- Posted August 9, 2014 by
Atheist says no to public prayer at town meeting.
Tracey Jones, local atheist and resident in Chester PA, made it clear that he did not approve of a Christian prayer being given at the opening of the meeting. Many of his fellow residents present did not respond favorably as some jeered at him telling him to "Come late" if he didn't want to hear a prayer in Jesus name at a council meeting.
"I'd like to address this," said Jones during the public meeting.
The public meeting was held last month. The town room was packed with standing room only as many residents were protesting the local trash incinerator's request to build an office space and rail box to accommodate N.Y. city trash but Jones decided he wanted to use the moment to challenge the prayer given by Chester City Council.
"I'm an atheist and the fact that we have a prayer before we have these meetings; I find it uncalled for," Jones continued.
Groans of disapproval in response to his comment could be heard throughout the packed room. Despite the rumble he also made clear that unless the council was inclusive in their prayer, adding Muslims and other religious groups then a Christian prayer should not be made by council.
"Unless you respect everyone; I can respect that but as an atheist I'd appreciate if you don't open up with a prayer," pressed Jones.
Council did not respond directly to his comments but called for order in the room to quite the jeering. Jones ignored the jeers and continued onto his next concern regarding the trash proposal.