Pharyngula

Cobb County does something right

Cobb County, Georgia is infamous for its efforts a few years ago to slap a warning sticker on biology textbooks, which might have given the impression that it’s full of southern yahoos. However, intelligent people and godless people are everywhere, including Cobb County, and they now have another claim to fame: a local atheist, Edward Buckner, used the opening invocation of a county board meeting to deliver a godless homily. It’s not bad; you can hear it online. He spoke for all the people who do not attend church, and who do not want their government interfering in religion, and decried the ‘hypocritical piety’ of using a board meeting to promote a faith. He also closed by telling people that if they resented his point of view being expressed at the meeting, they should urge county officials to stop using the meeting to discuss religion and philosophy.

Of course some people were annoyed.

County board of commissioners chairman Sam Olens, reached by phone Wednesday night, said he was offended by Buckner’s actions.

“Did I find his comments repugnant and insulting? Yes,” Olens said. “He abused the process by giving an opinion … rather than providing inspiration.”

I do not find prayers at all inspiring, but I thought Buckner’s comments were thoughtful and interesting, and a better way to start a meeting than conjuring up an invisible spirit. I predict, however, that Olens is completely incapable of seeing his prayers the way we do, as also repugnant and insulting. That we’ve tolerated such nonsense for so long does not mean we have to continue to sit silently while parasites mumble incantations, and it’s a good opportunity for people like Olens to have the situation turned about so that they need to learn some tolerance themselves.