Atheist group considers lawsuit against city governments

April 6th, 2010 by

LAKELAND, FL – Lakeland City Commissioners began their meeting Monday with a prayer as they always do. That’s exactly why Atheist of Florida is now preparing for a fight.

“It looks as though we may have no recourse. We’re meeting with our attorney on Wednesday and we’re going to start sorting things out from another angle,” said Atheist of Florida president John Kieffer.

For months, the Atheist group has made their case to city leaders in Lakeland and Tampa, saying prayer before meetings discriminates against their beliefs and violates the separation of church and state. They want both governments to change the invocation to a moment of silence.

City leaders in both Lakeland and Tampa have made it clear that they have no intentions of making the change.

During Monday’s meeting, police were called to the Lakeland City Commission chambers after the debate on the prayer issue became heated. As the meeting came to an end, members of the atheist group exchanged words with people who supported keeping the prayer in place.

“Next it’s gonna be under God, next it’s in God we trust, next it’s gonna be a Godless society,” said Richard Geringswald.

Atheist of Florida members say they’ll continue their protest at the next Tampa City Council meeting, and will also appear at a Pinellas Park City Council meeting later this month.

Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One Response

  1. Michael

    Richard Geringswald is a disrespectful, crap eating bigot.

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