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Huntsville, AL City Council Cancels Wiccan Invocation

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on opening local council meetings with prayer was a bad one, but it did say firmly that the prayers could not be limited only to Christian ones. The city council in Huntsville, Alabama seem to have missed that memo.

Freedom of religion apparently only goes so far in Huntsville.

Blake Kirk, a Wiccan priest who had been scheduled to offer the prayer tonight, June 26, 2014, at the Huntsville City Council meeting, was notified Wednesday that the invitation had been rescinded. Kirk was un-invited, said city attorney Peter Joffrion, because of phone calls from citizens alarmed about Kirk’s faith once the agenda was made public on Tuesday. Kirk had been listed on the agenda as “Priest of the Oak, Ash and Thorn tradition of Wicca.”

“We decided to pull back, to do some education maybe, and to introduce him more gently at another time,” Joffrion said, adding that the decision to rescind Kirk’s invitation aimed to ensure that the invocation would remain a time of focus and coming together, not a point of contention.

Yeah, that’s a lot easier than, ya know, following the law and telling those “alarmed” citizens to grow the fuck up, shut the fuck up and insert their Christian privilege into their anal cavity.

Comments

  1. jamessweet says

    Hmmm. It’s possible their intentions were in the right place, and if so one option would have been to call the guy, say “Hey I think this will go better if we hold off on it and try to mentally prepare people for it” and see if he would agree. Just giving him a letter saying “CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE” seems like a really bad way to handle it.

  2. Doug Little says

    So this would be a case of the Hecklers Veto, someone should inform Matt Barber.

  3. thebookofdave says

    I hope they did the right thing, and replaced Blake Kirk’s invocation with five minutes of awkward silence. ‘Cause that brings the people together like no prayer can.

  4. says

    Now, look, if Wiccans have the Freedom to give a Wiccan prayer, then City Council has the Freedom to cancel it. That’s just common sense.

  5. eric says

    It gets wierder; evidently he’s given the invocation before. So neither the council itself nor the the regular meeting attendees seem to have an issue with him.

    Evidently at last a few conservative locals heard about the latest SCOTUS case and started objecting to things they didn’t object to before.

  6. John Pieret says

    Well, the outcome was actually better than having the Wiccan prayer .. the meeting began with a moment of silence. Now if they just did that all the time, there’ be no problem at all.

  7. says

    John Pieret “Well, the outcome was actually better than having the Wiccan prayer .. the meeting began with a moment of silence. Now if they just did that all the time, there’ be no problem at all.”
    No. It’s still a problem. That’s time I could be using again making sure that City Council is aware of the illegality of my neighbor’s fence, which is clearly higher than code alllows, and only passed inspection (and the many, many re-inspections that, at previous meetings, I’ve insisted on) because the city inspector’s so-called “yard stick” is too long.

  8. thebookofdave says

    a few conservative locals heard about the latest SCOTUS case and started objecting to things they didn’t object to before.

    Well it’s about time they get over it, @eric #6. The Wiccan invocation is traditional now, and is no longer an Establishment Clause matter. Because Ceremonial Deism.

  9. Nick Gotts says

    the meeting began with a moment of silence

    But was it a Christian silence, a Wiccan silence, or a Ceremonial Deist silence?

  10. hexidecima says

    thank you, Alabama, for giving us exactly the case we needed to show that the recent SCOTUS decision was utterly wrong and to challenge it again.

  11. moarscienceplz says

    Gosh, this almost makes some of the good Christians of Huntsville appear to be hypocrites! But that can’t be right, because Jesus repeatedly decried hypocrisy, so no good Christian would be one, right?
    ;-)

  12. says

    Easy enough, trolls have to start contacting them offering to do the prayers, saying they are christian, they screaming “A*I! I!*A! Cthulthu Fghatn!” and drooling stage blood down their shirts. Then the athiests have toi show up wearing smiles and neckties.

    People are so fucking stupid they’ll let your people rape their children as long as they’re wearing a nice suit and at tie. Ask Jimmy Savile.

  13. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Well, as I mentioned in another thread, I’ve been recently ordained (ok, I ordained myself….) as a priest of Quetzalcoatl, so I think I am going to apply to do a traditional invocation at my local board meeting.

    I assume I can get a good xian member to volunteer to help with the messier parts of the ritual……

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