Judge Reprimands Huntsville for Allowing Non-Christian Invocations

Roy Moore

Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court recently reprimanded the city of Huntsville for allowing atheists and wiccans to offer invocations before council meetings.

“We’re having prayers [by] atheists? We’re having Wiccans say prayers? How foolish can we be?” urged the “Ten Commandments Judge” in mid December.

According to Moore, this shift from Christianity is only one of the many controversial attempts to alter what does not need to be altered in America, such as the sudden acceptance of homosexuality and the sudden defending of transgender individuals.

“I’ll say this in Huntsville because I think it needs to be said in Huntsville,” he stated. “There is one God and it’s the God on which this nation was founded. And it’s the God of the Scriptures. I don’t need applause for that. It’s a truth in history and it’s a truth in law. And we’re trying to change that.”

Reportedly, a Wiccan priest had offered an invocation at the city’s council meeting last year, with hopes that the prayer would be more inclusive and diverse but a lot cropped up right after, that city officials apparently found difficult to deal with.

“O gentle goddess and loving god, we thank you for the beauties and the wonders of the day that you have given to us, and for the opportunity we have this evening to assemble here and work together to make Huntsville a better city for all of its residents,” Blake Kirk, a Priest of the Oak, Ash and Thorn tradition of Wicca declared at the meeting.

Most prayers offered at Huntsville’s council meetings are Christian, as the city has a large population who are Christian. However, in 2012, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) threatened to sue the city for having mostly Christian prayers at council meetings, saying the practice of delivering prayers at any council meeting is inappropriate, unnecessary and divisive.

In an attempt to negotiate with the FFRF, Huntsville officials said they would not stop delivering prayers altogether but also allow other religious denominations to offer invocations before city council meetings, so as to make the experience more diverse and inclusive. Yet, in June, an invitation to Kirk was withdrawn after Huntsville residents expressed discomfort over having a Wiccan priest offer an invocation before their city council meeting.

“I gave the invocation earlier this year. At the time they did not ask me what my faith affiliation was, but when they did this time and I told them ‘Wiccan,’ I was told I was no longer invited to give it,” Kirk told the media.

However, city officials maintained that they had not banned Kirk from offering an invocation but they were only laying low until the controversy surrounding his invitation subsided.

“We decided to pull back, to do some education maybe, and to introduce him more gently at another time,” said Huntsville City Attorney Peter Joffrion.

Photo Credits: Charisma News

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.