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Tom Beasley of the podcast An American Atheist recently interviewed Linda Stephens, one of the plaintiffs (along with Susan Galloway) in the recent Supreme Court case that ended with religious invocations at government meetings being declared legal:

Susan Galloway (left) and Linda Stephens (Heather Ainsworth — Bloomberg)

My favorite bit has to be this one:

Stephens: … I was on a local PBS TV program, ‘Need to Know’ it’s called, in Rochester, and the new town supervisor was also asked to participate in this along with a college professor from Nazareth College who teaches history and religion or something. During the interview the supervisor remarked that he was receiving all of these calls from all over the country about people wanting to do prayers at the Greece Town Board and he said some of them are very strange, he said ‘I got one from a man who wanted to pray to spaghetti’. Of course, we probably all know who that is, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He didn’t seem too thrilled about that. It’s going to be interesting I think.
I read about a Satanist is demanding to say a prayer, it’s not locally but, I forgot where it was — one of the things the Supreme Court ruling says is you can’t discriminate against, you know, you can have your Christian prayers, sectarian prayers but you have to allow other people too, you can’t maintain your discriminatory procedure from here on in.

I think atheists need to follow the example of the LGBT community; when people get to know you and know you’re an atheist and see you’re not a monster, that makes things better and they’re more willing to accept change. That’s what we have to do I guess.

Despite being on the losing end of the case, Stephens deserves a lot of respect for taking a stand against what really should’ve been an illegal action.

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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.