78 Comments

My favorite invocation: “The meeting will come to order. Let’s get to work.”

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The only invocation they should ever have.

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Too French for them.

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This is quite literally the thought I have every time I see an FA article on one of these time-wasting invocations at civic, secular do's.

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If I ever have the opp to give an invocation, I’ll say that.

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I understand and appreciate his sentiment but I really don't know what he expects this will actually accomplish. There's no way he's getting money and I expect this will just make the Christians yell 'persecution' and double down. I mean I hope he wins, that would be great precedent, but cmon. Seriously.

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Christians never stop trying to mark their territory in the public square, and refuse to acknowledge the fact rights are not matters of majority rule in this country. At least they're not supposed to be. We are supposed to have a secular government at all levels, and religious invocations have absolutely no place in any of them.

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This does come off as petty and grandstanding, I’m sure there are better ways to approach this issue. But I do think that filing a lawsuit might force the town into rethinking their invocation policy. We really ought to be dropping invocations altogether, and it seems the only way to accomplish that is to go town by town making them include everyone until they get so uncomfortable and shut it down.

I’m sure he would like to see some money, we all could use it, but this should really be about forcing these boards to stop wasting our time and resources on nonsensical voodoo.

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Let me guess. I bet he is representing himself because I can't see a reputable lawyer signing off on this.

Notice I said reputable.

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Of course the city should be more transparent with their invocation selection process. However, the Christians currently in charge of that are accommodating him. Where the first amendment issue lies is the council members standing and leaving the room while he is giving the invocation. Yes, a case can be made that it is 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 right to walk out, but I see that as the right of any private citizen. Once they are in the room as council members, they are no longer private citizens, but agents of the government. To walk out while acting in that capacity would (in my opinion) violate the first amendment. That being said, the case will likely go nowhere.

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OT, I don't know if Val is on yet, but I came across this and had to share.

https://paintraincomic.com/comic/caught-jesters/

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Damn you Zizzer, you aren’t supposed to say anything.

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It remind me a joke with a dying general wife. She confess she cheated on him twice. Once with his camp aid, the second time with the cavalry regiment he commanded.

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I read a Chuck Palahniuk book a while back, I can't remember which one and I'll be badly butchering this. There's a section where two parents are trying to talk about sex to their daughter. It starts with "When a mommy and daddy love each other very much..." and goes through a couple increasingly weird iterations, ending with something like "Or when a mommy and the entire backstage production crew..."

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Aide de camp has found its way into English. 😇

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Sshhh malheureux, remember what happened to French fries.

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Apr 6, 2023·edited Apr 6, 2023

If Jonathan Swift was still alive I would tell him an Academy is the best way to fuck up your language.

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Mrs. Claus outdoes that in 𝘚𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢 𝘚𝘵𝘦𝘱𝘴 𝘖𝘶𝘵: 𝘈 𝘍𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘺 𝘛𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘎𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘯-𝘶𝘱𝘴 by Robert Devereaux. Read it, and you will never look at her the same again. The same goes for the Tooth Faerie.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0843947810/robertdeverea-20

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Already done months ago.

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Doubt this would work but glad someone in this state is throwing a stink about the invocations. Every town has it and it's some generic Christian fare. I'm more surprised it came out of Gillette and not Laramie or Cheyenne. That's where the most religious diversity in Wyoming is.

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"That's where the most religious diversity in Wyoming is."

Yes, we have both kinds, Country and Western.

Laramie for sure with the University, Cheyenne with the base, although I suspect it's diversity of christianity more than anything. I'd be willing to bet Jackson is pretty diverse too being a fairly liberal town, but I don't know much about it.

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Mostly Christian. We do have our resident young Earth creationist guy that hangs out in the Student Union. We do have enough of a Muslim population for a Mosque though in Laramie. Don't know all the variations on FE Warren.

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Ah, I take it you're in Laramie? I've actually had a long discussion with the creationist guy. I ran into him a second time and found one of my students (from a class that should have gone a long way into disproving the flood) behind the table with him. I said a few words to him, but she wouldn't even look at me.

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Yeah, I decided to stay Laramie. I used to bother him every Friday when I was a student. Trying to figure it all out and arguing with him and whoever stopped. I was more interested in trying to get through to his multiple (9?) kids. Very literal perspective on everything in the Bible. I think he got kicked out for a bit for his anti-trans stance when he dead named someone on his little board.

