I am a Greenville resident who is non-religious. When Mayor Allen Thomas was parading himself all over the news as a champion of religious expression, he touted the fact that two council members give non-religious invocations. I wanted to watch this, so I took to the Web.
On March 4, Councilman Calvin Mercer called for a moment of silence. I felt my beliefs and the beliefs of all our non-Christian residents were being respected. Then, when the invocation ended, Thomas came over the microphone to say “Amen.” I was flabbergasted.
I watched more. Every single time Councilwoman Marion Blackburn or Mercer deliver their non-religious invocations, Thomas waits until they finish and then shamefully slips in a bold, “Amen.” He either doesn’t understand the meaning of a moment of silence, or he just really wants to tell all of Greenville that he was praying to Jesus. This disrespect carries added weight as he is the moderator of the meeting. This isn’t just incredibly rude, it is also evidence. Every invocation ends with an amen because the mayor uses his position, and violates the rules of order, to ensure that this is how they all end.
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