone.

          • skipsailing

            REally? that’s your story?
            The first amendment does not dictate that the citizens of the US MUST worship many gods. Rather it insures that the federal government does not create a state religion.
            that’s pretty much it.
            So I don’t think you have proved your point at all.

          • skipsailing

            In life we have only those rights we can successfully defend.
            We just did that. Read the Supreme court decision.
            Well, will you look at that! Why you are simply wrong again.

          • Joe Smith

            Yet here you are ranting because you were offended that I may suggest a moment of silence so everybody can do their own thing and stating that people who are offended should be shunned by adults anywhere.

            Since you are offended, should you not be shunned by adults everywhere or do you only believe that people should be shunned only about the thing you are offended at?

            hypocrite
            : a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs

          • Starryeyes63

            The major problem with the “religion” of atheism is the militant groups from say NYC, the sue small town America because a HS wants to say a prayer at Graduation, or sues a city because of a Christmas Manger scene, or suing to have a cross removed from the desert that has been there since WW1. I stated before my son-in-law is agnostic. At family gatherings he bows his head when a prayer is said. no problem. he shoves it down no-ones throat, we do not try to force religion on him. After 20 years in the military have been to services of nearly every major religion,( including Jewish) spent a year living under Sharia law in Saudi. I did and do not agree with Islam but I was a guest in their county so I obeyed the laws. the second and is minor is people like Air & Light that make fun of religion.

          • Joe Agnost

            People like “Air & Light” make fun of religion because religion is so ridiculous! I really don’t care about the ridiculous beliefs people hold – until those beliefs spawn actions which harms society, as is clearly the case for religion.
            Religion has held a privileged place in society for far too long. Religion and religious beliefs had to be respected. That is why it was allowed to run rough-shod all over the world to horrible ends.

            Those days are, thankfully, over! You cannot hold ridiculous and harmful ideas and not expect to be challenged on them. This is how society moves forward. This is a good thing. Secular America is moving forward.

          • skipsailing

            Is this the tolerance that liberals so often demand of others?
            Of course religion holds a privileged place in our society. People of faith built our society.
            You honestly think that you are something new, but you aren’t. Human history is filled with civilizations that abandonned the faith that made them great and then, shortly thereafter disappeared.
            That’s clearly what you want for America. Absent a strong faith in God America will perish, just like countless other cultures before us.
            For more information about this I suggest you read some of Will Durant’s exhaustive history of western cultures. He describes the process in detail and supports his thesis with facts from history.
            How does it feel to be a force of decomposition? Why should any thoughtful person have a iota of respect for you? Ignorant and insulting is no way to go through life son.

          • Joe Agnost

            skip wrote: “Human history is filled with civilizations that abandonned the faith
            that made them great and then, shortly thereafter disappeared.”

            Correlation doesn’t equal causation… looking at the current world we see that the less religious a country is the happier it’s citizens are:

            http://www.atheismresource.com/2011/the-happiest-countries-have-the-lowest-rates-of-religiosity

            skip cont’d: “Why should any thoughtful person have a iota of respect for you?”

            They shouldn’t. That is my point; respect should be earned, not handed out automatically. Until I show someone traits that they respect I don’t deserve their respect.

          • skipsailing

            It is true correlation does not equal causation. That’s why I suggested that you read history. The causation is there quite clearly.
            And how do you define “happy”? Let’s take a look at some of the countries that have abandonned christianity. Like, oh say all of western Europe.
            What do we see? The churches are empty and the brothels are full. The reproduction rate is below replacement and therefore these countries are committing demographic suicide.
            No thanks.
            You haven’t earned any respect, but the church has. Let me know why I should believe that the Democrat party will last as long as the Catholic church.
            This is fun and easy.

          • skipsailing

            You don’t know much about people of faith it seems.

            How sad for you.