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I do think that there may be some shady shit going on with how they choose the folks doing the invocations that they’re trying to hide by conceding to him once a year. If we’re trying to uncover that, I’m all in.

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He's grandstanding. Unfortunately, I think the absurd "fine" will hurt better cases that are more clear-cut, and the only attention it will bring is claims that *all* such suits are just attempts to extort money that will raise taxes. (and the usual cries of "persecution", but those happen if a certain type of Christian stubs their toe.)

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For the umpti-umpth time, Christianity gets favored over alternative belief (or disbelief) systems ... and Captain Renault is shocked, SHOCKED to discover that gambling is occurring in Rick Blaine's establishment.

I'm not certain I could be more tired or disgusted with incidents like this one if I tried. As oraxx observed, we have yet another case of Christians marking their territory to the exclusion of all others, and the fact that Williams might get an occasional word in edgewise doesn't excuse Gillette's current practice. The fine Williams wants levied is ridiculous, of course, but once again, we have a town that needs a wake-up call to deal with their religious tunnel vision.

Still ... it'd be fun to sock the city council for a couple hundred G-notes. Might make 'em a bit more aware.

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"Think it will come to anything?????????"

Civil war?

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Not just yet. The complacent masses haven't been inconvenienced enough yet., but unless something unexpected changes, I expect within a decade, maybe two.

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Not with a nearly-even split in the Senate and a GQP-led House, it won't.

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Are there no ethical ... controls ... on these people? Seems a bit strange he isn't outright fired.

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Apr 6, 2023·edited Apr 6, 2023

Basically our Founding Fathers were optimistic and assumed the majority of Congress would be people who at least cared about the appearance of integrity.

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Unfortunately, it's almost as hard to impeach and remove a USSC justice as it is to shitcan the President. 𝘈𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵, because it actually 𝘩𝘢𝘴 been done successfully a couple times, unlike Presidential impeachment... but the House still has to pass the charges first, and the Senate has to convict and remove. Neither will happen until or unless the Democrats get a majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate, so Uncle Thomas gets to keep living large and screwing with everyone else's civil rights... probably until the very day he keels over dead.

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Only Impeachment can remove a sitting Justice. Republicans have made it clear they don't care about ethics. In fact, they've made it clear that they consider ethics an impediment to power. There is a very small chance they might consider it if a Republican wins the Presidency in 2024 and they can replace him with someone even more extreme.

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He should talk to the TST and ask them to also put in a request for invocations.

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Apr 6, 2023·edited Apr 6, 2023

Since he could give invocations I don't understand where is the problem. Anyway I will never understand this tradition on inflicting god on people 24/7.

About the money, let say he has stand, he wins and have it. Who will pay ? Insurances ? The state ?

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Apr 6, 2023·edited Apr 6, 2023

AIU the way these things typically work, the city council should have some legal insurance coverage with a requirement to use legal advice. So assuming the suit goes forward, the city council will ask their legal counsel what they should do. If they follow the lawyer's advice and lose (or settle), the insurance pays the damages. If they ignore their lawyer's advice and lose, the legal insurance company is off the hook and they - the city the council represents - have to come up with any damages awarded or settlement costs.

Also AIUI, while it is *generally* very rare for the government to ignore it's own lawyers' legal advice, 'prayers at meetings' is one instance where it happens less rarely. That's because the council members weigh the releection value of 'my consitutents want me to defend Christianity' against 'my constituents will be upset if the city has to pay this fee,' and the former often wins in their calculation.

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No, they'll take the money out of the taxes of the citizens. The way things are going, probably the school fund.

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Yep. I was editing that misstatement as you were typing. :)

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Apr 6, 2023·edited Apr 6, 2023

In this case, I think the best advice we can expect from the city's lawyer is, "make your selection process transparent, to forestall this from happening again."

ETA: After all he gets paid either way, and probably has enough work to keep him busy.

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Apr 6, 2023·edited Apr 6, 2023

OT

A Michigan judge has struck down an unconstitutional ban on abortion that dated back to 1931. Good on ya, Judge Gleicher .

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He's going to have a hell of a time justifying $24 million- it'd have been better, I think, to have asked for some token amount just to make the issue visible, rather than demanding the moon. I can't see this even making it to trial, as is.

An even better option, as Boreal mentioned, would be to get TST involved. When that happens, more often than not, the offending body just shits their collective pants and trashes invocations rather than let them have their turn. Since the practice of opening government meetings with irrelevant drivel is about as useful as tits on a jellyfish, that would really be the best outcome.

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