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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-11 08:31 AM
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Milestone meeting for atheists, council
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Milestone meeting for atheists, council

Some stood, but more audience members chose to remain seated Wednesday during the first invocation by an atheist at a Grand Junction City Council meeting. No matter, the speech by Joe Alaimo was considered a landmark of sorts for the Western Colorado Atheists & Freethinkers, whose members applauded the remarks that centered on public service.

Many believers and nonbelievers alike, dream of a day when the strength to take on the task of public service need not be found by bowing the head, closing the eyes and praying for it. We hope for a day when whomever chooses to serve can lift their head, open their eyes and with compassionate reason find strength in the hearts and hands of their brothers and sisters. On that day, perhaps today, we will have reached the greater goal, Alaimo said during his roughly two-minute speech.

couple years ago, after the atheist group brought the issue of prayer before meetings to the City Council, the board decided to change its policy to allow anyone regardless of faith an opportunity to speak before meetings. Those chosen to speak are picked on a lottery system, and Wednesday, the Western Colorado Atheists & Freethinkers group had its turn.

As with all meetings, audience members are advised by the mayor that they may sit, stand or leave the room as an invocation is given.
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