Greensboro mayor adds prayer to council meetings

It seems as though the concept of the separation of church and state, made abundantly clear by the Establishment Clause of the constitution, is still something some Christians just can’t seem to wrap their head around. The latest bonehead is Mayor Bill Knight of the city of Greensboro, North Carolina. If that city sounds a little familiar to you, it’s because only a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being invited by the UNCG Atheist/Agnostic/Skeptic group to give a lecture at their school. Imagine my surprise to find them in the news trying to push back against the inclusion of prayer during city council meetings.

As is typical with this kind of story, a lot of ignorant, right wing conservatives are “angry” secularists are trying to prevent this kind of activity (just read the comments in the article I linked if you want to pull your hair out). They naively think this is some kind of attempt to prevent them from praying to their sky-daddy. In truth, all we want is for government to get out of the business of telling people when to pray. This very separation is what allows religious folks to have the freedom to pursue their superstitious rituals without fear or reprisal. The Establishment Clause is specifically designed to prevent religion and government from becoming intertwined. Why is this so fucking hard for some people to understand? If you want to pray, do it on your own damn time, and leave the business of religion to the private lives of citizens. It has no business in government, period.

Comments (7)

  • avatar


    Actually, the sad part is that non-Christians throw separation of church and state around but have it backwards from it’s true meaning. It was actually created so that the government could not take over and run the church as was happening in England. It was never intended to be used to keep prayer and Christ out of schools and government. Just one of many items of the Constitution that has been interpreted improperly.

  • avatar


    Looks like they have no respect for the law unless it happens to conform to their wishes. Sick.

  • avatar


    Thomas Jefferson (you know, the guy that wrote the Constitution) wrote that there should be A WALL OF SEPARATION between church and state.

    I really don’t know how it could be any more clear.

  • avatar

    Infinite Monkey

    Has no one pulled the “Founded on Christian Principles” argument, yet? What is wrong with these people?

  • avatar


    Wow, just wow. Did anyone else go and look at the comments on the link? Wow.

  • avatar

    J. N. Hudson

    What I find the most baffling about the whole thing, especially the comments on that site, Have these “righteous defenders” of christianity ever bothered to actually read their bibles? Specifically the part about not showing off by praying in public like the pharisees, but to pray alone, out of sight of others. The whole point of that passage was that people should pray sincerely, rather than praying as a holier-than-thou show of false piety which is exactly what including sectarian prayer at a government function is intended to do.

    @ Rob,

    It was meant to work both ways, to keep the government from taking over the church, and the church taking over the government. If it wasn’t mean t to keep prayer out of government then why was every single motion to include prayer at the constitutional convention voted down? At the time the US constitution was written the Wars of Religion in europe were still a fairly recent event and a veritable showcase of how giving religion a central role in governance leads to conflict.

    And that’s not to mention that at the time the US was formed relations between the different sects of christianity where nowhere near as cordial as they are today and in some cases the were outright hostile towards one another. Religion was not give a role in governemt because it is one of the most divisve forces known to man, to allow it a role in government would have meant choosing one denomination an excluding the others and would leave the fledgling “United” States anything but united because the baptist would not be willing to live under a catholic government anymore than the methodist would accept a calvinist government.

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