There are two questions to consider about this story. First off, have city council meetings always started with some sort of prayer or invocation, and second, will inviting local imams to perform invocations at the meetings create unity or make things worse?
From NBC Connecticut, with the story currently featured on Drudge.
The Council announced Tuesday that it has invited local imams to perform Islamic invocations at the beginning of the Council meetings in September.
An e-mail from the Common Council called it “an act of solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”
Update: NBC Connecticut changed their story after I posted at 8:33 a.m. ET this morning. Their story now includes the following paragraph.
On Facebook, Council Minority Leader Luis Cotto wrote: “We start every single council meeting with a prayer. 99% of the prayers are Christian based, and in three years I recall one Rabbi coming through.”
The Hartford Courant’s story opens as follows.
A plan by the Hartford City Council to diversify its opening prayers before meetings has come under fire after it was announced that Monday’s invocation would be Islamic.
I’m quite positive the original story gave the impression there were no prayers or invocations at city council meetings, when in reality there has always been a prayer/invocation. I can’t help but think the public reaction would have been quite different if that fact was known at the git-go..
— End Update —
In some situations, you just have to step back and be quiet for awhile. If you’re looking to promote tolerance, you can’t be forcing issues like gay marriage, a “Ground Zero” mosque, or Muslim prayers at city council meetings down people’s throats.
You shouldn’t be burning Korans either, but just keep in mind there is a difference between government supported activities and privately supported activities. With that said, inflammatory statements from Democrat congress-critters like Alan Grayson certainly don’t help matters either.
Concerning the first question, I can not find any reference to previous invocations or prayers in the minutes of previous city council meetings, but I’m not sure they would be included if there were. Someone in the media should call and ask the question.
So we could go at eachother with tit for tat examples of intolerance, but we all know that does not do any good. I’m really quite sick of it all to tell you the truth. I’m pretty certain that I’ve been level-headed about all of the topics I’ve written about and frequently I hear the “you’re right Steve, but it will never happen” comments from readers.
Oh well, and I thought President Obama was supposed to calm things down. Has he failed?