          • Joe Smith

            Explain it then oh genius of religion

  • Sis Delish

    What are Atheists thankful for…

    1. They don’t have to buy Church Clothes.
    2. They aren’t concerned with Religious Holidays like Christmas.
    3. No Religious celebrations of children, like Baptisms, First Communions, etc.
    4. They don’t have to eat Fish on Fridays.
    5. Earnest Angley is not at all appealing to Atheists.

    From the list above, one could conclude that Atheists are simply Cheap Bass Turds.

    Therefore, we can tax them more strenuously than others, since they don’t have the burden of purchasing for #1, 2, 3 and 5 above. And, just for hoots, Atheists should work for non-Atheists on Religious Holidays. We wouldn’t want them enjoying Something for Nothing.

    • Starryeyes63

      And they don’t have to tithe, That 10% can go to guvment. And straight pay on religious holidays….

      • Sis Delish

        Unless one of them Atheists is Gay, then the Straight Pay wouldn’t work…

  • LOLOLOL

    As long as I can pray to Odin it is fine otherwise you are discriminating against my religion.

    • skipsailing

      Please recite a prayer to Odin. Then tell us how Odin lost to Jesus. Was that an epic, comic book style battle?

      • LOLOLOL

        Jesus promised to rid the world of wickedness.
        Odin Promised to kill all the ice giants.

        I dont see any Ice Giants around do you?

        • Starryeyes63

          Jesus promised eternal life in heaven if you believed see any zombies walking around???????

          • LOLOLOL

            Yes I do, they usually have neck tatts :-)

      • LOLOLOL

        Jesus promised to rid the world of the wicked

        Odin promised to rid the world of Ice Giants,

        I dont see any ice Giants!

        Thanks Chronicle for deleting my previous post

        You are a class act as always!

      • LOLOLOL

        Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked

        Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

        I dont see any ice giants

        Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

      • LOLOLOL

        As Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked

        Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

        I dont see any ice giants

        Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

      • LOLOLOL

        And Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked
        Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

        I dont see any ice giants

        Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

      • LOLOLOL

        Yet Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked

        Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

        I dont see any ice giants

        Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

      • LOLOLOL

        Oh Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked
        Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

        I dont see any ice giants

        Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

        • Starryeyes63

          we got your point the first 8 times

          • LOLOLOL

            They keep deleting it. Just making sure

        • Starryeyes63

          I am done with you atheists, You all of the so called” tolerant left” are only tolerant with those that agree with you. I do not feel offended when you tell me you don’t believe, Free will, I am not offended when my Jewish friends celebrate Hanukah . The muslims can have their mosques, Just keep sharia law out of our courts, schools, jails and restaurants. I feel bad for those that are so weak, a simple prayer hurts their feelings and is such a threat to them.

        • skipsailing

          Can you quote the passage in the gospel where Jesus “Promised to rid the world of the the wicked”?
          Thanks

      • LOLOLOL

        Haha Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked
        Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

        I dont see any ice giants

        Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

      • LOLOLOL

        And Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked

        Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

        I dont see any ice giants

        Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

    • Sis Delish

      If it weren’t for Religion, you’d have no name.

    • LOLOLOL

      Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked

      Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

      I dont see any ice giants

      Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

    • LOLOLOL

      Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked

      Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

      I dont see any ice giants

      Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

  • LOLOLOL

    but Jesus Promised to rid the world of the the wicked

    Odin Promised to rid the world of ice giants

    I dont see any ice giants

    Chronicle deletes this because they know it!

  • Starryeyes63

    I am done with the Atheists, You all of the so called” tolerant left” are only tolerant with those that agree with you. I do not feel offended when you tell me you don’t believe, Free will, I am not offended when my Jewish friends celebrate Hanukah . The muslims can have their mosques, Just keep sharia law out of our courts. I feel bad for those that are so weak, a simple prayer hurts their feelings and is such a threat to them.

  • Phil Seguin

    I’m curious if the Republican Central Committee opens with a prayer. Does anyone know? Matthew 6:5-6