“If You Get Too Churchy, She’ll Tell You”

That’s the headline on small story in the St. Petersburg Times, talking about Tampa City Council member Linda Saul-Sena. Saul-Sena has told various and sundry people giving invocations before the council if they stray into inappropriate sectarian territory. Apparently this doesn’t sit well with Jim Crew of the City Clerk’s office, who complained about those leading prayers being “publicly chided and humiliated”.

Saul-Sena says she will continue to remind speakers of the separation of church and state.

Please do, Ms. Saul-Sena.

Mr. Crew, if people giving invocations conduct them in a way that is not exclusionary, I think Ms. Saul-Sena would give them the benefit of the doubt. But sectarian exclusivity is antithetical to the practice of a representative democracy, and those who promote sectarian exclusivity at a secular government function need to be reminded that what they are doing is not in the best interests of the public. If that “humiliates” them, well, that’s only what they let themselves in for.

A slightly different text of the article appears online.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.