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Noodles, Prayers and Lawsuits



Eureka City Council likes religion and prayers in their public meetings ("Tough on Prayer?" Jan. 31), but others don't. Elizabeth Alves (McKinleyville Press, May 1) suggested that if government is involved, then any religion should have the equal right to give the invocation at these public meetings, not just those selected by the city. She philosophized: "What if a member of the Church of Casual Sex was elected to a city council. Would supporters of public prayer want someone praying aloud for a Devine Hookup to open a meeting?" 

The possibility is not so remote. Another battle over religious liberty erupted in New Jersey recently when Motor Vehicle Commission employees called police (!) to prevent Aaron Williams from wearing a pasta strainer on his head in his driver license photo. The police report stated that he claimed "his pasta strainer was a religious head covering and it was his right to wear it for his license photo."

As a Pastafarian, Williams is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, an organization founded in part to protest the teaching of creationism in schools. "The universe was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the strainer is a showing of my devoutness to the religion." After police interrogation (and bullying?), Williams eventually agreed to not wear his strainer. 

If Eureka's Mayor Frank Jager isn't trying to use his office to coerce others to become Christians, then he should have no objection to inviting protestor Carole Beaton to give the "invocation" at a city council meeting.

Charles Wilson, Orick

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