Fake Rev before Tuesday's Northampton County Council meeting is missing, the "glorious name of Jesus" was invoked several times. It treated nonChristians as religious outsiders. It created the impression that Northampton County Council plays favorites among religions.
I refused to participate, primarily because the Fake Rev is a fraud. For exercising my constitutional right, I have been attacked by this little demagogue and his minions on other blogs, proving why it was wrong to ask him to offer an invocation.
Northampton County Council has no policy concerning invocations before their meetings. When Ron Angle was president, he invited clergy of all faiths to open meetings. Cusick stopped that practice, relying on one Christian minister for a year's worth of meetings. Now he's opened up the floor to an phony, who can't complete a sentence without talking about Jesus, and is quick to claim that anyone who disagrees with him is possessed.
There's nothing wrong with a governmental body seeking Divine guidance so long as the prayers offered are nonsectarian. But as the Eleventh Circuit recently ruled, sectarian prayers like the one offered by the Fake Rev., violate the Establishment Clause. They create an atmosphere in which someone feels compelled to bow his head in mock reverence, especially if he has something to say during public comment. They send a signal of exclusion, rather than welcome. Instead of religious tolerance, they promote discord.
If Council President John Cusick is unwilling to take the time to find any of the many area clergymen willing to offer nonsectarian prayers before meetings, he should stop the practice altogether. As it stands, he is violating the Establishment Clause.
Updated 1/6/12, 2:28 AM: The Fake Rev is claiming that his invocation during Monday afternoon's reorganization has been censored, apparently at my request. I wonder if he subscribes to Paranoia Weekly. I noticed the audio was not working when I started working on this post, and suspect it's likely because somebody forgot to turn on the mike. But so far as I know, nobody has tried to censor Martinez' prayer.