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Michael Paul Williams has a wonderful column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch regarding how the Henrico County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors voted to stop invocation prayers at their meetings:

In an increasingly diverse U.S., the stubborn idea persists that we are a Christian nation. This notion muddles public policy and leads people to cite biblical passages when they should be referencing the Constitution. It also produces an anger and intolerance at odds with spirituality.
Henrico did not earn a long-standing reputation as one of the best-run counties in America by embracing legally untenable positions.
“I don’t think we’re not going to be able to do the business of the county because we don’t have someone out front praying for us,” said Nelson, who is perfectly capable of praying on his own behalf. Still, the board’s decision on prayer is courageous — the ultimate act of respect for all residents and faiths.
Prayer at public meetings is fraught with risk and contrary to a pluralistic society. Henrico has come to realize this and acted accordingly. Every other Virginia locale should do the same.

Perfectly put. Removing prayer from local government meetings is not a pro-atheist stance. It’s a neutral stance, and everyone should support it.
(Thanks to Nicole for the link!)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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