Why it is wrong for a county meeting to have prayers
Note: This is a recent letter of mine that I sent to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that wasn't published. It is about Barron County, the far northwestern corner of Wisconsin, having secterian prayers during county meetings. The government shouldn't be involved in prayers of any kind, but the prayers in this county are almost always to Jesus, or specifically Christian.
The column by Mike Nichols showed the reason why a god shouldn't be on our currency, because it gives a rationalization for those on the religious right to push religion on the rest of us. Barron County Chairman Jess Miller when asked if he would honor the ability of atheists to speak before a county meeting, gave a flippant response that atheists spend money with a god on it. Yes, atheists like me do so, because people like him forced it on us. We don't try to put "in no God we trust" on our currency.
We honor the principle of government neutrality when it comes to religion. Chairman Miller wants to ignore the Constitution so he can have prayers to his particular god recited before county meetings, but he would deny scores of atheists in Barron County any such equal time opportunity. Now, why do people like Miller or Nichols require a governmental acknowledgement of their religious beliefs? Do I require one of my atheism? Of course not. I just want atheists to enjoy the same free speech rights as everyone else. I would also like to see atheist billboards stop being vandalized across America. That would be a good start.