Freethought Today · December 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Social media helps stop pre-meeting prayers

FFRF Member Karlen Keto showed the power of social media.

Karlen sent FFRF a newspaper clipping from the May 20 Brunswick (Md.) Citizen, written by John P. Flannery. Here is an edited version of that article.

"At last week's Brunswick Council meeting, Mayor Jeffrey Snoots had a Christian pastor come to the podium to offer a prayer. What ensued afterwards was a flame of exchanges on social media, debating the question of whether the mayor's impulse was a good idea.

"Phil said, as an objection, that it was 'time to get the Satanists involved if you want religion in government.' Karlen said, if this practice is going forward, 'Be sure to include secular words of wisdom to open the meetings to even the field with sectarian prayers. Keep the wall of separation of church and state.'

"Keith said, 'How about everyone keeps their religion to themselves so no one gets offended. If you want to pray, go to your place of worship.' Snoots heard the debate and has discontinued the practice of prayer at the Town Council meeting.

"Last night was the first and last opening prayer," he posted. "I will contact the other clergy who have signed up and let them know we ae not continuing the opening prayer."

In his letter to FFRF, Karlen wrote: "I'm so proud that enough citizens spoke up to discontinue prayer at city council meetings. Only one prayer and the practice was halted."

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